Dec 1, 1988

Expression of intermediate filament proteins during development of Xenopus laevis. III. Identification of mRNAs encoding cytokeratins typical of complex epithelia

B FouquetW W Franke


A Xenopus laevis mRNA encoding a cytokeratin of the basic (type II) subfamily that is expressed in postgastrulation embryos was cDNA-cloned and sequenced. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of this polypeptide (513 residues, calculated mol. wt 55,454; Mr approximately 58,000 on SDS-PAGE) with those of other cytokeratins revealed its relationship to certain type II cytokeratins of the same and other species, but also remarkable differences. Using a subclone representing the 3'-untranslated portion of the 2.4 kb mRNA encoding this cytokeratin, designated XenCK55(5/6), in Northern blot experiments, we found that it differs from the only other Xenopus type II cytokeratin known, i.e. the simple epithelium-type component XenCK1(8), in that it is absent in unfertilized eggs and pregastrulation embryos. XenCK55(5/6) mRNA was first detected at gastrulation (stage 11) and found to rapidly increase during neurulation and further development. It was also identified in Xenopus laevis cultured kidney epithelial cells of the line A6 and in the adult animal where it is a major polypeptide in the oesophageal mucosa but absent in most other tissues examined. The pattern of XenCK55(5/6) expression during embryonic development was simil...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Immunofluorescence Microscopy
Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal
Northern Blot
Poly(A) Tail
Intermediate Filament Proteins
Xenopus laevis

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