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Keywords:

  • embryogenesis;
  • epithelial–mesenchymal interaction;
  • eye;
  • CNS;
  • Eaf2;
  • ELL;
  • in situ hybridization

Abstract

Eaf2, ELL-associated factor 2, encodes a protein that is homologous to the human EAF1, which was shown to interact with the transcriptional elongation factor MEN/ELL. During mouse embryogenesis, Eaf2 is preferentially expressed in the central nervous system and in sensory and neuroendocrine organs, including the brain, spinal cord, cranial and spinal ganglia, developing otocyst, the retina, and the pituitary. Eaf2 transcripts were also found in sites where active epithelium–mesenchymal interactions are occurring. These included the invaginating tooth buds, mammary gland anlage, submandibular glands, the lung, the pancreas, and the kidney. Other sites of expression included bladder and intestine. In the developing lens, Eaf2 transcripts were absent in the proliferating anterior lens epithelial cells but were present in the terminally differentiated primary lens fiber cells and also in nonproliferating lens fiber cells in the equatorial zone where lens epithelial cells withdraw from cell cycle and terminally differentiate into secondary lens fiber cells. This spatially restricted pattern of Eaf2 expression in the developing lens suggests that Eaf2 may play an important role in regulating lens maturation. Developmental Dynamics 228:273–280, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.