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We identified two novel mouse mutants with abnormal head-shaking behavior and neural tube defects during the course of independent ENU mutagenesis experiments. The heterozygous and homozygous mutants exhibit defects in the orientation of sensory hair cells in the organ of Corti, indicating a defect in planar cell polarity. The homozygous mutants exhibit(More)
Circletail is one of only two mouse mutants that exhibit the most severe form of neural tube defect (NTD), termed craniorachischisis. In this disorder, almost the entire brain and spinal cord is affected, owing to a failure to initiate neural tube closure. Craniorachischisis is a significant cause of lethality in humans, yet the molecular mechanisms(More)
Members of the activin family are believed to act as mesoderm-inducing factors during early amphibian development. Little is known, however, about mesoderm formation in the mammalian embryo, and as one approach to investigating this we have studied activin and follistatin expression during early mouse development. Activins are homo- or heterodimers of the(More)
The putative transcription factor ZIC2 is associated with a defect of forebrain development, known as Holoprosencephaly (HPE), in humans and mouse, yet the mechanism by which aberrant ZIC2 function causes classical HPE is unexplained. The zinc finger domain of all mammalian Zic genes is highly homologous with that of the Gli genes, which are transcriptional(More)
A total of 5 conventional, directionally cloned plasmid cDNA libraries have been constructed from the entire embryonic region of the mid-gastrulation mouse embryo and from its four principal tissue constituents (ectoderm, mesoderm, endoderm and primitive streak). These libraries have been validated with respect to the number of independent clones,(More)
The onset of X inactivation is preceded by a marked increase in the level of Xist RNA. Here we demonstrate that increased stability of Xist RNA is the primary determinant of developmental up-regulation. Unstable transcript is produced by both alleles in XX ES cells and in XX embryos prior to the onset of random X inactivation. Following differentiation,(More)
The expression pattern of bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) in the hindbrain region of the headfold and early somite stage developing mouse embryo suggests a role for BMP-7 in the patterning of this part of the cranial CNS. In chick embryos it is thought that BMP-7 is one of the secreted molecules which mediates the dorsalizing influence of surface(More)
The generation of an embryonic body plan is the outcome of inductive interactions between the progenitor tissues that underpin their specification, regionalization and morphogenesis. The intercellular signalling activity driving these processes is deployed in a time- and site-specific manner, and the signal strength must be precisely controlled. Receptor(More)
Flightless I (Flii), a highly conserved member of the gelsolin family of actin-remodelling proteins associates with actin structures and is involved in cellular motility and adhesion. Our previous studies have shown that Flii is an important negative regulator of wound repair. Here, we show that Flii affects hemidesmosome formation and integrin-mediated(More)
The Zic genes encode zinc finger containing proteins that can bind proteins and DNA. The understanding of Zic molecular networks has been hampered by functional redundancy amongst family members, and because their loss-of-function phenotypes are indicative of a role in many signalling pathways. Recently molecular evidence has emerged confirming the(More)