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We have cloned a Xenopus cDNA related to the twist gene, which is required for mesodermal differentiation in Drosophila. Northern blots of dissected embryos and in situ hybridization show that the corresponding mRNA, called Xtwi, first appears in early gastrulae, and is present only in mesodermal cells. Within the mesoderm, Xtwi is expressed in the(More)
Using an expression cloning strategy that relies on a functional assay, we have cloned a novel Xenopus homeobox-containing gene, Siamois. Embryos injected in a ventral-vegetal blastomere with as little as 5 pg of Siamois mRNA develop a complete secondary axis, but the progeny of the injected cells do not participate in the secondary axis formation. In(More)
Nuclear reprogramming describes a switch in gene expression of one kind of cell to that of another unrelated cell type. Early studies in frog cloning provided some of the first experimental evidence for reprogramming. Subsequent procedures included mammalian somatic cell nuclear transfer, cell fusion, induction of pluripotency by ectopic gene expression,(More)
Nuclear reprogramming is potentially important as a route to cell replacement and drug discovery, but little is known about its mechanism. Nuclear transfer to eggs and oocytes attempts to identify the mechanism of this direct route towards reprogramming by natural components. Here we analyze how the reprogramming of nuclei transplanted to Xenopus oocytes(More)
Eomesodermin (Eomes) is a novel Xenopus T-domain gene. In normal development, it is expressed in mesodermal cells in a ventral-to-dorsal gradient of increasing concentration. It reaches its peak expression 1-2 hr before any other known panmesodermal gene. It is strongly inducible by normal vegetal cells and by mesoderm-inducing factors. Ectopic expression(More)
A homeobox sequence has been used to isolate a new Xenopus cDNA, named XIHbox6. A short probe from this gene serves as an early marker of posterior neural differentiation in the Xenopus nervous system. The gene recognized by this cDNA sequence is first transcribed at the late gastrula stage and solely in the posterior neural cells. The gene is expressed(More)
Muscle gene expression is induced a few hours after vegetal cells of a Xenopus blastula are placed in contact with animal cells that normally develop into epidermis and nerve cells. We have used a muscle-specific actin gene probe to determine the timing of gene activation in animal-vegetal conjugates. Muscle actin RNA is first transcribed in a minority of(More)
We have identified in Xenopus and in the mouse two highly related genes, Xiro3 and Irx3 respectively, that encode a Drosophila Iroquois-related homeobox transcription factor. Xiro3 in Xenopus and Irx3 in the mouse are expressed early in the prospective neural plate in a subset of neural precursor cells. In Xenopus, injection of Xiro3 mRNA expands the neural(More)
According to the morphogen gradient concept, cells in one part of an embryo secrete diffusible molecules (morphogens) that spread to other nearby cells and activate genes at different threshold concentrations. Strong support for the operation of a morphogen gradient mechanism in vertebrate development has come from the biochemical experiments of Green and(More)
A morphogen gradient is an important concept in developmental biology, because it describes a mechanism by which the emission of a signal from one part of an embryo can determine the location, differentiation and fate of many surrounding cells. The value of this idea has been clear for over half a century, but only recently have experimental systems and(More)