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Zebrafish foggy/spt 5 is required for migration of facial branchiomotor neurons but not for their survival.

Transcript elongation is a critical step in the production of mature messenger RNAs. Many factors have been identified that are required for transcript elongation, including Spt 5. Studies in yeast determined that spt 5 is required for cell viability, and analyses in Drosophila indicate Spt 5 is localized to sites of active transcription, suggesting it is required generally for transcription. However, the requirement for spt 5 for cell viability in a metazoan organism has not been addressed. We determined that zebrafish foggy/spt 5 is required cell-autonomously for the posterior migration of facial branchiomotor neurons from rhombomere 4 (r4) into r6 and r7 of the hindbrain. These genetic mosaics also give us the unique opportunity to determine whether spt 5 is required for mRNA transcription equivalently at all loci by addressing two processes within the same cell-neuronal migration and cell viability. In a wild-type host, spt 5 null facial branchiomotor neurons survive to at least 5 days postfertilization while failing to migrate posteriorly. This finding indicates that spt 5-dependent transcript elongation is required cell-autonomously for a complex cell migration but not for the survival of these same cells. This work provides evidence that transcript elongation is not a global mechanism equivalently required by all loci and may actually be under more strict developmental regulation.

Pubmed ID: 16193504


  • Cooper KL
  • Armstrong J
  • Moens CB


Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists

Publication Data

November 24, 2005

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: HD37909
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: R01 HD037909
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: R01 HD037909-04
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: T32 GM07270

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Survival
  • Face
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Motor Neurons
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins