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Browder Lab

Research Interests

Post-transcriptional regulation gene traps.

Research Area

Xenopus laevis is a unique resource for the study of embryonic development and has been utilized to establish much of our contemporary understanding of the mechanisms of early fate decisions, body patterning and organogenesis. Although Xenopus laevis has been a valuable experimental organism, the full potential of Xenopus has been hampered by our limited ability to delete, overexpress or mutate genes involved in key processes. This deficiency has been overcome by the development of a rapid and efficient technique for making transgenic embryos. Transgenesis is an ideal technique for examining the roles of specific genes in development. My laboratory has acquired proficiency in transgenesis, and we are currently applying this technique to conduct functional analyses on genes of developmental significance. An example is shown in the figure, which demonstrates the role of the XR11 gene in suppressing developmental apoptosis (programmed cell death). We are also studying the role of xINGI, which is proposed to promote apoptosis. An essential tool for studying the effects of transgene expression on development is the ability to regulate when and where these genes are expressed. We are attempting to establish an inducible promoter system for Xenopus transgenes. This will be essential for studying genes that have lethal effects during early development. One of the limitations of Xenopus laevis is that it is tetraploid, which makes genetic analyses impractical. We have recently acquired facilities to rear the related diploid species, Xenopus tropicalis, which has the added advantage of rapid generation time. This will enable us to establish strains of transgenic frogs,

Current Members

Browder ( Retired), Leon W (Principal Investigator/Director)

Additional Information

Member: Genes and Development Research Group Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute


Institution: University of Calgary

University of Calgary
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Health Sciences Centre
Room 2221
Calgary, AB

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