Isolation and developmental expression of tyrosinase family genes in Xenopus laevis

Mayuko Kumasaka, Shigeru Sato, Ichiro Yajima, Hiroaki Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The tyrosinase family of genes in vertebrates consists of three related members encoding melanogenic enzymes, tyrosinase (Tyr), tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1, Tyrp1) and tyrosinase-related protein-2 (Dct, TRP-2, Tyrp2). These proteins catalyze melanin production in pigment cells and play important roles in determining vertebrate coloration. This is the first report examining melanogenic gene expression in pigment cells during embryonic development of amphibians. Xenopus provides a useful experimental system for analyzing molecular mechanisms of pigment cells. However, in this animal little information is available not only about the developmental expression but also about the isolation of pigmentation genes. In this study, we isolated homologues of Tyr, Tyrp1 and Dct in Xenopus laevis (XlTyr, XlTyrp1, and XlDct). We studied their expression during development using in situ hybridization and found that all of them are expressed in neural crest-derived melanophores, most of which migrate through the medial pathway, and in the developing diencephalon-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Further, XlDct was expressed earlier than XlTyr and XlTyrp1, which suggests that XlDct is the most suitable marker gene for melanin-producing cells among them. XlDct expression was detected in migratory melanoblasts and in the unpigmented RPE. In addition, the expression of XlDct was detected in the pineal organ. The sum of these studies suggests that expression of the tyrosinase family of genes is conserved in pigment cells of amphibians and that using XlDct as a marker gene for pigment cells will allow further study of the developmental mechanisms of pigment cell differentiation using Xenopus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-462
Number of pages8
JournalPigment Cell Research
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Monophenol Monooxygenase
Xenopus laevis
Pigments
Genes
pigments
Retinal Pigments
genes
Melanins
Xenopus
melanin
cells
amphibians
epithelium
vertebrates
Gene expression
neural crest
genetic markers
proteins
Animals
cell differentiation

Keywords

  • Dct
  • Melanin
  • Pigment cell
  • Tyrosinase
  • Xenopus laevis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Isolation and developmental expression of tyrosinase family genes in Xenopus laevis. / Kumasaka, Mayuko; Sato, Shigeru; Yajima, Ichiro; Yamamoto, Hiroaki.

In: Pigment Cell Research, Vol. 16, No. 5, 01.10.2003, p. 455-462.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kumasaka, Mayuko ; Sato, Shigeru ; Yajima, Ichiro ; Yamamoto, Hiroaki. / Isolation and developmental expression of tyrosinase family genes in Xenopus laevis. In: Pigment Cell Research. 2003 ; Vol. 16, No. 5. pp. 455-462.
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