• Patched (Ptc);
  • Smoothened (Smo);
  • Sonic hedgehog (Shh);
  • Gli transcription factor;
  • Xenopus laevis;
  • metamorphosis;
  • intestinal remodeling


Background: During Xenopus laevis metamorphosis, Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is directly induced by thyroid hormone (TH) at the transcription level as one of the earliest events in intestinal remodeling. However, the regulation of other components of this signaling pathway remains to be analyzed. Here, we analyzed the spatiotemporal expression of Patched (Ptc)-1, Smoothened (Smo), Gli1, Gli2, and Gli3 during natural and TH-induced intestinal remodeling. Results: We show that all of the genes examined are transiently up-regulated in the mesenchymal tissues during intestinal metamorphosis. Conclusions: Interestingly, in the presence of protein synthesis inhibitors, Gli2 but not the others was induced by TH, suggesting that Gli2 is a direct TH response gene, while the others are likely indirect ones. Furthermore, we demonstrate by the organ culture experiment that overexpression of Shh enhances the expression of Ptc-1, Smo, and Glis even in the absence of TH, indicating that Shh regulates its own pathway components during intestinal remodeling. Developmental Dynamics 241:403–414, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.