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In X. laevis embryos high levels of the anti-apoptotic factor p27BBP/eIF6 are stage-dependently found in BrdU and TUNEL-reactive territories

  • N. De Marco (a1), C. Campanella (a2) and R. Carotenuto (a2)


p27BBP/eIF6 (β4 binding protein/eukaryotic initiation factor 6) is a highly conserved protein necessary for cell life. In adult eIF6 mice, a 50% decrease in the protein levels in all tissues is accompanied by a reduction in cell proliferation only in the liver, fat cells and cultured fibroblasts. During X. laevis embryogenesis expression of p27BBP/eIF6 is abundant in high proliferative territories. However, in Xenopus cell proliferation appears unaffected following p27BBP/eIF6 over-expression or down-regulation. Indeed, p27BBP/eIF6 is an anti-apoptotic factor acting upstream of Bcl2 that reduces endogenous apoptosis. We studied p27BBP/eIF6 protein localization in wild type embryos and compared it to proliferation and apoptosis. At the beginning of embryogenesis, high levels of p27BBP/eIF6, proliferation and apoptosis overlap. In later development stages high proliferation levels are present in the same regions where higher p27BBP/eIF6 expression is observed, while apoptosis does not appear specifically concentrated in the same sites. The higher presence of p27BBP/eIF6 would appear related to an increased need of apoptosis control in the regions where cell death is essential for normal development.


Corresponding author

All correspondence to: N. De Marco. Department of Structural and Functional Biology, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy. Tel: +39 081 679189. Fax: +39 081 679233. e-mail:


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