This paper addresses the molecular mechanisms that regulate the transcriptional activation of the myogenic regulatory factor XmyoD in the skeletal muscle lineage of Xenopus laevis. Using antisense morpholino oligonucleotide-mediated inhibition, we show that the signalling molecule embryonic fibroblast growth factor (eFGF), which is the amphibian homologue of FGF4, is necessary for the initial activation of XmyoD transcription in myogenic cells. We demonstrate that eFGF can activate the expression of XmyoD in the absence of protein synthesis, indicating that this regulation is direct. Our data suggest that regulation of XmyoD expression may involve a labile transcriptional repressor. In addition, we show that eFGF is itself an immediate early response to activin, a molecule that mimics the endogenous mesoderm-inducing signal. We propose a model for the regulation of XmyoD within the early mesoderm, and discuss the relevance that these findings have for the understanding of myogenic specification in higher vertebrates.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Mar 2002|