Markku Heikinheimo

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The Fgf8 gene is expressed in developing limb and craniofacial structures, regions known to be important for growth and patterning of the mouse embryo. Although Fgf8 is alternatively spliced to generate at least 7 secreted isoforms that differ only at their mature amino terminus, the biological significance of these multiple isoforms is not known. In this(More)
Fgf-8 is a member of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family that was initially identified as an androgen-inducible growth factor in a mammary carcinoma cell line. Alternative splicing of the primary Fgf-8 transcript results in three messenger RNAs which code for secreted FGF-8 protein isoforms that differ only in their mature amino termini. Fgf-8 RNA is(More)
Two members of the GATA-binding family of transcription factors, GATA-4 and GATA-6, are expressed in the vertebrate ovary. To gain insight into the role of these factors in ovarian cell differentiation and function, we used in situ hybridization to determine the patterns of expression of GATA-4 and GATA-6 in mouse ovary during development and in response to(More)
Transcription factor GATA-4 belongs to a family of zinc finger proteins involved in lineage determination. GATA-4 is first expressed in yolk sac endoderm of the developing mouse and later in cardiac tissue, gut epithelium and gonads. To delineate the role of this transcription factor in differentiation and early development, we studied embryoid bodies(More)
The majority of oocytes present in fetal ovaries are depleted before birth, and only about 400 will ovulate during the normal fertile life span. Studies on animals have shown that apoptosis is the mechanism behind oocyte depletion and follicular atresia. In the present study, we investigated the extent and localization of apoptosis in human fetal (aged(More)
Growth differentiation factor-9 (GDF-9) is a transforming growth factor-b (TGF-b) family member which is expressed in the oocytes in mouse ovaries (McGrath, S.A., Esquela, A.F., Lee, S.J., 1995. Oocyte-specific expression of growth/differentiation factor-9. Mol. Endocrinol. 9, 131-136). GDF-9 is indispensable for normal folliculogenesis since female mice(More)
Nephrin is a cell adhesion protein located at the slit diaphragm area of glomerular podocytes. Mutations in nephrin-coding gene (NPHS1) cause congenital nephrotic syndrome (NPHS1). We studied the developmental expression of nephrin, ZO-1 and P-cadherin in normal fetal kidneys and in NPHS1 kidneys. We used in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry at(More)
We previously identified Fgf-8 as a frequently activated gene in tumors from mouse mammary tumor virus-infected Wnt-1 transgenic mice, suggesting that Fgf-8 is a proto-oncogene. We further determined that multiple, secreted protein isoforms that differ at their mature amino termini are encoded by alternatively spliced mRNAs transcribed from the gene. We now(More)
GATA-4 is a highly conserved transcription factor that plays a critical role in regulating embryonic morphogenesis and cellular differentiation. Given the emerging role of GATA-4 in the development and function of murine gonads, we have now studied its role in human testis. We find that GATA-4 is expressed from early human fetal testicular development to(More)
The WGATAR motif is a common nucleotide sequence found in the transcriptional regulatory regions of numerous genes. In vertebrates, these motifs are bound by one of six factors (GATA1 to GATA6) that constitute the GATA family of transcriptional regulatory proteins. Although originally considered for their roles in hematopoietic cells and the heart, GATA(More)