The use of Xenopus oocytes for the study of ion channels

CRC Crit Rev Biochem. 1987;22(4):317-87. doi: 10.3109/10409238709086960.


Recently, in addition to the "traditional" research on meiotic reinitiation and fertilization mechanisms, the oocytes of the African frog Xenopus laevis have been exploited for the study of numerous aspects of ion channel function and regulation, such as the properties of several endogenous voltage-dependent channels and the involvement of second messengers in mediation of neurotransmitter-evoked membrane responses. In addition, injection of these cells with exogenous messenger RNA results in production and functional expression of foreign membranal proteins, including various voltage- and neurotransmitter-operated ion channels originating from brain, heart, and other excitable tissues. This method provides unique opportunities for the study of the structure, function, and regulation of these channels. A multidisciplinary approach is required, involving molecular biology, electrophysiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and cytology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ion Channels / metabolism*
  • Oocytes / metabolism*
  • Xenopus / metabolism*


  • Ion Channels