Tissue and epithelial cell-specific expression of chicken proto-oncogene c-ros in several organs suggests that it may play roles in their development and mature functions

Oncogene. 1994 Mar;9(3):773-80.


Proto-oncogene c-ros codes for a receptor-type protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) sharing high homology with the Drosophila sevenless protein. Recent studies of c-ros expression in mouse by in situ hybridization showed that c-ros was expressed specifically and transiently in the epithelial cells of late embryonic kidney collecting duct and intestine villi. Those investigators suggested that c-ros may play a role in the development of those organelles. In the present study, we have examined the expression profile of c-ros in chicken by RNAase protection and in situ hybridization with riboprobes. Our results showed that in addition to kidney and intestine, low levels of c-ros mRNA could also be detected in lung, testis, thymus and bursa. Expression of c-ros commences during middle to late embryonic stages in those organs and persists into the adult life. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of c-ros was restricted to the epithelial cells of all the tissues examined including kidney, intestine, bursa, thymus and testis. In kidney c-ros was detected in all the epithelial cells of the collecting ducts, in intestine it was detected in the epithelial cells of villi and the underneath crypts. Our finding of c-ros expression in chicken differs from those in mouse in (1) instead of transient expression during the embryonic stage, expression of c-ros in chicken kidney and intestine persists into the adult life and (2) expression of c-ros in renal collecting ducts is not restricted to its growing tips, instead it is expressed in the entire epithelial layer of the ducts. Our results suggest that c-ros may play a role not only in the initial induction events in the organogenesis, but also in the mature function of those organs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Bursa, Synovial / growth & development
  • Bursa, Synovial / metabolism
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chickens
  • Gene Expression
  • Kidney / growth & development
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogenes / physiology
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / biosynthesis
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • Testis / growth & development
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Thymus Gland / growth & development
  • Thymus Gland / metabolism


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Ros1 protein, mouse