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J Mol Biol. 1985 Aug 20;184(4):611-20.

Developmental changes in the pattern of larval beta-globin gene expression in Xenopus laevis. Identification of two early larval beta-globin mRNA sequences.


We have analysed beta-globin mRNA sequences in total RNA extracted from embryos and tadpoles of Xenopus laevis at different stages of development and we have identified the most abundantly transcribed beta-globin mRNA (beta T1). The entire nucleotide sequence of a cDNA clone corresponding to this mRNA is known. We have now identified the gene corresponding to this mRNA and we have determined the nucleotide sequences of its immediate 5'-flanking region. Using a DNA fragment from within the coding region of the cloned beta T1 cDNA we show, by primer extension analysis, that beta T1 mRNA is first detectable at stage 28-32 of development. This is the time at which the first presumptive erythropoietic tissue, the ventral blood island, becomes observable histologically. We show that two minor beta-globin genes, distinct from beta T1, are expressed during early stages of development, and that their expression ceases shortly after the beginning of the feeding stage. We term these two early larval genes beta E1 and beta E2. A third minor beta-globin gene is expressed during early development but, unlike beta E1 and beta E2, it is also expressed throughout subsequent larval development. We term this gene beta T2 and show that it corresponds to a gene previously termed beta LII. Finally, using a primer derived from the major adult beta-globin gene (beta 1), we have analysed the accumulation of the major adult beta-globin mRNA during larval development, and we show that this sequence does not accumulate to any significant level before metamorphosis.

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