Expression of chicken fibroblast growth factor homologous factor (FHF)-1 and of differentially spliced isoforms of FHF-2 during development and involvement of FHF-2 in chicken limb development

Ignacio Munoz-Sanjuan, B. Kay Simandl, John F. Fallon, Jeremy Nathans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family have been identified as signaling molecules in a variety of developmental processes, including important roles in limb bud initiation, growth and patterning. This paper reports the cloning and characterization of the chicken orthologues of fibroblast growth factor homologous factors-1 and -2 (cFHF-1/cFGF-12 and cFHF-2/cFCF-13, respectively). We also describe the identification of a novel, conserved isoform of FHF-2 in chickens and mammals. This isoform arises by alternative splicing of the first exon of the FHF-2 gene and is predicted to encode a polypeptide with a distinct amino-terminus. Whole-mount in situ hybridization reveals restricted domains of expression of cFHF-1 and cFHF-2 in the developing neural tube, peripheral sensory ganglia and limb buds, and shows that the two cFHF-2 transcript isoforms are present in non-overlapping spatial distributions in the neural tube and adjacent structures. In the developing limbs, cFHF-1 is confined to the posterior mesoderm in an area that encompasses the zone of polarizing activity and cFHF-2 is confined to the distal anterior mesoderm in a region that largely overlaps the progress zone. Ectopic cFHF-2 expression is induced adjacent to grafts of cells expressing Sonic Hedgehog and the zone of cFHF-2 expression is expanded in talpid2 embryos. In the absence of the apical ectodermal ridge or in wingless or limbless mutant embryos, expression of cFHF-1 and cFHF-2 is lost from the limb bud. A role for cFHF-2 in the patterning and growth of skeletal elements is implied by the observation that engraftment of developing limb buds with QT6 cells expressing a cFHF-2 isoform that is normally expressed in the limb leads to a variety of morphological defects. Finally, we show that a secreted version of cFHF-2 activates the expression of HoxD13, HoxD11, Fgf-4 and BMP-2 ectopically, consistent with cFHF-2 playing a role in anterior-posterior patterning of the limb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-421
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopment
Volume126
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1999

Keywords

  • Alternative splicing
  • Anteroposterior axis
  • Chick
  • FGFs
  • Limb morphogenesis
  • Pattern formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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