Fibroblast growth factor 13 is essential for neural differentiation in Xenopus early embryonic development.

The Journal of biological chemistry

PubMedID: 17584734

Nishimoto S, Nishida E. Fibroblast growth factor 13 is essential for neural differentiation in Xenopus early embryonic development. J Biol Chem. 2007;282(33):24255-61.
In Xenopus embryonic development, the MEK5-ERK5 pathway, one of the MAPK pathways, lies downstream of SoxD and upstream of Xngnr1 in a signaling pathway regulating neural differentiation. It remains unclear, however, how the MEK5-ERK5 pathway is regulated in Xenopus neural development. As SoxD is a transcription factor, we hypothesized that some growth factor should be induced by SoxD and activate the MEK5-ERK5 pathway. As the expression level of fibroblast growth factor 13 (FGF13) is increased by SoxD, we analyzed the function of FGF13 in neural development. Knockdown of FGF13 with antisense morpholino-oligonucleotides (MOs) results in the reduced head structure and inhibition of neural differentiation. FGF13 MOs inhibit the SoxD-induced expression of Xngnr1 and the Xngnr1-induced expression of NeuroD, suggesting that FGF13 is necessary both upstream and downstream of Xngnr1 in neural differentiation. In addition, FGF13 MOs inhibit the activation of the MEK5-ERK5 pathway by dominant-negative bone morphogenetic protein receptor, a mimicker of neural inducers, indicating that FGF13 is involved in the activation of the MEK5-ERK5 pathway. Together, these results identify a role of FGF13 in Xenopus neural differentiation.