The mouse muscle creatine kinase promoter faithfully drives reporter gene expression in transgenic Xenopus laevis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Developing Xenopus laevis experience two periods of muscle differentiation, once during embryogenesis and again at metamorphosis. During metamorphosis, thyroid hormone induces both muscle growth in the limbs and muscle death in the tail. In mammals, the muscle creatine kinase (MCK) gene is activated during the differentiation from myoblasts to myocytes and has served as both a marker for muscle development and to drive transgene expression in transgenic mice. Transcriptional control elements are generally highly conserved throughout evolution, potentially allowing mouse promoter use in transgenic X. laevis. This paper compares endogenous X. laevis MCK gene expression and the mouse MCK (mMCK) promoter driving a green fluorescent protein reporter in transgenic X. laevis. The mMCK promoter demonstrated strong skeletal muscle-specific transgene expression in both the juvenile tadpole and adult frog. Therefore, our results clearly demonstrate the functional conservation of regulatory sequences in vertebrate muscle gene promoters and illustrate the utility of using X. laevis transgenesis for detailed comparative study of mammalian promoter activity in vivo.

publication date

  • June 17, 2004

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