Cell type-specific activation of actin genes in the early amphibian embryo

Nature. 1984 Oct 25-31;311(5988):716-21. doi: 10.1038/311716a0.


Muscle actin genes are the earliest yet described to show cell type-specific activation in amphibian embryos. Gene-specific probes show that alpha-skeletal and alpha-cardiac actin genes start to be transcribed simultaneously at the end of gastrulation, but only in those regions of the mesoderm that subsequently form embryonic muscle. Their expression provides a molecular marker for early cell determination.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • DNA / analysis
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology*
  • Genes*
  • Heart / embryology
  • Muscles / embryology*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Species Specificity
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Xenopus


  • Actins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • DNA