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Dev Biol. 1988 Aug;128(2):441-52.

Differential expression of the Ca2+-binding protein parvalbumin during myogenesis in Xenopus laevis.

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Department of Zoology, Morrill Science Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003.


We have used immunocytological techniques to examine the developmental expression of the Ca2+-binding protein parvalbumin in Xenopus laevis embryos. Western blot experiments show that at least three different forms of parvalbumin are expressed during embryogenesis; the tadpole tail expresses one form, adult brain expresses another, mylohyoid muscle expresses both, and gastrocnemius and sartorius muscles express these two plus a third form. Parvalbumin (PV) is first detectable by immunofluorescence at stages 24-25 of development, a time when myotomal muscles are differentiating and contractile activity occurs spontaneously in embryos. At metamorphosis, PV is expressed in developing limb muscles. While the majority of skeletal muscle fibers express high levels of PV in both embryos and adults, a second fiber type has no detectable PV. The arrangement of PV-containing fibers is stereotyped in each muscle group examined. Histochemical staining of tadpole muscles indicate that PV-containing fibers correspond to fast-twitch skeletal muscles, whereas those without PV correspond to slow-twitch muscles. During tail resorption at metamorphosis, PV appears to be extruded from dying tail muscle cells and taken up by phagocytic cells.

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