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J Cell Biol October 1, 1993; 123 (2): 477-84.
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Induction of a secondary body axis in Xenopus by antibodies to beta-catenin.

McCrea PD , Brieher WM , Gumbiner BM .

We have obtained evidence that a known intracellular component of the cadherin cell-cell adhesion machinery, beta-catenin, contributes to the development of the body axis in the frog Xenopus laevis. Vertebrate beta-catenin is homologous to the Drosophila segment polarity gene product armadillo, and to vertebrate plakoglobin (McCrea, P. D., C. W. Turck, and B. Gumbiner. 1991. Science (Wash. DC). 254: 1359-1361.). Beta-Catenin was found present in all Xenopus embryonic stages examined, and associated with C-cadherin, the major cadherin present in early Xenopus embryos. To test beta-catenin''s function, affinity purified Fab fragments were injected into ventral blastomeres of developing four-cell Xenopus embryos. A dramatic phenotype, the duplication of the dorsoanterior embryonic axis, was observed. Furthermore, Fab injections were capable of rescuing dorsal features in UV-ventralized embryos. Similar phenotypes have been observed in misexpression studies of the Wnt and other gene products, suggesting that beta-catenin participates in a signaling pathway which specifies embryonic patterning.

PubMed ID: 8408227
PMC ID: PMC2119835
Article link:
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: cdh3 jup

References [+] :
Amaya, Expression of a dominant negative mutant of the FGF receptor disrupts mesoderm formation in Xenopus embryos. 1991, Pubmed, Xenbase