Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55: 923 - 931 (2011)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.103253in
© UPV/EHU Press

The RNA-binding protein Xp54nrb isolated from a Ca2+-dependent screen is expressed in neural structures during Xenopus laevis development

Isabelle Neant*,#, Nina Deisig#,1, Pierluigi Scerbo2, Catherine Leclerc and Marc Moreau

Centre de Biologie du Développement, CNRS, UMR5547 and GDR2688, Université P. Sabatier, Toulouse, France

ABSTRACT In amphibian embryos, calcium (Ca2+) signalling is a necessary and sufficient event to induce neural fate. Transient elevations of [Ca2+]i are recorded in neural tissue precursor cells in whole embryos during gastrulation. Using a subtractive cDNA library between control ectoderm (animal caps) and ectoderm induced toward a neural fate by Ca2+ release, we have isolated several Ca2+-induced target genes. Among the isolated genes, Xp54nrb encodes a protein which exhibits the RRM domains characteristic of RNA binding proteins, and is implicated in pre-mRNA splicing steps. Here we show that the Xp54nrb transcripts are expressed throughout early developmental stages, specifically in the neural and sensorial territories and that Xp54nrb could be involved in anterior neural patterning.

Keywords:

Xenopus laevis, neural fate, eye development, RNA-binding protein, calcium signalling

*Corresponding author e-mail: isabelle.neant@univ-tlse3.fr