The Drosophila sprouty protein is a recently-identified intracellular modulator of
FGF and EGF receptor tyrosine kinase activity which antagonises ras/MAP kinase signalling.
In a differential display analysis to identify genes involved in patterning the mid/hindbrain
region of the chick neural tube, we have identified a sprouty orthologue, sprouty2.
Here we report expression of sprouty2 transcripts in the developing chick embryo.
We find a close correlation with known sites of FGF activity but little correlation
with expression patterns of members of the EGF family. Initially, transcripts are
associated with the primitive streak. During the period of neural tube patterning
expression is detected in the anterior neuropore, in the isthmic region and in neural
plate and posterior spinal cord. Transcripts are also detected in the otic placode,
tail bud, mesoderm of the branchial arches, somitic myotome, retina, limb buds and
gut mesenchyme; all known sites of FGF action.