Xenopus VegT RNA is localized to the vegetal cortex during oogenesis and encodes a novel T-box transcription factor involved in mesodermal patterning

J. Zhang, Mary Lou L King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

262 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An RNA localized to the vegetal cortex of Xenopus oocytes encodes a novel T-box protein (VegT) capable of inducing either dorsal or posterior ventral mesoderm at different times in development. VegT is a nuclear protein and its C-terminal domain can activate transcription in a yeast reporter assay, observations consistent with VegT functioning as a transcription factor. Zygotic expression is dynamic along the dorsoventral axis, with transcripts first expressed in the dorsal marginal zone. By the end of gastrulation, VegT is expressed exclusively in posterior ventral and lateral mesoderm and is excluded from the notochord. Later expression is confined to a subset of Rohon-Beard cells, a type of primary sensory neuron. In animal cap assays, VegT is capable of converting prospective ectoderm into ventral lateral mesoderm. Such ectopic expression of VegT induces its own expression as well as that of Xwnt-8 in caps, suggesting that a Wnt pathway may be involved. Mis-expression of VegT in dorsal animal blastomeres fated to contribute to brain suppresses head formation. Our results suggest that VegT is a localized transcription factor, which operates sequentially in several developmental pathways during embryogenesis, including dorsoventral and posterior patterning of mesoderm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4119-4129
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopment
Volume122
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996

Fingerprint

Oogenesis
Mesoderm
Xenopus
Transcription Factors
RNA
Notochord
Blastomeres
Gastrulation
Ectoderm
Wnt Signaling Pathway
Sensory Receptor Cells
Nuclear Proteins
Protein C
Oocytes
Embryonic Development
Yeasts
Head
Brain
Proteins

Keywords

  • Mesoderm
  • Oogenesis
  • RNA
  • T-box
  • Transcription factor
  • Vegetal cortex
  • VegT
  • Xenopus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Xenopus VegT RNA is localized to the vegetal cortex during oogenesis and encodes a novel T-box transcription factor involved in mesodermal patterning. / Zhang, J.; King, Mary Lou L.

In: Development, Vol. 122, No. 12, 01.12.1996, p. 4119-4129.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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