Ubiquitous MyoD transcription at the midblastula transition precedes induction-dependent MyoD expression in presumptive mesoderm of X. laevis

Cell. 1991 Jun 14;65(6):927-37. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(91)90545-a.


We have used a quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay to detect MyoD mRNA during early embryonic development of Xenopus laevis. We find that during a short period of time following the midblastula transition MyoD becomes transcriptionally activated at a low level ubiquitously throughout the embryo. Restriction of MyoD expression to muscle precursor cells appears as a subsequent event, in which the process of mesoderm induction stabilizes transcription only in the marginal zone of the embryo, the presumptive mesoderm.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Mesoderm / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics*
  • MyoD Protein
  • Oligonucleotides / chemistry
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • MyoD Protein
  • Oligonucleotides
  • RNA, Messenger