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Genes Cells March 1, 2016; 21 (3): 275-86.

Ouro proteins are not essential to tail regression during Xenopus tropicalis metamorphosis.

Nakai Y , Nakajima K , Robert J , Yaoita Y .

Tail regression is one of the most prominent transformations observed during anuran metamorphosis. A tadpole tail that is twice as long as the tadpole trunk nearly disappears within 3 days in Xenopus tropicalis. Several years ago, it was proposed that this phenomenon is driven by an immunological rejection of larval-skin-specific antigens, Ouro proteins. We generated ouro-knockout tadpoles using the TALEN method to reexamine this immunological rejection model. Both the ouro1- and ouro2-knockout tadpoles expressed a very low level of mRNA transcribed from a targeted ouro gene, an undetectable level of Ouro protein encoded by a target gene and a scarcely detectable level of the other Ouro protein from the untargeted ouro gene in tail skin. Furthermore, congenital athymic frogs were produced by Foxn1 gene modification. Flow cytometry analysis showed that mutant frogs lacked splenic CD8(+) T cells, which play a major role in cytotoxic reaction. Furthermore, T-cell-dependent skin allograft rejection was dramatically impaired in mutant frogs. None of the knockout tadpoles showed any significant delay in the process of tail shortening during the climax of metamorphosis, which shows that Ouro proteins are not essential to tail regression at least in Xenopus tropicalis and argues against the immunological rejection model.

PubMed ID: 26847415
PMC ID: PMC4789143
Article link: Genes Cells
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: foxn1 ighx krt12.1 ouro1 ouro2

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Berry, The expression pattern of thyroid hormone response genes in the tadpole tail identifies multiple resorption programs. 1998, Pubmed, Xenbase