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Vgl4b is a new gene expressed in the ectoderm of Xenopus laevis
M. GUADALUPE BARRIONUEVO; MANUEL J. AYBAR; CELESTE TRÍBULO
Congreso; 17th International Congress of Developmental Biology; 2013
Society for Developmental Biology
In vertebrates were identified four Vestigial like genes (Vgl1-4) that have been shown to be involved in a variety of developmental processes. Vgl4 gene encodes a protein that has two tandem conserved regions called TONDU (TDU) motifs in its carboxyl-terminal domain. In Xenopus laevis we have identified a new Vgl4 paralogue which we called Vgl4b while the previously described was appointed as Vgl4a. The bioinformatic analysis of Vgl4b protein sequence revealed the presence of the two TDU motifs characteristics of this cofactor. There was a strong Vgl4 homology in TDU motifs which are completely conserved between human, mouse, zebrafish and Xenopus. We analyzed the temporal and spatial expression of Vgl4b by simple and double in situ hybridization and RT-PCR and compared it with the expression of Vgl4a. At neurula stage, the main expression of Vgl4b is located in the inner layer of the ectoderm corresponding to the epidermis and the neural folds while Vgl4a is expressed mainly at the neural plate and weakly in the epidermis. In sectioned embryos we could observe that Vgl4a is expressed also en the mesoderm while Vgl4b remains only at the ectoderm. At tailbud stages, Vgl4b is expressed strongly in the the branchial arches, otic vesicle and trunk epidermis. In comparison, Vgl4a expression is detected in the whole brain, the optic and otic vesicles, branchial arches and somites. To determine the regulatory relationship between Vgl4b and other genes expressed in the inner layer of the ectoderm, we carried out functional experiments. Taken together, our results show that Vgl4b is a new member of Vgl genes family with differential expression in the ectoderm, and could be involved in the development of this tissue.