Perturbation of Notch/Suppressor of Hairless Pathway Disturbs Migration of Primordial Germ Cells in Xenopus Embryo

Dev Growth Differ. 2010 Feb;52(2):235-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2009.01164.x.


Primordial germ cells (PGCs) in Xenopus embryo are specified in the endodermal cell mass and migrate dorsally toward the future gonads. The role of the signal mediated by Notch and Suppressor of Hairless [Su(H)] was analyzed on the migrating PGCs at the tailbud stage. X-Notch-1 and X-Delta-1 are expressed in the migrating PGCs and surrounding endodermal cells, whereas X-Delta-2 and X-Serrate-1 are expressed preferentially in the PGCs. Suppression and constitutive activation of the Notch/Su(H) signaling in the whole endoderm region or selectively in the PGCs resulted in an increase in ectopic PGCs located in lateral or ventral regions. Knocking down of the Notch ligands by morpholino oligonucleotides revealed that X-Delta-2 was indispensable for the correct PGC migration. The ectopic PGCs seemed to have lost their motility in the Notch/Su(H) signal-manipulated embryos. Our results suggest that a cell-to-cell interaction via the Notch/Su(H) pathway has a significant role in the PGC migration by regulating cell motility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement*
  • Endoderm / cytology
  • Endoderm / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Germ Cells / cytology*
  • Germ Cells / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Notch / genetics
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Xenopus Proteins / genetics
  • Xenopus Proteins / metabolism*
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology*
  • Xenopus laevis / genetics
  • Xenopus laevis / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Notch
  • Transcription Factors
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • suppressor of hairless 1 protein, Xenopus