Document Detail

Scaling of the BMP activation gradient in Xenopus embryos.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18580943     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In groundbreaking experiments, Hans Spemann demonstrated that the dorsal part of the amphibian embryo can generate a well-proportioned tadpole, and that a small group of dorsal cells, the 'organizer', can induce a complete and well-proportioned twinned axis when transplanted into a host embryo. Key to organizer function is the localized secretion of inhibitors of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), which defines a graded BMP activation profile. Although the central proteins involved in shaping this gradient are well characterized, their integrated function, and in particular how pattern scales with size, is not understood. Here we present evidence that in Xenopus, the BMP activity gradient is defined by a 'shuttling-based' mechanism, whereby the BMP ligands are translocated ventrally through their association with the BMP inhibitor Chordin. This shuttling, with feedback repression of the BMP ligand Admp, offers a quantitative explanation to Spemann's observations, and accounts naturally for the scaling of embryo pattern with its size.
Danny Ben-Zvi; Ben-Zion Shilo; Abraham Fainsod; Naama Barkai
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature     Volume:  453     ISSN:  1476-4687     ISO Abbreviation:  Nature     Publication Date:  2008 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-06-26     Completed Date:  2008-08-07     Revised Date:  2009-09-04    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410462     Medline TA:  Nature     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1205-11     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.
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MeSH Terms
Body Patterning
Body Size
Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors,  metabolism*
Embryo, Nonmammalian / embryology,  metabolism*
Glycoproteins / metabolism
Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
Models, Biological
Protein Transport
Xenopus / embryology*,  genetics,  metabolism
Xenopus Proteins / metabolism
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4; 0/Bone Morphogenetic Proteins; 0/Glycoproteins; 0/Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins; 0/Ligands; 0/Xenopus Proteins; 0/admp protein, Xenopus; 0/bmp4 protein, Xenopus; 93586-27-7/chordin
Comment In:
Nature. 2009 Sep 3;461(7260):E1; discussion E2   [PMID:  19736667 ]

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