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Int J Dev Biol January 1, 2014; 58 (5): 369-77.

Two different vestigial like 4 genes are differentially expressed during Xenopus laevis development.

Barrionuevo MG , Aybar MJ , Tríbulo C .

The vestigial gene (vg) was first characterized in Drosophila and several homologues were identified in vertebrates and called vestigial like 1-4 (vgll1-4). Vgll proteins interact with the transcription factors TEF-1 and MEF-2 through a conserved region called TONDU (TDU). Vgll4s are characterized by two tandem TDU domains which differentiate them from other members of the vestigial family. In Xenopus two genes were identified as vgll4. Our bioinformatic analysis demonstrated that these two genes are paralogues and must be named differently. We designated them as vgll4 and vgll4l. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that the expression of these two genes is rather different. At gastrula stage, both were expressed in the animal pole. However, at neurula stage, vgll4 was mainly expressed in the neural plate and neural folds, while vgll4l prevailed in the neural folds and epidermis. From the advanced neurula stage onward, expression of both genes was strongly enhanced in neural tissues, anterior neural plate, migrating neural crest, optic and otic vesicles. Nevertheless, there were some differences: vgll4 presented somite expression and vgll4l was localized at the skin and notochord. Our results demonstrate that Xenopus has two orthologues of the vgll4 gene, vgll4 and vgll4l with differential expression in Xenopus embryos and they may well have different roles during development.

PubMed ID: 25354458
Article link: Int J Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: bmp4 chrd.1 foxd3 krt12.4 sox2 tead1 tef tp63 vgll1 vgll4 vgll4l
Morpholinos: tp63 MO1

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