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Int J Dev Biol January 1, 2011; 55 (1): 25-31.

Antagonistic role of XESR1 and XESR5 in mesoderm formation in Xenopus laevis.

Kinoshita T , Haruta Y , Sakamoto C , Imaoka S .

The notch signaling pathway is widely conserved from vertebrates to invertebrates and mediates the specification of numerous cell fates during developmental processes. In the Xenopus gastrula embryo, Xdelta1, one of the Notch ligands, is expressed in the prospective mesoderm prior to Xbra expression. Here, we examined the role of Notch signaling in mesoderm formation. Embryos injected with Xdelta1 morpholino oligo DNA showed a severe gastrulation defect and suppression of Xbra expression, which were completely rescued by co-injection with the active form of Notch. In order to fully understand the role of Notch signaling, we examined the expression of the Notch target genes XESR1 and XESR5. RT-PCR and whole-mount in situ hybridization analyses showed that XESR5 was highly expressed in the marginal zone of the early gastrula embryo, whereas expression of XESR1 was not detected. Animal cap assays indicated that expression of XESR5 was not induced by Notch signaling but by nodal signaling. To clarify the role of XESR5 in the gastrula embryo, a dominant negative form of XESR5 was injected into the prospective mesoderm. The truncated form of XESR5 induced the ectopic expression of XESR1, which caused a decrease in Xbra expression and defective gastrulation. In contrast, the truncated form of XESR1 caused an upregulation of XESR5 resulting in an increase in Xbra expression. The antagonistic effect of XESR1 and XESR5 suggests a dual regulation in which XESR5 produces a competent area for mesoderm formation by suppressing the gene expression of XESR1, while XESR1 sharpens the boundary of Xbra expression.

PubMed ID: 21425079
Article link: Int J Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: dll1 esr-5 esr1 gal.2 h4c4 hes5.1 nodal notch1 tbxt
Morpholinos: dll1 MO2

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