ZFP36L1 (zinc finger protein 36, C3H type-like 1) belongs to the ZFP36 family of RNA-binding proteins, which
contains two characteristic tandem CCCH-type zinc-finger domains. The ZFP36 proteins can bind AU-rich elements in 3'
untranslated regions of target mRNAs and promote their turnover. However, the expression and role of ZFP36
genes during neural
development in Xenopus
embryos remains largely unknown. The present study showed that Xenopus
ZFP36L1 was expressed at the
dorsal part of the forebrain, forebrain-midbrain boundary, and midbrain-hindbrain boundary from late neurula stages to tadpole
stages of embryonic development. Overexpression of XZFP36L1 in Xenopus
embryos inhibited neural induction and differentiation,
leading to severe neural tube defects. The function of XZP36L1 requires both its zinc finger and C terminal domains, which also
affect its subcellular localization. These results suggest that XZFP36L1 is likely involved in neural development in Xenopus
might play an important role in post-transcriptional regulation.