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Gene Expr Patterns. 2011 Oct;11(7):401-8. doi: 10.1016/j.gep.2011.06.001. Epub 2011 Jun 25.

Cloning and spatiotemporal expression of RIC-8 in Xenopus embryogenesis.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla, Concepción, Chile.


RIC-8 is a highly conserved protein that promotes G protein signaling as it acts as a Guanine nucleotide Exchanging Factor (GEF) over a subset of Gα subunits. In invertebrates, RIC-8 plays crucial roles in synaptic transmission as well as in asymmetric cell division. As a first step to address further studies on RIC-8 function in vertebrates, here we have cloned a ric-8 gene from Xenopus tropicalis (xtric-8) and determined its spatiotemporal expression pattern throughout embryogenesis. The xtric-8 transcript is expressed maternally and zygotically and, as development proceeds, it shows a dynamic expression pattern. At early developmental stages, xtric-8 is expressed in the animal hemisphere, whereas its expression is later restricted to neural tissues, such as the neural tube and the brain, as well as in the eye and neural crest-derived structures, including those of the craniofacial region. Together, our findings suggest that RIC-8 functions are related to the development of the nervous system.

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