Transcription factor AP-2 is expressed in neural crest cell lineages during mouse embryogenesis

Pamela J. Mitchell, Paula M. Timmons, Jean M. Hébert, Peter W.J. Rigby, Robert Tjian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

537 Scopus citations


We have analyzed the expression pattern of transcription factor AP-2 in mouse embryos to evaluate the potential of AP-2 as a regulator during vertebrate development. A partial cDNA encoding AP-2 was isolated from a mouse embryo cDNA library and used to prepare probes to measure AP-2 mRNA levels by RNase protection and RNA in situ hybridization. Between 10.5 and 15.5 days of embryogenesis, the relative abundance of AP-2 mRNA is greatest at 11.5 days and declines steadily thereafter. RNA in situ hybridization analysis of embryos between 8.5 and 12.5 days of gestation identified a novel expression pattern for AP-2. The principle part of this expression occurs in neural crest cells and their major derivatives, including cranial and spinal sensory ganglia and facial mesenchyme. AP-2 is also expressed in surface ectoderm and in a longitudinal column of the spinal cord and hindbrain that is contacted by neural crest-derived sensory ganglia. Additional expression of AP-2 occurs in limb bud mesenchyme and in meso-metanephric regions. This embryonic expression pattern is spatially and temporally consistent with a role for AP-2 in regulating transcription of genes involved in the morphogenesis of the peripheral nervous system, face, limbs, skin, and nephric tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-119
Number of pages15
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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