Ku M, Melton DA. 1993. Xwnt-11: a maternally expressed Xenopus wnt gene. Development (Cambridge, England). 119(4):1161-73. Pubmed: 8306880


We have isolated and characterized a novel Xenopus wnt gene, Xwnt-11, whose expression pattern and overexpression phenotype suggest that it may be important for dorsal-ventral axis formation. Xwnt-11 mRNA is present during oogenesis and embryonic development through swimming tadpole stages. Xwnt-11 mRNA is ubiquitous in early oocytes and is localized during mid-oogenesis. By late oocyte stages, Xwnt-11 mRNA is localized to the vegetal cortex, with some mRNA in the vegetal cytoplasm. After egg maturation, Xwnt-11 mRNA is released from the vegetal cortex and is found in the vegetal cytoplasm. This early pattern of Xwnt-11 mRNA localization is similar to another vegetally localized maternal mRNA, Vg1 (D. A. Melton (1987) Nature 328, 80-82). In the late blastula, Xwnt-11 mRNA is found at high levels in the dorsal marginal zone. As gastrulation proceeds, Xwnt-11 mRNA appears in the lateral and ventral marginal zone and, during tadpole stages, it is found in the somites and first branchial arch. Injection of Xwnt-11 mRNA into UV-ventralized embryos can substantially rescue the UV defect by inducing the formation of dorsal tissues. The rescued embryos develop somitic muscle and neural tube; however, they lack notochord and anterior head structures.

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Photo of Doug Melton

Doug Melton is pursuing a cure for type 1 diabetes. His lab studies the developmental biology of the pancreas, using that information to grow and develop pancreatic cells (islets of Langerhans). In parallel, they investigate ways to protect beta cells from autoimmune attack.

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