Involvement of the protein of Xenopus vasa homolog (Xenopus vasa-like gene 1, XVLG1) in the differentiation of primordial germ cells


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In order to understand the role of the protein of Xenopus vasa homolog (Xenopus vasa-like gene 1, XVLG1) in germ line cells, an attempt was made to perturb the function of the protein with the anti-vasa antibody 2L-13. The 2L-13 or the control antibody was microinjected with a lineage tracer (FITC-dextran-lysine, FDL) into single vegetal blastomeres containing the germ plasm of Xenopus 32-cell embryos, the descendants of which were destined to differentiate into a small number of primordial germ cells (PGC) and a large number of somatic cells, mostly of endodermal tissues at the tadpole stage. No significant effect of the injection of the antibodies on FDL-labeled, presumptive PGC (pPGC) was observed in embryos until stage 37/38. However, FDL-labeled PGC were not observed in almost all the 2L-13 antibody-injected tadpoles, although a similar number of labeled somatic cells were always present. As 2L-13 antibody specifically reacts with XVLG1 protein in the embryos by immunoblotting, the present results suggest that the antibody perturbed the function of XVLG1 protein in the pPGC, resulting in failure of PGC differentiation at the tadpole stage.