We have investigated the expression and distribution of talin and vinculin in the oocytes, eggs, and embryos of Xenopus laevis. Antibodies to the previously characterized avian proteins stain several different Xenopus cell types identically by immunofluorescence: adhesion plaques of cultured kidney (A6) cells, the cell peripheries of oviduct cells, and the postsynaptic neuromuscular junctions of tadpole tail muscle fibers. These antibodies also identify cognate proteins of the appropriate sizes on immunoblots of A6 cell and oviduct lysates. Using these antibodies on ovarian tissue, we find talin to be highly localized at the cortices of oocytes and vinculin to be in the oocyte cytoplasm and absent from the oocyte cortex. In the cells of the ovarian layers that surround the oocytes, talin and vinculin can be detected as soluble and cytoskeletal components. Vinculin is first detectable as a cytoskeletal component in eggs, appearing some time during or between oocyte maturation and oviposition. During early embryo development, talin and vinculin are colocalized in the cortex of cleavage furrows and blastomeres. Thus, Xenopus oocytes and eggs display different distributions of talin and vinculin. The change from unlinked localization to colocalization appears to be developmentally regulated, occurring during the transition from oocyte to egg.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology