ID gene activity during Xenopus embryogenesis

Hong Zhang, Reynaud Sorogini, Malgorzata Kloc, Laurence D. Etkin, Georges Spohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The activity of bHLH transcription factors that are involved in cell determination and differentiation is inhibited by Ids, HLH proteins lacking the basic amino acid sequence element. In order to determine the role of Id during development, we have isolated and characterized the Id genes expressed in Xenopus embryos. Three cDNAs were characterized: XIdIa and XIdIb, which are transcribed from one gene but differentially spliced in the 3′ untranslated part, and XIdII which is transcribed from a second copy of the gene. One of the two forms of the differentially spliced mRNAs exhibits, 30 nucleotides upstream from the AATAAA site, a sequence box homologous to the cytoplasmic polyadenylation element (CPE) which is present also in Id2 and Id3 mRNAs from higher vertebrates. This raises the question of whether this CPE-like element may link Id mRNA polyadenylation and translation to the cell cycle metabolism. The Xenopus Id gene is transcribed at low level in oocytes and at high level in embryos, after midblastula transition, in a large number of tissues, including the notochord, neural tube, eye, ear, neural crest cells, presomitic mesoderm, myotomes, tailbud and dorsal fin. In myotomes, expression is high in the areas of proliferating myoblasts and decreases as terminal differentiation proceeds, consistent with a function in cell determination and differentiation and possibly also in cell cycle regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalMechanisms of Development
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 1995


  • Embryo
  • Expression
  • Id gene
  • In situ hybridization
  • Myogenesis
  • Xenopus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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