β-catenin/Tcf-regulated transcription prior to the midblastula transition

Jing Yang, Change Tan, Rachel S. Darken, Paul A. Wilson, Peter S. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations

Abstract

Following fertilization, the zygotic genome in many organisms is quiescent until the midblastula transition (MBT), when large-scale transcription begins. In Xenopus embryos, for example, transcription is believed to be repressed until the twelfth cell division. Thus, although dorsal-ventral patterning begins during the first cell cycle, little attention has been given to transcriptional regulation in pre-MBT development. We present evidence that regulated transcription begins during early cleavage stages and that the β-catenin-Tcf complex is required for the transcription of the Xenopus nodal genes Xnr5 and Xnr6 as early as the 256-cell stage. Moreover, inhibition of β-catenin/Tcf function can block dorsal development, but only if the inhibition begins early and is maintained throughout pre-MBT stages. Dorsal development can be rescued in ventralized embryos if Tcf-dependent transcription is activated prior to MBT, but activation of Tcf after MBT cannot rescue ventralized embryos, suggesting that β-catenin/Tcf-dependent transcription is required prior to MBT for dorsal-ventral patterning in Xenopus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5743-5752
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment
Volume129
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2002

Keywords

  • LEF
  • Lithium
  • Midblastula transition
  • Tcf
  • Transcription
  • Wnt
  • Xenopus embryo
  • β-catenin

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