Differential regulation of neurogenesis by the two Xenopus GATA-1 genes

Ren He Xu, Jaebong Kim, Masanori Taira, Jih Jing Lin, Chao Hui Zhang, Dvora Sredni, Todd Evans, Hsiang Fu Kung

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Previously, we have shown that the ventralizing factor bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP-4) can inhibit Xenopus neurogenesis. The erythroid transcription factor GATA-1 functions downstream of the BMP-4 signaling pathway and mediates BMP-4-induced erythropoiesis. We have found that similar to BMP-4, GATA-1b inhibits neuralization of Xenopus animal cap (AC) cells. The neural inhibition is not seen with GATA-1a, although both GATA-1a and GATA-1b RNAs are translated at the same efficiency and induce globin expression equally in AC cells. GATA-1b RNA injection into AC cells neither induces expression of Xbra (a general mesoderm marker) nor affects expression of XK81 (epidermal keratin) or BMP-4 and Xvent-1 (two ventral markers). These data suggest that GATA-lb retains the epidermal fate of the AC. Intact GATA-1b protein is required for both inhibition of neurogenesis and induction of globin expression. Our findings indicate that GATA-1b can function in ectoderm to specifically regulate neural inducing mechanisms, apparently related to the expression of chordin, a neuralizing gene. Furthermore, tadpole stage embryos injected with GATA-1b are devoid of all dorsoanterior structures including neural tissue. This report provides evidence that the two transcription factors, derived from a recent genome duplication, share a common biological activity (stimulation of erythropoiesis) while also exhibiting a distinct function (inhibition of neurogenesis).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-443
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997


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