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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)
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)
Retinoic acid receptor (RAR) signaling is required for morphogenesis of the ventral optic cup and closure of the choroid fissure, but the mechanisms by which this pathway regulates ventral eye development remain controversial and poorly understood. Although previous studies have implicated neural crest-derived periocular mesenchyme (POM) as the critical(More)
Mutations in the transcription factor encoding TFAP2A gene underlie branchio-oculo-facial syndrome (BOFS), a rare dominant disorder characterized by distinctive craniofacial, ocular, ectodermal and renal anomalies. To elucidate the range of ocular phenotypes caused by mutations in TFAP2A, we took three approaches. First, we screened a cohort of 37 highly(More)
To gain insight into the mechanisms of Lmx1b function during ocular morphogenesis, we have studied the roles of lmx1b.1 and lmx1b.2 during zebrafish eye development. In situ hybridization and characterization of transgenic lines in which GFP is expressed under lmx1b.1 regulatory sequence show that these genes are expressed in periocular tissues and in a(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)
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)
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)