Developmental expression of regionally specific cell surface antigens in the Xenopus gastrula

Judith Litvin, Barth Grant, Lynn Davis, Mary Lou King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Molecular markers for specific cell lineages would be useful in studies of cellular differentiation. To isolate such markers monoclonal antibodies (MoABs) were raised against plasma membranes isolated from gastrulating Xenopus embryos. Those antibodies that recognized subsets of cells within the embryo were selected by indirect immunofluorescence. The analysis of eight such MoAbs is presented. Western blot analysis showed that all but one MoAb recognized a complex pattern of glycoconjugates associated with glycoproteins. All the antigens recognized by the MoAbs were maternal in origin and displayed similar spatial patterns of pregastrular expression. This pattern of immunoreactivity at the apical surface was inherited passively during cleavage by the resulting superficial blastomeres suggesting that ectodermal specific markers of maternal origin are pre-localized to the cortical ooplasm in mature oocytes. We suggest that these maternal components may be specific glycosyl transferases. Three different patterns of expression were observed during gastrulation as exemplified by MoAbs 1F10C1, 3A4D1, and 6F10B6. MoAb 6F10B6 was specific for both neural and non-neural epithelium. MoAb 3A4D1 was specific for non-neural epidermis. MoAb 1F10C1 appeared to recognize a protein epitope on an extracellular component expressed by the superficial and involuting epithelial cells. The pattern of expression for the 1F10C1 antigen suggests that it may play a role in facilitating the movement of the involuting cells during gastrulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-122
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990


  • developmental expression of glycoconjugates
  • Embryonic cell surface
  • glycoconjugates
  • monoclonal antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics


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