The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 42: 561 - 572 (1998)

Vol 42, Issue 4

The avian fli gene is specifically expressed during embryogenesis in a subset of neural crest cells giving rise to mesenchyme

Published: 1 May 1998

A M Mager, A Grapin-Botton, K Ladjali, D Meyer, C M Wolff, P Stiegler, M A Bonnin and P Remy

UPR 9005 du CNRS MMDCD, Institut de Physiologie et Chimie Biologique, Strasbourg, France.


The ets-family of transcription factors is involved in the development of endothelial and hematopoietic cells. Among these genes, fliwas shown to be responsible for erythroblastomas and Ewing's sarcomas. Its involvement in Ewing's sarcoma, a putative neurectodermal tumor, as well as the in situ hybridization studies performed in mice and Xenopus suggested a role in neural crest development. We cloned quail fli cDNA in order to analyze in more detail its expression in neural crest cells, which have been extensively studied in avian species. Fli gene maps on chicken chromosome 1 to band q31->q33. Two RNAs are transcribed, most likely arising from two different promoters. The analysis of its expression in neural crest cells reveals that it is expressed rather late, when the neural crest cells reach their target. Among the various lineages derived from the crest, it is restricted to the mesenchymal one. It is maintained at later stages in the cartilage of neural crest but also of mesodermal origin. In addition, fli is expressed in several mesoderm-derived cells: endothelial cells as well as intermediate and splanchnopleural mesoderm.

Full text in web format is not available for this article. Please download the PDF version.