Bioassays for Studying the Role of the Peptide Growth Factor Activin in Early Amphibian Embryogenesis

  • Makoto Asashima
  • Takashi Ariizumi
  • Shuji Takahashi
  • George M. Malacinski
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 136)

Abstract

Activin, a peptide growth factor, is a member of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily. It was originally isolated from follicle fluid as a gonadal hormone that stimulates follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion and is identical to EDF, the erythroid differentiation factor (which stimulates erythroleukemia cells to differentiate into hemoglobin-producing cells) (1). It also appears to be related, if not identical, to the so-called “vegetalizing factor”described originally by Tiedemann and colleagues, which can induce amphibian embryonic tissue rudiments to display various differentiation patterns (reviewed in ref. 2). In addition, it appears to be identical to the XTC factor isolated by Smith et al. (3) from transformed Xenopus fibroblasts. Thus, the identification of activin as a potential morphogen in amphibian embryos (4) solved several mysteries surrounding the puzzle regarding the molecular nature of various hitherto ill-characterized “inducing substances.“

Keywords

Activin Inhibin 

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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makoto Asashima
    • 1
  • Takashi Ariizumi
    • 2
  • Shuji Takahashi
    • 2
  • George M. Malacinski
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Life Science (Biology),Graduate School of Arts and SciencesThe University of Tokyo,and CREST, Japan Science and Technology CorpTokyoJapan
  2. 2.CRESTJapan Science and Technology CorpTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of BiologyIndiana UniversityBloomington

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