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Keywords:

  • anterior neural ridge;
  • neural plate;
  • neural development;
  • ectodermal placodes;
  • infundibulum;
  • heart development;
  • Hensen's node;
  • left-right asymmetry;
  • extraembryonic membranes;
  • notochord;
  • somites;
  • presomitic mesoderm;
  • limb;
  • myotome;
  • mesonephros;
  • rhombic lip;
  • rhombomere

Abstract

Btg/Tob genes encode for a new family of proteins with antiproliferative functions, which are also able to stimulate cell differentiation. Btg1 and Btg2 are the most closely related members in terms of gene sequence. We analyzed their expression patterns in avian embryos by in situ hybridization, from embryonic day 1 to 3. Btg1 was distinctively expressed in the Hensen's node, the notochord, the cardiogenic mesoderm, the lens vesicle, and in the apical ectodermal ridge and mesenchyme of the limb buds. On the other hand, Btg2 expression domains included the neural plate border, presomitic mesoderm, trigeminal placode, and mesonephros. Both genes were commonly expressed in the myotome, epibranchial placodes, and dorsal neural tube. The results suggest that Btg1 and Btg2 are involved in multiple developmental processes. Overlapping expression of Btg1 and Btg2 may imply redundant functions, but unique expression patterns suggest also differential regulation and function. Developmental Dynamics 237:2158–2169, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.