Document Detail

A changing morphogen gradient is interpreted by continuous transduction flow.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11959826     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In vertebrate development, most signalling factors behave as morphogens, eliciting divergent cell fates according to their concentration. We ask how cells interpret morphogen concentration as it changes during the establishment of a gradient. Using dissociated blastula cells of Xenopus exposed to activin for only 10 minutes, we have followed the phosphorylation of tagged Smad2, the principal activin transducer, from a cytoplasmic pool to the nucleus in real time. We show that a changing concentration of extracellular activin is rapidly and continuously transduced to provide a corresponding nuclear concentration of Smad2, even though gene response may be delayed for several hours. Nuclear Smad2 concentration changes up as the extracellular concentration of activin increases. We conclude that cells interpret a changing extracellular concentration by maintaining a continuous flow of activated transducer from a large cytoplasmic pool to the nucleus where it is degraded. The volume of this flow determines the steady state concentration of Smad2 in the nucleus and this is used by cells to interpret extracellular morphogen concentration.
P-Y Bourillot; N Garrett; J B Gurdon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Development (Cambridge, England)     Volume:  129     ISSN:  0950-1991     ISO Abbreviation:  Development     Publication Date:  2002 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-04-17     Completed Date:  2002-06-03     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8701744     Medline TA:  Development     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2167-80     Citation Subset:  IM    
Wellcome/CRC Institute, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QR, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Activins / metabolism
Biological Transport, Active
Blastocyst / cytology,  metabolism
Cell Nucleus / metabolism
Cytoplasm / metabolism
DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
Green Fluorescent Proteins
Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
Signal Transduction
Smad2 Protein
Trans-Activators / metabolism
Xenopus / embryology*,  genetics,  metabolism*
Xenopus Proteins
Reg. No./Substance:
0/DNA-Binding Proteins; 0/Luminescent Proteins; 0/Recombinant Fusion Proteins; 0/Smad2 Protein; 0/Smad2 protein, Xenopus; 0/Trans-Activators; 0/Xenopus Proteins; 104625-48-1/Activins; 147336-22-9/Green Fluorescent Proteins

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