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Mech Dev. 1998 Jul;75(1-2):151-4.

Differential expression of the HMG box transcription factors XTcf-3 and XLef-1 during early xenopus development.

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NIOB/Hubrecht Laboratory, Uppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The recent discovery that the HMG box transcription factor XTCF-3 is involved in early axis specification in Xenopus laevis (Molenaar, M., van de Wetering, M., Oosterwegel, M., Peterson-Maduro, J. Godsave, S., Korinek, V., Roose, J., Destree, O., Clevers, H., 1996. XTcf-3 transcription factor mediates beta-catenin-induced axis formation in Xenopus embryos. Cell 86, 391-399) led us to search for other members of the TCF/LEF family in this species. A newly identified HMG box factor was cloned with highest homology to human LEF-1, called XLEF-1. Unlike XTcf-3, XLef-1 is not expressed maternally, but its transcripts become detectable directly after the mid blastula transition (MBT). At later stages, both genes are expressed in the central nervous system (CNS), eyes, otic vesicles, head mesenchyme, neural crest and derivatives, branchial arches, developing heart, tailbud and limb buds. The expression pattern of Lef-1 during later stages of development is evolutionarily conserved.

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