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Development 2005 Feb 01;1323:591-602. doi: 10.1242/dev.01599.
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XPACE4 is a localized pro-protein convertase required for mesoderm induction and the cleavage of specific TGFbeta proteins in Xenopus development.

Birsoy B , Berg L , Williams PH , Smith JC , Wylie CC , Christian JL , Heasman J .

XPACE4 is a member of the subtilisin/kexin family of pro-protein convertases. It cleaves many pro-proteins to release their active proteins, including members of the TGFbeta family of signaling molecules. Studies in mouse suggest it may have important roles in regulating embryonic tissue specification. Here, we examine the role of XPACE4 in Xenopus development and make three novel observations: first, XPACE4 is stored as maternal mRNA localized to the mitochondrial cloud and vegetal hemisphere of the oocyte; second, it is required for the endogenous mesoderm inducing activity of vegetal cells before gastrulation; and third, it has substrate-specific activity, cleaving Xnr1, Xnr2, Xnr3 and Vg1, but not Xnr5, Derriere or ActivinB pro-proteins. We conclude that maternal XPACE4 plays an important role in embryonic patterning by regulating the production of a subset of active mature TGFbeta proteins in specific sites.

PubMed ID: 15634697
Article link: Development
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: bmp4 chrd ctnnb1 fgf3 fgf4 fgf8 furin gdf1 gdf3 gsc myod1 ncam1 nodal1 nodal2 nodal3.1 nodal3.2 nodal5 nodal5.4 pcsk6 smad2 sox17a tbxt tgfb1
Antibodies: HA Ab4 Smad2 Ab2 Smad2 Ab4
Morpholinos: pcsk6 MO1

Article Images: [+] show captions