Nested expression and sequential downregulation of the Xenopus caudal genes along the anterior-posterior axis

Graciela Pillemer, Michal Epstein, Bruce Blumberg, Joel K. Yisraeli, Eddy M. De Robertis, Herbert Steinbeisser, Abraham Fainsod*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Expression of the Xenopus Xcad-1 and Xcad-2 genes initiates during early gastrulation exhibiting a dorsoventral asymmetry in their domains of transcription. At mid-gastrulation the ventral preference becomes stronger and the caudal genes take up a posterior localization in their expression, which they will maintain until their downregulation along the dorsal midline. Comparison of the three Xenopus caudal genes revealed a temporal and spatial nested set of expression patterns. The transcription of the caudal genes is sequentially downregulated with the one expressed most caudally (Xcad-2) being shut down first, this sequence is most evident along the dorsal midline. This pattern of expression suggests a role for the caudal genes as posterior determinants along the anteroposterior axis. In chicken, mouse, man and Xenopus three members of the caudal family have been identified in the genome. Even though in Xenopus the Xcad-3 gene has been previously described, in order to obtain a better insight on the role of the caudal genes a comparative study of all three frog genes was performed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)193-196
Number of pages4
JournalMechanisms of Development
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank Dr. D. Kimmelman for the gift of the Xcad-3 probe, Dr. L. Gont and R. Yelin for their comments on the manuscript. This work was supported in part by a grant from The Council for Tobacco Research Inc. USA to A.F.


  • Anterior-posterior axis
  • Caudal genes
  • Gastrula
  • Gene regulation
  • Homeobox genes
  • Pattern formation
  • Xcad- 3
  • Xcad-1
  • Xcad-2


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