Developmental biology using purified genes

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Comparison of control (left), anucleolate mutant (center) and magnesium-deficient (right) embryos of X. laevis after four days of development.
Figure 2: An isolated nucleus from a mature oocyte of X. laevis.
Figure 3: Electron micrograph of a partially denatured molecule with repeating units of 5S DNA.
Figure 4: A transcriptional-control region within the 5S rRNA gene.


  1. 1

    Elsdale, T.R., Fischberg, M. & Smith, S. A mutation that reduces nucleolar number in Xenopus laevis. Exp. Cell Res. 14, 642–643 (1958).

  2. 2

    Brown, D.D. & Gurdon, J.B. Absence of ribosomal RNA synthesis in the anucleolate mutant of Xenopus laevis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 51, 139–146 (1964).

  3. 3

    Wallace, H. & Birnstiel, M. Ribosomal cistrons and the nucleolar organizer. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 114, 296–310 (1966).

  4. 4

    Miller, O.L. & Beatty, B.R. Visualization of nucleolar genes. Science 164, 955–957 (1969).

  5. 5

    Brown, D.D. & Dawid, I.B. Specific gene amplification in oocytes. Science 160, 272–280 (1968).

  6. 6

    Gall, J.G. Differential synthesis of the genes for ribosomal RNA during amphibian oogenesis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 60, 553–560 (1968).

  7. 7

    Brown, D.D., Wensink, P.C. & Jordan, E. Purification and some characteristics of 5S DNA from Xenopus laevis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 68, 3175–3179 (1971).

  8. 8

    Miller, J.R. et al. The nucleotide sequence of oocyte 5S DNA in Xenopus laevis. II. The GC-rich region. Cell 13, 717–725 (1978).

  9. 9

    Brown, D.D. The role of stable complexes that repress and activate eucaryotic genes. Cell 37, 359–365 (1984).

  10. 10

    Birkenmeier, E.H., Brown, D.D. & Jordan, E. A nuclear extract of Xenopus laevis oocytes that accurately transcribes 5S RNA genes. Cell 15, 1077–1086 (1978).

  11. 11

    Sakonju, S., Bogenhagen, D.F. & Brown, D.D. A control region in the center of the 5S RNA gene directs specific initiation of transcription. I. The 5′ border of the region. Cell 19, 13–25 (1980).

  12. 12

    Bogenhagen, D.F., Sakonju, S. & Brown, D.D. A control region in the center of the 5S RNA gene directs specific initiation of transcription. II. The 3′ border of the region. Cell 19, 27–35 (1980).

  13. 13

    Engelke, D.R. et al. Specific interaction of a purified transcription factor with an internal control region of 5S RNA genes. Cell 19, 717–728 (1980).

  14. 14

    Sakonju, S. et al. The binding of a transcription factor to deletion mutants of a 5S ribosomal RNA gene. Cell 23, 665–669 (1981).

  15. 15

    Miller, J., McLachlan, A. & Klug, A. Repetitive zinc-binding domains in the protein transcription factor IIIA from Xenopus oocytes. EMBO J. 4, 1609–1614 (1985).

  16. 16

    Suzuki, Y. & Brown, D.D. Isolation and identification of the messenger RNA for the silk fibroin from Bombyx mori. J. Mol. Biol. 63, 409–429 (1972).

  17. 17

    Brown, D.D. & Cai, L. Amphibian metamorphosis. Dev. Biol. 306, 20–33 (2007).

Download references


I owe a great deal to the Carnegie Institution of Washington, now called the Carnegie Institute for Science. It has supported my research for 50 years. I have had generous grants from the US National Institute of General Medical Science since 1975. The G. Harold & Leila Y. Mathers Foundation supported my research in amphibian metamorphosis. Many wonderful graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other colleagues have contributed to these studies. It is a special pleasure to share the responsibility of running the LSRF with D. Koshland. He and I are responsible for finding sponsors who will support postdoctoral fellows. C. Pratt carries out the day-to-day decisions with the highest efficiency and intelligence. S. DiRenzo, T. Silhavy and J. Broach administer LSRF's peer review process at Princeton University, which this year reached its highest application number ever of 900.

Author information

Correspondence to Donald D Brown.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Brown, D. Developmental biology using purified genes. Nat Med 18, 1496–1498 (2012).

Download citation