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Contact inhibition of locomotion was discovered by Abercrombie more than 50 years ago and describes the behaviour of fibroblast cells confronting each other in vitro, where they retract their protrusions and change direction on contact. Its failure was suggested to contribute to malignant invasion. However, the molecular basis of contact inhibition of(More)
In contrast to mammals, amphibians, such as adult urodeles (for example, newts) and anuran larvae (for example, Xenopus) can regenerate their spinal cord after injury. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in this process are still poorly understood. Here, we report that tail amputation results in a global increase of Sox2 levels and(More)
Early shaping of Xenopus laevis embryos occurs through convergent and extension movements, a process that is driven by intercalation of polarized dorsal mesodermal cells and regulated by non-canonical Wnt signalling. Here, we have identified Xenopus syndecan-4 (xSyn4), a cell-surface transmembrane heparan sulphate proteoglycan. At the gastrula stage, xSyn4(More)
Xenopus laevis has regenerative and non-regenerative stages. As a tadpole, it is fully capable of functional recovery after a spinal cord injury, while its juvenile form (froglet) loses this capability during metamorphosis. We envision that comparative studies between regenerative and non-regenerative stages in Xenopus could aid in understanding why spinal(More)
Wnt signalling is required for neural crest (NC) induction; however, the direct targets of the Wnt pathway during NC induction remain unknown. We show here that the homeobox gene Gbx2 is essential in this process and is directly activated by Wnt/beta-catenin signalling. By ChIP and transgenesis analysis we show that the Gbx2 regulatory elements that drive(More)
Spinal cord regeneration is very inefficient in humans, causing paraplegia and quadriplegia. Studying model organisms that can regenerate the spinal cord in response to injury could be useful for understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that explain why this process fails in humans. Here, we use Xenopus laevis as a model organism to study spinal(More)
The BMP4 signaling pathway plays key roles during early embryonic development and for maintenance of adult homeostasis. In the extracellular space, BMP4 activity is regulated by a group of interacting molecules including the BMP antagonist Chordin, the metalloproteinase Tolloid and Twisted gastrulation (Tsg). In this study, we identified Biglycan (Bgn), a(More)
Transposable elements comprise a large proportion of animal genomes. Transposons can have detrimental effects on genome stability but also offer positive roles for genome evolution and gene expression regulation. Proper balance of the positive and deleterious effects of transposons is crucial for cell homeostasis and requires a mechanism that tightly(More)
New silicon nitride coated optical gratings were tested by means of Optical Waveguide Lightmode Spectroscopy (OWLS). A thin layer of 10 nm of transparent silicon nitride was deposited on commercial optical gratings by means of sputtering. The quality of the layer was tested by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. As a proof of(More)