W Liu, R He and Z Xue
Lab of Visual Information Processing, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing.
ABSTRACT We prepared a specific antiserum to the qBrn-2 protein and examined the developmental distribution of this protein during quail somitic myogenesis. In contrast to its mammalian homolog N-Oct-3, qBrn-2 exhibited an impressive spatio-temporal profile in somitic myogenesis, in addition to the orthodox expression observed in the developing neural tube. In somites, qBrn-2 was expressed in the outer epithelial cells, but not in the core cells. During the somite differentiation, qBrn-2 expression was enhanced and restricted to myotome. The location of qBrn-2 expression seemed to overlap with that of myf5 and myoD in myotome. However, in cells that just began to express myf5 or myoD, qBrn-2 expression was not obvious. As embryonic development proceeded, qBrn-2 positive cells in myotome migrated dorsally and ventrally, and qBrn-2 expression was still observed at dorsal and ventral muscle masses in the forelimb. On the basis of our observations, it seems that qBrn-2 may play important roles in the determination, differentiation and migration of muscle precursor cells, in addition to its known roles in neurogenesis.