Comparison of the expression patterns of five neural RNA binding proteins in the Xenopus retina

J Comp Neurol. 2005 Jan 24;481(4):331-9. doi: 10.1002/cne.20387.


An increasing body of evidence indicates that gene expression can be modulated by posttranscriptional mechanisms. RNA binding proteins, for instance, control gene expression at many regulatory levels including RNA splicing, transport, stability, and translation. Although numerous RNA binding proteins have been identified, very few have been studied extensively in the context of developmental processes. We focused our study on five neural RNA binding proteins: one Musashi homolog, Nrp-1, one member of the Bruno gene family, BruL-1 (also known as Etr-1), and three members of the ELAV/Hu family, ElrB, ElrC, and ElrD. As an initial step in addressing their function during Xenopus neurogenesis, we used in situ hybridization to determine their expression patterns during retinal development. We found that RNA binding proteins belonging to different families have distinct spatio-temporal expression. These combinatorial expression patterns are reminiscent of previously described cell type-specific expression patterns of transcription factors during retinal development. The distribution of RNA binding proteins within the retina suggests that these regulators of posttranscriptional events may play important roles in multiple steps of retinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • ELAV Proteins
  • ELAV-Like Protein 2
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neuropilin-1 / metabolism
  • Organogenesis / physiology
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / embryology
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / metabolism
  • Ribonucleoproteins / metabolism
  • Xenopus Proteins / metabolism*
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology
  • Xenopus laevis / metabolism*


  • CELF3 protein, Xenopus
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • ELAV Proteins
  • ELAV-Like Protein 2
  • ELAVL3 protein, Xenopus
  • ELAVL4 protein, Xenopus
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • elavl2 protein, Xenopus
  • Msi1 protein, Xenopus
  • Neuropilin-1