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Keywords:

  • pancreas;
  • RNA binding protein;
  • organizer;
  • BMP;
  • morpholino

Abstract

Summary:

Defining the regulatory molecular networks involved in patterning the developing anterior endoderm is essential to understand how the pancreas, liver, stomach, and duodenum are discretely specified from each other. In this study, we analyzed the expression and function of the double-stranded RNA-binding protein Staufen2 in Xenopus laevis endoderm. We found that staufen2 was broadly expressed within the developing endoderm beginning at gastrulation becoming localized to the anterior endoderm at later stages. Through morpholino-mediated knockdown, we demonstrate that Staufen2 function is required for proper formation of the stomach, liver, and pancreas. We define that its function is required during gastrulation for proper patterning of the dorsal-ventral axis and that it acts to regulate expression of BMP signaling components. genesis 50:251–259, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.