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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2007 Feb;18(1):46-53. Epub 2006 Nov 24.

Xenopus as a model system for vertebrate heart development.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, P.O. Box 245044, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.


The African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, is a valuable model system for studies of vertebrate heart development. In the following review, we describe a range of embryological and molecular methodologies that are used in Xenopus research and discuss key discoveries relating to heart development that have been made using this model system. We also discuss how the sequence of the Xenopus tropicalis genome provides a valuable tool for identification of orthologous genes and for identification of evolutionarily conserved promoter elements. Finally, both forward and reverse genetic approaches are currently being applied to Xenopus for the study of vertebrate heart development.

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