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Mol Reprod Dev. 2007 Dec;74(12):1505-13.

Isolation and characterization of a novel Xenopus gene (xVAP019) encoding a DUF1208 domain containing protein.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, West China Hospital, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, P.R.China.


We have identified a novel Xenopus gene (xVAP019) encoding a DUF1208 domain containing protein. Using whole-mount in situ hybridization and RT-PCR, we found abundant xVAP019 maternal transcripts in the animal hemisphere during the cleavage stages and blastula stages. During gastrulation xVAP019 is differentially expressed with higher levels in the animal helf and the highest in marginal zone, then further expressed widely at neuronal stages with strongest signals in the prospective CNS regions and the epidermal ectoderm. Subsequently xVAP019 was expressed predominantly in the head, the eyes, the otic vesicle, branchial arches, spinal cord, notochord, somites, and tailbud. It is absent or very weak in the endoderm. Injecting a morpholino oligo complementary to xVAP019 mRNA or injecting a caped xVAP019 mRNA caused most of embryos to die during gastrulation and neurulation. Overexpression of xVAP019 mRNA also led to eye defect, shorten interocular distance, small body size and abnormal pigment formation in parts of the survival embryos. Similar effects were induced by injecting the xVAP019 human homologous gene FAM92A1. Our results suggest that xVAP019 is essential for the normal ectoderm and axis mesoderm differentiation and embryos survival. This investigation is for the first time in vivo study examining the role of this novel gene and reveals an important role of xVAP019 in embryonic development.

(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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