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Genesis 2017 Jan 01;551-2:. doi: 10.1002/dvg.23001.
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What we can learn from a tadpole about ciliopathies and airway diseases: Using systems biology in Xenopus to study cilia and mucociliary epithelia.

Over the past years, the Xenopus embryo has emerged as an incredibly useful model organism for studying the formation and function of cilia and ciliated epithelia in vivo. This has led to a variety of findings elucidating the molecular mechanisms of ciliated cell specification, basal body biogenesis, cilia assembly, and ciliary motility. These findings also revealed the deep functional conservation of signaling, transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and protein networks employed in the formation and function of vertebrate ciliated cells. Therefore, Xenopus research can contribute crucial insights not only into developmental and cell biology, but also into the molecular mechanisms underlying cilia related diseases (ciliopathies) as well as diseases affecting the ciliated epithelium of the respiratory tract in humans (e.g., chronic lung diseases). Additionally, systems biology approaches including transcriptomics, genomics, and proteomics have been rapidly adapted for use in Xenopus, and broaden the applications for current and future translational biomedical research. This review aims to present the advantages of using Xenopus for cilia research, highlight some of the evolutionarily conserved key concepts and mechanisms of ciliated cell biology that were elucidated using the Xenopus model, and describe the potential for Xenopus research to address unresolved questions regarding the molecular mechanisms of ciliopathies and airway diseases.

PubMed ID: 28095645
PMC ID: PMC5276738
Article link: Genesis
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: bmp4 ccp110 cetn4 e2f4 e2f5 foxa1 foxj1 foxj1.2 foxn4 gmnc mab21l1 mcc mcidas myb nkx2-2 notch1 pax6 pitx2 rfx2 rfx3 tfdp1 tp73 tuba4b wnt1

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Afzelius, A human syndrome caused by immotile cilia. 1976, Pubmed