Xotch, the Xenopus homolog of Drosophila notch

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Science  21 Sep 1990:
Vol. 249, Issue 4975, pp. 1438-1441
DOI: 10.1126/science.2402639


During the development of a vertebrate embryo, cell fate is determined by inductive signals passing between neighboring tissues. Such determinative interactions have been difficult to characterize fully without knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved. Mutations of Drosophila and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have been isolated that define a family of related gene products involved in similar types of cellular inductions. One of these genes, the Notch gene from Drosophila, is involved with cell fate choices in the neurogenic region of the blastoderm, in the developing nervous system, and in the eye-antennal imaginal disc. Complementary DNA clones were isolated from Xenopus embryos with Notch DNA in order to investigate whether cell-cell interactions in vertebrate embryos also depend on Notch-like molecules. This approach identified a Xenopus molecule, Xotch, which is remarkably similar to Drosophila Notch in both structure and developmental expression.

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