Medical College of Wisconsin
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Xenopus tropicalis oocytes as an advantageous model system for the study of intracellular Ca(2+) signalling. Br J Pharmacol 2001 Apr;132(7):1396-410



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1. The purpose of this study was to compare oocytes from the pipid frogs Xenopus tropicalis and Xenopus laevis, with respect to their utility for studying Ca(2+) signalling mechanisms and for expression of heterologous proteins. 2. We show that X. tropicalis oocytes possess an intracellular Ca(2+) store that is mobilized by inositol (1,4,5) trisphosphate (IP(3)). Ca(2+) signalling is activated by endogenous lysophosphatidic acid receptors and cytosolic Ca(2+) activates a plasma membrane chloride conductance. The spatiotemporal organization of cytosolic Ca(2+) signals, from the microscopic architecture of elementary Ca(2+) 'puffs' to the macroscopic patterns of Ca(2+) spiking are closely similar to the local and global patterns of Ca(2+) release previously characterized in oocytes from X. laevis. 3. By injecting X. tropicalis oocytes with cDNA encoding an ER-targeted fluorescent protein construct, we demonstrate the capacity of the X. tropicalis oocyte to readily express heterologous proteins. The organization of ER is polarized across the oocyte, with the IP(3)-releaseable store targeted within an approximately 8 microm wide band that circumscribes the cell. 4. We conclude that the X. tropicalis oocyte shares many of the characteristics that have made oocytes of X. laevis a favoured system for studying Ca(2+) signalling mechanisms. Moreover, X. tropicalis oocytes display further practical advantages in terms of imaging depth, Ca(2+) signal magnitude and electrical properties. These further enhance the appeal of X. tropicalis as an experimental system, in addition to its greater amenability to transgenic approaches.

Author List

Marchant JS, Parker I


Jonathan S. Marchant PhD Chair, Professor in the Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Biological Transport
Calcium Signaling
Endoplasmic Reticulum
Genetic Vectors
Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate
Luminescent Proteins
Membrane Potentials
Microscopy, Confocal
Models, Animal
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a