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Presenting Author(s) Xin Sun
Abstract Title Genetic Interaction between AER-Fgfs and Shh signaling.
Full author List Jamie Verheyden and Xin Sun
Text of abstract

This work aims at dissecting the genetic requirements of limb proximal/distal (P/D) development. Our recent loss-of-function studies in mouse have shown that Fgfs expressed in the AER (AER-Fgfs) are essential for limb skeletal element development along this axis. The key question that follows is how FGF signaling from the AER is propagated to affect mesenchymal cell differentiation into skeletal elements.

One of the prominent molecules that are potential mediators of FGF signaling is SHH. It has been shown that AER-Fgfs and Shh regulate each other's expression, forming the Fgf/Shh feedback loop. Shh is also essential for P/D development as demonstrated by the reduction of skeletal elements along this axis in Shh-/- mutants, in addition to its central role in anterior/posterior patterning.

There are two possible mechanisms of how SHH may mediate AER-FGF signaling: by regulating AER-Fgf expression, or by acting downstream of AER-Fgfs and regulating other mesenchymal genes in skeletal formation. To distinguish between these possibilities, we are investigating the genetic interactions among AER-Fgf and Shh pathway mutants in mouse. In this study of the genetic epistasis of AER-Fgf and Shh function, we have also uncovered some intricate molecular regulations between these two signaling pathways during limb P/D development.
Which session is your work most relevant to: Limb patterning