Int. J. Dev. Biol. 37: 369 - 380 (1993)
© UPV/EHU Press

Localization of RIHB (retinoic acid-induced heparin-binding factor) transcript and protein during early chicken embryogenesis and in the developing wing.

D Duprez, J C Jeanny and M Vigny

Unité INSERM 118, Unité de Recherches Gérontologiques, Paris, France.

ABSTRACT Previously, we isolated an avian protein which we named retinoic acid induced heparin binding factor (RIHB). RIHB is a 121 amino acid secreted polypeptide, rich in basic and cysteine residues (Vigny et al., Eur. J. Biochem. 186: 733-740, 1989). Northern blot analysis indicates that the RIHB gene is transiently expressed during embryogenesis (Urios et al., Biochem. Biophys. Res. Com. 175:617-624, 1991). Here we present an investigation of RIHB expression during early chicken embryogenesis by in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence studies. In the 3-day embryo (stage 20-21), the RIHB transcript is observed throughout the embryo, with the notable exception of the neural tube. At this stage the protein can be visualized in almost all of the basement membranes and around many types of cells. The localization of the RIHB protein does not strictly parallel that of its messenger. Between days 3 and 11 we focused our attention on wing development. The level of both the mRNA and protein decreases during this period but the disappearance is not uniform. The level of both the mRNA and protein decreases during this period but the disappearance is not uniform. The transcript becomes progressively restricted to epithelia and regions surrounding the forming cartilage. In contrast to the transcript, the protein accumulates in the epithelial basement membrane and, interestingly, in the central part of the embryonic cartilage (diaphysis) but not in the distal parts (epiphysis). These data are discussed in relation to the putative role(s) of RIHB in development.