Xenopus laevis as a model system to study cytoskeletal dynamics during axon pathfinding

Genesis. 2017 Jan;55(1-2):10.1002/dvg.22994. doi: 10.1002/dvg.22994.


The model system, Xenopus laevis, has been used in innumerable research studies and has contributed to the understanding of multiple cytoskeletal components, including actin, microtubules, and neurofilaments, during axon pathfinding. Xenopus developmental stages have been widely characterized, and the Xenopus genome has been sequenced, allowing gene expression modifications through exogenous molecules. Xenopus cell cultures are ideal for long periods of live imaging because they are easily obtained and maintained, and they do not require special culture conditions. In addition, Xenopus have relatively large growth cones, compared to other vertebrates, thus providing a suitable system for imaging cytoskeletal components. Therefore, X. laevis is an ideal model organism in which to study cytoskeletal dynamics during axon pathfinding.

Keywords: cytoskeleton; growth cone; microtubule dynamics.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Axon Guidance / genetics*
  • Axons / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / genetics*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Growth Cones / metabolism
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Xenopus laevis / genetics*
  • Xenopus laevis / growth & development


  • Actins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins