A monoclonal antibody (mAb 8C8) that recognizes the Xenopus beta 1-integrin chain was used to study the appearance, synthesis and distribution of this integrin subunit during the early development of Xenopus. Both the precursor and the mature form of beta 1-integrin are provided maternally. They do not increase significantly in amount until early gastrula when the level of both forms begins to rise gradually. Synthesis of beta 1-integrin from maternal mRNA is observed throughout the pregastrula phase, though it seems to add only little to the total beta 1-integrin of the embryo. Until late blastula only small amounts of precursor are processed into the mature form. Starting with the formation of the first cleavage membrane, mature beta 1-integrin is inserted into the newly formed plasma membranes of all cells. The membrane domains forming the outer surface of the embryo remain devoid of the antigen. The data suggest an as yet unknown function of beta 1-integrin during the cleavage phase.

This content is only available via PDF.