Int. J. Dev. Biol. 45: 707 - 713 (2001)
© UPV/EHU Press

Developmental expression of chick twist and its regulation during limb patterning.

A T Tavares, J C Izpisúja-Belmonte and J Rodriguez-León

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal.

ABSTRACT We have isolated a chick Twist gene (cTwist) and examined its expression pattern during development by whole mount in situ hybridization. In early embryos, cTwist transcripts are found in the developing somites, lateral plate mesoderm, limb mesenchyme, branchial arches and head mesenchyme. At later stages, cTwist expression is found in the sclerotome and dermatome, limb bud mesenchyme, interdigital regions, and distal mesenchyme of the maxillary and mandibular processes. In the developing feathers, cTwist is expressed in the mesenchyme of the buds and becomes restricted to the proximal region of the feather filaments. Additionally, we report that the expression of cTwistin the limb mesenchyme is regulated by the AER, FGFs, RA and SHH. The FGFs secreted by the AER seem to have a critical role in maintaining cTwist expression. SHH is also able to maintain cTwist expression but only in the presence of the AER. Overall, our results provide new evidence that reinforce the existence of an interplay between the cTwist and FGF signalling pathways.