Cell lineage- and expression-based inference of the roles of forkhead box transcription factor Foxc2 in craniofacial development

pubmed: wnt1 2021-05-20

Dev Dyn. 2021 Mar 5. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.324. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Foxc2 is a member of the winged helix/forkhead (Fox) box family of transcription factors. Loss of function of Foxc2 causes craniofacial abnormalities such as cleft palate and deformed cranial base, but its role during craniofacial development remains to be elucidated.

RESULTS: The contributions of Foxc2-positive and its descendant cells to the craniofacial structure at E18.5 were examined using a tamoxifen-inducible Cre driver mouse (Foxc2-CreERT2) crossed with the R26R-LacZ reporter mouse. Foxc2 expression at E8.5 is restricted to the cranial mesenchyme, contributing to specific components including the cranial base, sensory capsule, tongue, upper incisor, and middle ear. Expression at E10.5 was still positively regulated in most of those regions. In situ hybridization analysis of Foxc2 and its closely related gene, Foxc1, revealed that expression domains of these genes largely overlap in the cephalic mesenchyme. Meanwhile, the tongue expressed Foxc2 but not Foxc1, and its development was affected by the neural crest-specific deletion of Foxc2 in mice (Wnt1-Cre; Foxc2fl/fl ).

CONCLUSIONS: Foxc2 is expressed in cranial mesenchyme that contributes to specific craniofacial tissue components from an early stage, and it seems to be involved in their development in cooperation with Foxc1. Foxc2 also has its own role in tongue development.

PMID:33667029 | DOI:10.1002/dvdy.324