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Several eye-field transcription factors (EFTFs) are expressed in the anterior region of the vertebrate neural plate and are essential for eye formation. The Xenopus EFTFs ET, Rx1, Pax6, Six3, Lhx2, tll and Optx2 are expressed in a dynamic, overlapping pattern in the presumptive eye field. Expression of an EFTF cocktail with Otx2 is sufficient to induce(More)
Blood vessel networks expand in a 2-step process that begins with vessel sprouting and is followed by vessel anastomosis. Vessel sprouting is induced by chemotactic gradients of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which stimulates tip cell protrusion. Yet it is not known which factors promote the fusion of neighboring tip cells to add new(More)
The anteriormost part of the neural plate is fated to give rise to the retina and anterior brain regions. In Xenopus, this territory is initially included within the expression domain of the bicoid-class homeobox gene Xotx2 but very soon, at the beginning of neurulation, it becomes devoid of Xotx2 transcripts in spatiotemporal concomitance with the(More)
Although it is well established that Six3 is a crucial regulator of vertebrate eye and forebrain development, it is unknown whether this homeodomain protein has a role in the initial specification of the anterior neural plate. In this study, we show that exogenous Six3 can expand the anterior neural plate in both Xenopus and zebrafish, and that this occurs(More)
Vertebrate eye formation is a complex process which involves early specification of the prospective eye territory, induction events, patterning along the polarity axes and regional specification, to bring about the proper morphogenetic movements, cell proliferation, cell differentiation and neural connections allowing visual function. The molecular(More)
Sprouting blood vessels are led by filopodia-studded endothelial tip cells that respond to angiogenic signals. Mosaic lineage tracing previously revealed that NRP1 is essential for tip cell function, although its mechanistic role in tip cells remains poorly defined. Here, we show that NRP1 is dispensable for genetic tip cell identity. Instead, we find that(More)
vax2 is a recently isolated homeobox gene, that plays an important role in controlling the dorso-ventral patterning of the retina. In this paper we present a thorough description of the Xvax2 expression pattern all along Xenopus embryogenesis, and compare this pattern in detail to that shown by Xvax1b and Xpax2, two genes also involved in ventral eye(More)
Free swimming zebrafish larvae depend mainly on their sense of vision to evade predation and to catch prey. Hence, there is strong selective pressure on the fast maturation of visual function and indeed the visual system already supports a number of visually driven behaviors in the newly hatched larvae.The ability to exploit the genetic and embryonic(More)
In Xenopus neuroectoderm, posterior cells start differentiating at the end of gastrulation, while anterior cells display an extended proliferative period and undergo neurogenesis only at tailbud stage. Recent studies have identified several important components of the molecular pathways controlling posterior neurogenesis, but little is known about those(More)
We investigated the function of Xrx1 during Xenopus retinogenesis. Xrx1 overexpression lengthens mitotic activity and ectopically activates the expression of markers of undifferentiated progenitors in the developing retina. We assayed Xrx1 ability to support proliferation with a cell-autonomous mechanism by in vivo lipofection of single retinal progenitors.(More)