Developmental expression of the fermitin/kindlin gene family in Xenopus laevis embryos



Fermitin genes are highly conserved and encode cytocortex proteins that mediate integrin signalling. Fermitin 1 (Kindlin1) is implicated in Kindler syndrome, a human skin blistering disorder. We report the isolation of the three Fermitin orthologs from Xenopus laevis embryos and describe their developmental expression patterns. Fermitin 1 is expressed in the skin, otic and olfactory placodes, pharyngeal arches, pronephric duct, and heart. Fermitin 2 is restricted to the somites and neural crest. Fermitin 3 is expressed in the notochord, central nervous system, cement gland, ventral blood islands, vitelline veins, and myeloid cells. Our findings are consistent with the view that Fermitin 1 is generally expressed in the skin, Fermitin 2 in muscle, and Fermitin 3 in hematopoietic lineages. Moreover, we describe novel sites of Fermitin gene expression that extend our knowledge of this family. Our data provide a basis for further functional analysis of the Fermitin family in Xenopus laevis. Developmental Dynamics 240:1958–1963, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.