The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 57: 41 - 47 (2013)

Vol 57, Issue 1

Characterization of CXC-type chemokine molecules in early Xenopus laevis development

Original Article | Published: 6 March 2013

Toshiyasu Goto1, Tatsuo Michiue2, Yuzuru Ito3 and Makoto Asashima*,2,3

1Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Medical Research Institute and School of Biomedical Science, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, 2Department of Life Sciences (Biology), Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo and 3Research Center for Stem Cell Engineering, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Japan


Chemokine molecules play important roles in the immune system. However, several chemokine molecules are expressed during early development before the immune system is established. Using reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and overexpression of chemokine molecules, we identified and characterized Xenopus laevis CXC-type chemokine ligands (XCXCL13L1, XCXCL13L2, XCXCLa, XCXCLb, XCXCLd, and XCXCLe) and receptors (XCXCR1/2, XCXCR3, XCXCR5, XCXCR6, and XCXCRa) during early development. The CXC-type ligands have low identity with genes for human CXC ligands (CXCL). With the exception of XCXCRa, the CXC receptors (CXCR) identified in the present study had high (40%–65%) identity with human CXCR genes. Although the expression patterns for the CXCL and CXCR genes differed, transcript levels for all genes were very low during early embryogenesis. Overexpression of XCXCL13L1, XCXCL13L2, XCXCLa, XCXCR3, XCXCR6, and XCXCRa interfered with gastrulation and neural fold closure. The results of the present study suggest that several chemokine molecules are related to cell movements during early morphogenesis.


chemokine, CXC receptor, CXC ligand, gastrulation, Xenopus laevis

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