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Mol Cell Endocrinol December 25, 2017; 459 64-70.

Xenopus metamorphosis as a model to study thyroid hormone receptor function during vertebrate developmental transitions.

A hormone-dependent developmental transition from aquatic to terrestrial existence occurs in all tetrapod vertebrates, such as birth, hatching, and metamorphosis. Thyroid hormones (TH) and their receptors (TRs) are key players in the tissue transformations comprising vertebrate developmental transitions. The African clawed frog, Xenopus, is a premier model for the role of TRs in developmental transitions because of the numerous and dramatic TH-dependent tissue transformations during metamorphosis and because of the endocrine, molecular, and genomic resources available. TRs are nuclear receptors that repress TH-response genes when plasma TH is minimal and that activate those same genes to induce tissue-specific gene regulation cascades when TH plasma levels increase. Tissue-specific TR expression levels help determine tissue sensitivity and responsivity to TH thereby regulating the initiation and rate of developmental change in TH-sensitive tissues which govern the tissue developmental asynchrony observed during metamorphosis. This review highlighting Xenopus presents the key experimental findings underpinning the roles TRs play in control of vertebrate developmental transitions.

PubMed ID: 28363743
Article link: Mol Cell Endocrinol