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Keywords:

  • cell attractant;
  • chemokine ligand;
  • morphogenesis;
  • XCXCLC;
  • Xenopus

We cloned the gene for the CXC-type chemokine ligand, Xenopus CXCLC (XCXCLC), the transcripts of which were detected at the dorsal midline during the gastrula and neurula stages. XCXCLC overexpression resulted in the attraction of nearby mesodermal cells, and the excess of chemoattractant interfered with convergent and extension movements. The direction of the deep neural plate cells around the notoplate was also controlled by XCXCLC. Fluorescence signals for XCXCLC + enhanced green fluorescent protein derivatives accumulated around the notochord region. These results indicate that XCXCLC attracts adjacent cells to the midline region, so as to ensure accurate lateral-medial directional tissue convergence during gastrulation and neurulation.