xCyp26c Induced by Inhibition of BMP Signaling Is Involved in Anterior-Posterior Neural Patterning of Xenopus laevis

  • Yu, Saet-Byeol (Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Cell Differentiation and Aging, College of Medicine, Hallym University) ;
  • Umair, Zobia (Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Cell Differentiation and Aging, College of Medicine, Hallym University) ;
  • Kumar, Shiv (Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Cell Differentiation and Aging, College of Medicine, Hallym University) ;
  • Lee, Unjoo (Department of Electrical Engineering, Hallym University) ;
  • Lee, Seung-Hwan (Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Cell Differentiation and Aging, College of Medicine, Hallym University) ;
  • Kim, Jong-Il (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Seoul National University College of Medicine) ;
  • Kim, SungChan (Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Cell Differentiation and Aging, College of Medicine, Hallym University) ;
  • Park, Jae-Bong (Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Cell Differentiation and Aging, College of Medicine, Hallym University) ;
  • Lee, Jae-Yong (Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Cell Differentiation and Aging, College of Medicine, Hallym University) ;
  • Kim, Jaebong (Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Cell Differentiation and Aging, College of Medicine, Hallym University)
  • Received : 2016.01.06
  • Accepted : 2016.01.18
  • Published : 2016.04.30


Vertebrate neurogenesis requires inhibition of endogenous bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signals in the ectoderm. Blocking of BMPs in animal cap explants causes the formation of anterior neural tissues as a default fate. To identify genes involved in the anterior neural specification, we analyzed gene expression profiles using a Xenopus Affymetrix Gene Chip after BMP-4 inhibition in animal cap explants. We found that the xCyp26c gene, encoding a retinoic acid (RA) degradation enzyme, was upregulated following inhibition of BMP signaling in early neuroectodermal cells. Whole-mount in situ hybridization analysis showed that xCyp26c expression started in the anterior region during the early neurula stage. Overexpression of xCyp26c weakly induced neural genes in animal cap explants. xCyp26c abolished the expression of all trans-/cis-RA-induced posterior genes, but not basic FGF-induced posterior genes. Depletion of xCyp26c by morpholino-oligonucleotides suppressed the normal formation of the axis and head, indicating that xCyp26c plays a critical role in the specification of anterior neural tissue in whole embryos. In animal cap explants, however, xCyp26c morpholinos did not alter anterior-to-posterior neural tissue formation. Together, these results suggest that xCyp26c plays a specific role in anterior-posterior (A-P) neural patterning of Xenopus embryos.


A-P neural formation;BMP-4;xCyp26c;Xenopus laevis


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Hallym University


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