A Xenopus AMBP (xAMBP) cDNA clone was isolated from a subtracted liver cDNA library by differential hybridization screening. The deduced amino acid sequence shared 50–60% identity with its mammalian counterparts, which are the precursors of the plasma glycoproteins, α1-microglobulin and bikunin. Both peptide structures were well conserved in xAMBP. Northern and in situ hybridization revealed that the xAMBP gene was specifically expressed in liver parenchymal cells. The gene was activated around embryo hatching and repressed at the metamorphic climax stage. During adult life the mRNA level remained low. Treating the tadpoles with thyroid homone prematurely reduced the mRNA level. Furthermore, thyroid hormone acted on larval hepatocytes in primary culture and reduced the mRNA level. Thus, xAMBP gene expression appears to be repressed through the direct action of thyroid hormone on the hepatocytes at the metamorphic climax stage. On the other hand, adult hepatocytes in thyroid hormone-free culture medium expressed mRNA at a low level, which was not reduced in response to thyroid hormone, suggesting that the repressed xAMBP gene expression in adult hepatocytes was maintained in a thyroid hormone-independent manner. The unique expression profile suggested that the xAMBP gene plays a biological role in the progression of amphibian metamorphosis.
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Received: 12 April 1996 / Accepted: 19 September 1996
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Kawahara, A., Hikosaka, A., Sasado, T. et al. Thyroid hormone-dependent repression of α1-microglobulin/bikunin precursor (AMBP) gene expression during amphibian metamorphosis. Dev Gene Evol 206, 355–362 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004270050064
- Key words Xenopus metamorphosis
- alpha1-microglobulin/bikunin precursor
- Hepatocyte culture
- Gene expression