As part of a study of glycolysis during early development we have examined the pattern of expression of enolase isoenzymes in Xenopus laevis. In addition, the nucleotide sequence of a cDNA clone coding for the complete amino acid sequence of one enolase gene (ENO1) in X. laevis was determined. X. laevis ENO1 shows highest homology to mammalian non-neuronal enolase. Analysis of enolase isoenzymes in X. laevis by non-denaturing electrophoresis on cellulose acetate strips revealed five isoenzymes. One form was present in all tissues tested, two additional forms were expressed in oocytes, embryos, adult liver and adult brain, and two further forms were restricted to larval and adult muscle. Since enolase is a dimer, three different monomers (gene products) could account for the observed number of isoenzymes. This pattern of enolase isoenzyme expression in X. laevis differs from that of birds and mammals. In birds and mammals the most acidic form is neuron-specific and there is only one major isoenzyme expressed in the liver. RNAase protection experiments showed the presence of ENO1 mRNA in oocytes, liver and muscle, suggesting that it codes for a non-tissue-restricted isoenzyme. ENO1 mRNA concentrations are high in early oocytes, decrease during oogenesis and decrease further after fertilization. Enolase protein, however, is maintained at high concentrations throughout this period.

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