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VegT is a T-box transcription factor whose mRNA is synthesized during oogenesis and localized in the vegetal hemisphere of the egg and early embryo. We show that maternally expressed VegT controls the pattern of primary germ layer specification in Xenopus embryos. Reduction of the maternal store completely alters the fates of different regions of the(More)
We have identified a localized RNA component of Xenopus germ plasm. This RNA, Xdazl (Xenopus DAZ-like), encodes a protein homologous to human DAZ (Deleted in Azoospermia), vertebrate DAZL and Drosophila Boule proteins. Human males deficient in DAZ have few or no sperm and boule mutant flies exhibit complete azoospermia and male sterility. Xdazl RNA was(More)
DEADSouth was selected in a screen for localized RNAs in Xenopus oocytes. In situ hybridization analysis shows that DEADSouth localizes to the vegetal cortex via the mitochondrial cloud early in oogenesis and segregates with germ plasm during early embryogenesis. These results lend further support for the general concept that the role of the early RNA(More)
In the early Xenopus embryo, the dorsal axis is specified by a Wnt signal transduction pathway, involving the movement of beta-catenin into dorsal cell nuclei and its functional association with the LEF-type transcription factor XTcf3. The subsequent function of XTcf3 is uncertain. Overexpression data has suggested that it can be both an activator and(More)
Establishment of the left-right axis is essential for normal organ morphogenesis and function. Ca(2+) signaling and cilia function in the zebrafish Kuppfer's Vesicle (KV) have been implicated in laterality. Here we describe an endogenous Ca(2+) release event in the region of the KV precursors (dorsal forerunner cells, DFCs), prior to KV and cilia formation.(More)
The ability to manipulate gene expression in Xenopus oocytes and then generate fertilized embryos by transfer into host females has made it possible to rapidly characterize maternal signaling pathways in vertebrate development. Maternal mRNAs in particular can be efficiently depleted using antisense deoxyoligonucleotides (oligos), mediated by endogenous(More)
Regulation of the stability of beta catenin protein is a critical role of Wnt signaling cascades. In early Xenopus development, dorsal axis specification depends on regulation of beta catenin by both cytoplasmic and nuclear mechanisms. While the cytoplasmic protein axin is known as a key component of the cytoplasmic beta catenin degradation complex,(More)
To explore the origins and consequences of tetraploidy in the African clawed frog, we sequenced the Xenopus laevis genome and compared it to the related diploid X. tropicalis genome. We characterize the allotetraploid origin of X. laevis by partitioning its genome into two homoeologous subgenomes, marked by distinct families of 'fossil' transposable(More)
Specification of the dorsoventral axis in Xenopus depends on rearrangements of the egg vegetal cortex following fertilization, concomitant with activation of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. How these processes are tied together is not clear, but RNAs localized to the vegetal cortex during oogenesis are known to be essential. Despite their importance, few(More)
In Xenopus, the inheritance of germ plasm by a small subset of blastomeres during early development is thought to direct these cells into the germ cell lineage. We show that Xcat2 RNA, related to Drosophila nanos, is a germ plasm component that is translationally repressed during oogenesis. Xcat2 protein was not detected in oocytes at times prior to, or(More)