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Dev Growth Differ September 1, 2005; 47 (7): 435-43.

XBtg2 is required for notochord differentiation during early Xenopus development.

Sugimoto K , Hayata T , Asashima M .

The notochord is essential for normal vertebrate development, serving as both a structural support for the embryo and a signaling source for the patterning of adjacent tissues. Previous studies on the notochord have mostly focused on its formation and function in early organogenesis but gene regulation in the differentiation of notochord cells itself remains poorly defined. In the course of screening for genes expressed in developing notochord, we have isolated Xenopus homolog of Btg2 (XBtg2). The mammalian Btg2 genes, Btg2/PC3/TIS21, have been reported to have multiple functions in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation but their roles in early development are still unclear. Here we characterized XBtg2 in early Xenopus laevis embryogenesis with focus on notochord development. Translational inhibition of XBtg2 resulted in a shortened and bent axis phenotype and the abnormal structures in the notochord tissue, which did not undergo vacuolation. The XBtg2-depleted notochord cells expressed early notochord markers such as chordin and Xnot at the early tailbud stage, but failed to express differentiation markers of notochord such as Tor70 and 5-D-4 antigens in the later stages. These results suggest that XBtg2 is required for the differentiation of notochord cells such as the process of vacuolar formation after determination of notochord cell fate.

PubMed ID: 16179070
Article link: Dev Growth Differ

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: btg2 chrd.1 myc not

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