Cloning of actin genes from a genomic library of the newt, Notophthalmus viridescens
Shannon, William R.
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The regenerating urodele limb is a useful model system in which to study, in vivo, the controls of cell proliferation and differentiation. Techniques are available which enable one to experimentally manipulate mitogenic influences upon the blastema, as well the morphogenesis of the regenerating 11mb. Although classical regeneration studies have generated a wealth of knowledge concerning tissue interactions, little 1s known about the process at the level of gene expression. The aim of this project was to clone potentially developmentally regulated genes from a newt genomic library for use in future studies of gene expression during limb regeneration. We decided to clone the cytoskeletal actin gene for the following reasons: 1. its expression reflects the proliferative and differentiatlve states of cells in other systems 2. the high copy number of cytoplasmic actin pseudogenes in other vertebrates and the high degree of evolutionary sequence conservation among actin genes increased the chance of cloning one of the newt cytoplasmic actin genes. 3. Preliminary experiments indicated that a newt actin could probably be identified using an available chick ~-actln gene for a molecular probe. Two independent recombinant phage clones, containing actin homologous inserts, were isolated from a newt genomic library by hybridization with the chick actin probe. Restriction mapping identified actin homologous sequences within the newt DNA inserts which were subcloned into the plasmid pTZ19R. The recombinant plasmids were transformed into the Escherichia coli strain, DHsa. Detailed restriction maps were produced of the 5.7Kb and 3.1Kb newt DNA inserts in the plasmids, designated pTNAl and pTNA2. The short «1.3 Kb) length of the actin homologous sequence in pTNA2 indicated that it was possibly a reverse transcript pseudogene. Problems associated with molecular cloning of DNA sequences from N. viridescens are discussed with respect to the large genome size and abundant highly repetitive DNA sequences.