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Development 2013 Oct 01;14020:4177-81. doi: 10.1242/dev.095521.
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Coco regulates dorsoventral specification of germ layers via inhibition of TGFβ signalling.

Bates TJ , Vonica A , Heasman J , Brivanlou AH , Bell E .

One of the earliest steps in embryonic development is the specification of the germ layers, the subdivision of the blastula embryo into endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm. Maternally expressed members of the Transforming Growth Factor β (TGFβ) family influence all three germ layers; the ligands are required to induce endoderm and mesoderm, whereas inhibitors are required for formation of the ectoderm. Here, we demonstrate a vital role for maternal Coco, a secreted antagonist of TGFβ signalling, in this process. We show that Coco is required to prevent Activin and Nodal signals in the dorsal marginal side of the embryo from invading the prospective ectoderm, thereby restricting endoderm- and mesoderm-inducing signals to the vegetal and marginal zones of the pre-gastrula Xenopus laevis embryo.

PubMed ID: 24026124
PMC ID: PMC3787757
Article link: Development
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: chrd dand5 gal.2 gsc hoxb9 hoxc9-like inhbb myod1 nodal nodal5 nodal5.2 nodal6 smad2 sox17b.1 tbxt
Antibodies: Dand5 Ab1 Smad2 Ab5
Morpholinos: dand5 MO1 inhbb MO6 nodal5.2 MO1 nodal6 MO1

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Agius, Endodermal Nodal-related signals and mesoderm induction in Xenopus. 2000, Pubmed, Xenbase