Int. J. Dev. Biol. 63: 311 - 316 (2019)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.190067ma
© UPV/EHU Press

Comparative analysis of p4ha1 and p4ha2 expression during Xenopus laevis development

Davide Martini1, Martina Giannaccini1, Viviana Guadagni1, Silvia Marracci1, Guido Giudetti2 and Massimiliano Andreazzoli*,1

1Unità di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy and 2Istituto di Biorobotica, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy

ABSTRACT Collagen prolyl 4-hydroxylases (c-P4Hs) are evolutionary conserved enzymes whose activity is essential for the correct folding of stable triple helical molecules of collagen and collagen-like proteins. They play crucial roles in embryo development, connective tissue functional organization, tumor growth and metastasis. Despite the important function of these enzymes, little is known about their expression during vertebrate development. In this study, we determine and compare the previously undescribed spatio-temporal expression patterns of the p4ha1 and p4ha2 genes, which encode the main subunits containing the enzyme active site, during Xenopus development. The two genes are maternally inherited and share expression in dorsal mesoderm, branchial arches and their derivatives, as well as in the central nervous system, although with distinct spatio-temporal patterns. A major co-expression domain for p4ha1 and p4ha2 is represented by the developing notochord, where these genes are transcribed from early neurula stage to stage 42 tadpole, thus paralleling the profile of collagen II production and suggesting a coordination between collagen synthesis and its post-translational modifications.

Keywords:

prolyl-hydroxylase, gene expression, development, Xenopus laevis, collagen

*Corresponding author e-mail: massimiliano.andreazzoli@unipi.it