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Mech Dev. 1995 Mar;50(1):57-69.

Expression of Xkl-1, a Xenopus gene related to mammalian c-kit, in dorsal embryonic tissue.

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Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


In mice, the Kit receptor tyrosine kinase and its ligand, Steel factor, are required for melanogenesis, hematopoesis and gametogenesis We have identified a Xenopus gene, Xkl-1 (Xenopus Kit-like-1) whose predicted protein has striking sequence identity in the catalytic domain and kinase insert to that of c-kit. Xkl-1 is expressed only in dorsal tissues such as the nervous system, notochord and somites of neurulae. Ultraviolet irradiated embryos and animal caps treated with basic FGF unexpectedly express Xkl-1, since they are considered to develop only ventral type tissues. These observations raise the hypothesis that Xkl-1 is involved in Xenopus dorsal development and that dorsal tissues inhibit the expression of Xkl-1 in ventral structures.

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