In early Xenopus embryos, the prototypical XFast-1/Smad2/Smad4 complex ARF1 is induced at the Mix.2 ARE by activin overexpression. We have characterised ARF2, a related, but much more abundant, complex formed during gastrulation in response to endogenous TGFbeta family members and we have identified a novel Fast family member, XFast-3, as its transcription factor component. Endogenous ARF2 efficiently competes out ARF1 at early gastrulation, due to the ability of XFast-3 to interact with activated Smads with much higher affinity than XFast-1. We demonstrate that ARF1 and ARF2 are activated by distinct TGFbeta family members. Using morpholino antisense oligonucleotides to deplete levels of the constituent transcription factors XFast-1 and XFast-3 specifically, we demonstrate an important role for ARF1 and ARF2 in early Xenopus embryos in controlling the convergent extension movements of gastrulation.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|