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Cell. 1991 Jun 14;65(6):927-37.

Ubiquitous MyoD transcription at the midblastula transition precedes induction-dependent MyoD expression in presumptive mesoderm of X. laevis.

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Department of Genetics, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98104.


We have used a quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay to detect MyoD mRNA during early embryonic development of Xenopus laevis. We find that during a short period of time following the midblastula transition MyoD becomes transcriptionally activated at a low level ubiquitously throughout the embryo. Restriction of MyoD expression to muscle precursor cells appears as a subsequent event, in which the process of mesoderm induction stabilizes transcription only in the marginal zone of the embryo, the presumptive mesoderm.

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