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Cell. 1996 Nov 29;87(5):823-31.

A kinesin-like protein is required for germ plasm aggregation in Xenopus.

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Institute of Human Genetics, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


In embryos of X. laevis, and many other species, early development requires targeted movements of molecules and molecular aggregates within the oocyte or egg cytoplasm. One well-known example in Xenopus is the aggregation of germ plasm, a group of cytoplasmic islands that become distributed during the first few cell cycles to cells that will give rise to the germ line. Nothing is known about the cytoskeletal motor proteins that may drive these movements. We show here that a recently identified Xenopus kinesin-like protein, Xklp1, is required for the aggregation of germ plasm in early Xenopus embryos, thus assigning this protein a role in a developmentally important cytoplasmic localization.

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