Thomas J. Musci

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Peptide growth factors may play a role in patterning of the early embryo, particularly in the induction of mesoderm. We have explored the role of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) in early Xenopus development by expressing a dominant negative mutant form of the FGF receptor. Using a functional assay in frog oocytes, we found that a truncated form of the(More)
We have examined the role of FGF signalling in the development of muscle and notochord and in the expression of early mesodermal markers in Xenopus embryos. Disruption of the FGF signalling pathway by expression of a dominant negative construct of the FGF receptor (XFD) generally results in gastrulation defects that are later evident in the formation of the(More)
Despite intense study preeclampsia remains enigmatic and a major cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Most investigative efforts have focused on the hypertensive component of this disorder with reduced attention given to other equally important characteristics. Increased sensitivity to pressor agents and activation of the coagulation cascade(More)
Normal pattern formation during embryonic development requires the regulation of cellular competence to respond to inductive signals. In the Xenopus blastula, vegetal cells release mesoderm-inducing factors but themselves become endoderm, suggesting that vegetal cells may be prevented from expressing mesodermal genes in response to the signals that they(More)
BACKGROUND The invertebrate and vertebrate Smad proteins have recently been identified as important mediators of the responses to transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) and related factors. We have previously shown that Smad3 and Smad4 (the product of the tumor suppressor gene DPC 4) strongly synergize as mediators of TGF-beta signaling, and that(More)
Recent evidence suggests that fibroblast growth factor (FGF) is a primary mesoderm inducer in Xenopus development. We have isolated a full-length cDNA clone for the Xenopus FGF receptor. Like other FGF receptors, the Xenopus homolog is a membrane-spanning protein with a split intracellular tyrosine kinase domain. The Xenopus FGF receptor mRNA is present as(More)
Basic research during the past two decades has led to increased awareness of the role of lipid peroxidation in various physiologic and pathophysiologic processes. A number of reports indicate that preeclampsia is associated with elevated blood levels of lipid peroxidation products. In view of its potentially destructive character, uncontrolled lipid(More)
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Although sonography is the primary imaging technique for evaluating the developing fetus, significant limitations exist in the sonographic prenatal diagnosis of many brain disorders. Fast MR imaging is increasingly being used to determine the underlying cause of nonspecific fetal CNS abnormalities detected sonographically and to(More)
Cytochrome P450c17 catalyzes the 17alpha-hydroxylase/17,20 lyase activity needed for sex steroid synthesis. We recently characterized the nuclear phosphoprotein SET as a novel transcriptional regulator that binds to the -447/-399 region of the rat P450c17 gene, along with the transcription factors COUP-TF II, NGF-IB, and SF-1. Gel shift studies localized(More)
Early frog embryogenesis depends on a maternal pool of mRNA to execute critical intercellular signalling events. FGF receptor-1, which is required for normal development, is stored as a stable, untranslated maternal mRNA transcript in the fully grown immature oocyte, but is translationally activated at meiotic maturation. We have identified a short(More)