Patterning of the embryonic vertebrate Brain in Response to Fibroblast Growth Factor Signaling

The term "pattern formation" refers to the process by which order unfolds in development. The present thesis deals with a particular aspect of molecular pattern formation during vertebrate embryogenesis. The model system in the focus of this study is the zebrafish, Danio rerio. In the early... Ausführliche Beschreibung

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Weitere Verfasser: [advisor] ; [referee] ; [referee]
Format: Elektronische Hochschulschrift
veröffentlicht: Dresden : Saechsische Landesbibliothek- Staats- und Universitaetsbibliothek Dresden, 2003.
Schlagworte:
Fgf
MHG
Fgf
MHB
RVK-Notation: WW 2400 Allgemeines
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Zusammenfassung: The term "pattern formation" refers to the process by which order unfolds in development. The present thesis deals with a particular aspect of molecular pattern formation during vertebrate embryogenesis. The model system in the focus of this study is the zebrafish, Danio rerio. In the early developmental phases of the zebrafish, Fibroblast growth factors (Fgfs) are involved in the molecular patterning of various tissues, including two regions of the brain, the forebrain and the midbrain-hindbrain region, affecting cellular processes as diverse as cell proliferation, differentiation, and axonal targeting. The goal of this study was to better understand the mechanisms by which Fgf signaling regulates pattern formation and embryogenesis. I addressed this question on several levels, investigating the extent of intracellular signaling (MAPK activation) relative to sources of Fgf expression, and the transcriptional responses of cells to Fgf signaling during embryogenesis. By a macroarray analysis, I identified putative transcriptional targets of Fgf signaling in late gastrulation, providing a set of molecules that are likely to act as functional players in relaying the patterning information encoded by Fgf signals. Among those are the secreted signaling molecules Chordin and Wnt8, as well as Isthmin, a novel secreted molecule that I found capable to interfere with anterior embryonic patterning. In addition, I identified two ETS domain transcription factors, Erm and Pea3, which constitute bona fide integrators of FgfR signaling. By gain- and loss-of-function studies, I demonstrate that transcript levels of erm and pea3 are tightly regulated by Fgf signaling. Detailed analysis of the expression patterns of erm and pea3 along with other Fgf target genes also provides evidence for a differential read-out of Fgf concentration in the embryo, consistent with a role of Fgf as a vertebrate morphogen. The discovery of novel molecular components downstream of Fgf receptor activity paves a way to characterize previously unknown or underestimated developmental roles of Fgfs in the molecular patterning of the forebrain, the eye and parts of the neural crest.
Fussnoten: doctoralThesis