The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 44: 245 - 248 (2000)

Vol 44, Issue 2

The cytoskeletal effector xPAK1 is expressed during both ear and lateral line development in Xenopus

Published: 1 February 2000

N Islam, L Poitras and T Moss

Cancer Research Centre and Department of Medical Biology, Laval University, Qu├ębec, Canada.


xPAK1, a probable effector of stress activated MAP-kinase SAPK1/JNK activation and cytoskeletal dynamics, was found to be ubiquitously expressed within the Xenopus laevis ear and lateral line system during the development and differentiation of these organs. xPAK1 expression was very strong in the otic placode from its condensation, and expression continued in the otic vesicle up until stage 35/36, after which it abruptly ceased. At stage 29/30 expression occurred specifically in the epithelium of the otic vesicle, which includes the prospective sensorial epithelium. Expression of xPAK1 was also observed in the lateral line system from stage 35/36, at which stage the lateral line primordia have begun to migrate from the region of the otic vesicle. Lateral line expression continued at least until stage 37/38, at which time xPAK1 was noted in association with the differentiating lateral line organs. To our knowledge, xPAK1 is the first ubiquitous lateral line marker that is also expressed in the ear. In the context of previous studies, our data suggest that xPAK1 either plays a role in the differentiation of the mechano-sensors of the auditory system or in the formation of the otic vesicle epithelium and the lateral line primordia.

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