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Mech Dev. 2000 Apr;92(2):273-5.

Cloning and expression pattern of a Xenopus pronephros-specific gene, XSMP-30.

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Department of Stem Cell Regulation, Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


The first step in kidney development is the formation of the pronephros which is derived from mesoderm. Xenopus is an appropriate model to study this process since the pronephros can be efficiently induced in animal cap explants by treatment with activin and retinoic acid (RA). Using this in vitro system, we isolated a Xenopus homologue of SMP-30 (Senescence marker protein-30), which is a Ca(2+)-binding protein that is highly conserved in vertebrates. This gene, termed XSMP-30, was found to be selectively expressed in pronephric tubules from the late tadpole stage, by whole mount in situ hybridization. Furthermore XSMP-30 was expressed in animal caps treated with both activin and RA, a condition in which the pronephros is formed in vitro. These data indicate that XSMP-30 is a specific marker for the pronephros.

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