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Mech Dev January 1, 1996; 54 (1): 23-37.
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The Xenopus homologue of hepatocyte growth factor-like protein is specifically expressed in the presumptive neural plate during gastrulation.

Aberger F , Schmidt G , Richter K .

Using a RT-PCR approach, we were able to isolate a cDNA encoding the Xenopus homologue of hepatocyte growth factor-like protein, which we have termed accordingly Xhl. The deduced Xhl protein consists of 717 amino acids, contains four putative kringle domains and a serine protease-like domain characteristic for mammalian HGF and HGF-like protein. The mRNA of Xhl is exclusively expressed in the midline of the prospective neural plate during the period of neural induction, only. Ectopic expression of Xhl causes a ''spina bifida''-like phenotype with enlargement of neural tissue. Activation of Xhl mRNA transcription can be induced by delayed reaggregation of animal caps and appears to require vertical rather than planar signals from the organizer. These data suggest that Xhl is involved in the formation of the embryonic nervous system of Xenopus.

PubMed ID: 8808403
Article link: Mech Dev

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: hgf msi1 mst1

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