• TSC-22;
  • chick;
  • feather bud;
  • appendage development;
  • EGF;
  • BMP;
  • FGF;
  • receptor tyrosine kinase;
  • TGF-β superfamily;
  • pattern formation


TSC-22 (transforming growth factor-β–stimulated clone 22) belongs to a family of leucine zipper transcription factors that includes sequences from invertebrates and vertebrates. The single Drosophila family member, encoded by the bunched gene, serves to integrate opposing bone morphogenic protein (BMP) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) signals during oogenesis. Similarly, mammalian TSC-22 expression is regulated by several families of secreted signaling molecules in cultured cells. Here, we show that chick TSC-22 is dynamically expressed in the condensing feather bud, as well as in many tissues of the chick embryo. BMP-2/4, previously shown to inhibit bud development, repress TSC-22 expression during feather bud formation in vivo. Noggin, a BMP antagonist, promotes TSC-22 expression. EGF, TGF-α, and fibroblast growth factor all promote both feather bud development and TSC-22 expression; each can promote ectopic feather buds that are regularly spaced between existing feather buds. Thus, TSC-22 is a candidate to integrate small imbalances in receptor tyrosine kinase and BMP signaling during feather tract development to generate stable and reproducible morphogenetic responses. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.