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BMC Dev Biol 2016 Jan 19;16:1. doi: 10.1186/s12861-016-0101-5.
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Differential requirement of bone morphogenetic protein receptors Ia (ALK3) and Ib (ALK6) in early embryonic patterning and neural crest development.

Schille C , Heller J , Schambony A .

BACKGROUND: Bone morphogenetic proteins regulate multiple processes in embryonic development, including early dorso-ventral patterning and neural crest development. BMPs activate heteromeric receptor complexes consisting of type I and type II receptor-serine/threonine kinases. BMP receptors Ia and Ib, also known as ALK3 and ALK6 respectively, are the most common type I receptors that likely mediate most BMP signaling events. Since early expression patterns and functions in Xenopus laevis development have not been described, we have addressed these questions in the present study. RESULTS: Here we have analyzed the temporal and spatial expression patterns of ALK3 and ALK6; we have also carried out loss-of-function studies to define the function of these receptors in early Xenopus development. We detected both redundant and non-redundant roles of ALK3 and ALK6 in dorso-ventral patterning. From late gastrula stages onwards, their expression patterns diverged, which correlated with a specific, non-redundant requirement of ALK6 in post-gastrula neural crest cells. ALK6 was essential for induction of neural crest cell fate and further development of the neural crest and its derivatives. CONCLUSIONS: ALK3 and ALK6 both contribute to the gene regulatory network that regulates dorso-ventral patterning; they play partially overlapping and partially non-redundant roles in this process. ALK3 and ALK6 are independently required for the spatially restricted activation of BMP signaling and msx2 upregulation at the neural plate border, whereas in post-gastrula development ALK6 exerts a highly specific, conserved function in neural crest development.

PubMed ID: 26780949
PMC ID: PMC4717534
Article link: BMC Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: acvr1 acvr1b admp bmp4 bmpr1a bmpr1b chrd gsc msx2 smad1 sox2 sox8 szl twist1 ventx1.2
Morpholinos: bmpr1a MO1 bmpr1a MO2 bmpr1b MO1 bmpr1b MO2

Phenotypes: Xla Wt + bmpr1a MO (fig.2.b) [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Attisano, Novel activin receptors: distinct genes and alternative mRNA splicing generate a repertoire of serine/threonine kinase receptors. 1992, Pubmed