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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Developing the expression patterns of transcription factor MRF4 in developing Xenopus laevis embryos

Status Current
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 12/01/2011
End Date 06/01/2012
Funding Source Undergraduate Research Grant
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 03/25/2012 02:40PM
Keywords xenopus laevis


  Caroline Wilson

Student Researchers
  John Mathot


The development of the vertebrate embryo requires the coordinated differentiation of several different types of cells. This process is accomplished through the use of transcription factors, which bind to DNA and regulate the transcription of genes. By regulating the expression of specialized genes in response to cues, the embryonic cells will differentiate in the correct pattern to form a viable zygote. MRF4 is a transcription factor in the myogenic regulatory factor (MRF) family, which is known to trigger the differentiation of embryonic somites into myoctes. When using the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) as a model organism, MRF4 is found in the nucleus of the myocytes. However, MRF4 it is also found the cytoplasm of cells fated to become part of the eyes, brain, and nervous system. The expression patterns of MRF4 protein and mRNA throughout the entire X laevis development cycle in muscle cells and nervous system cells are unknown.

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