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Dev Cell 2022 Jan 10;571:95-111.e12. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2021.11.021.
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Targeted search for scaling genes reveals matrixmetalloproteinase 3 as a scaler of the dorsal-ventral pattern in Xenopus laevis embryos.

Orlov EE , Nesterenko AM , Korotkova DD , Parshina EA , Martynova NY , Zaraisky AG .

How embryos scale patterning according to size is still not fully understood. Through in silico screening and analysis of reaction-diffusion systems that could be responsible for scaling, we predicted the existence of genes whose expression is sensitive to embryo size and which regulate the scaling of embryonic patterning. To find these scalers, we identified genes with strongly altered expression in half-size Xenopus laevis embryos compared with full-size siblings at the gastrula stage. Among found genes, we investigated the role of matrix metalloproteinase-3 (mmp3), which was most strongly downregulated in half-size embryos. We show that Mmp3 scales dorsal-ventral patterning by degrading the slowly diffusing embryonic inducers Noggin1 and Noggin2 but preventing cleavage of the more rapidly diffusing inducer Chordin via degradation of a Tolloid-type proteinase. In addition to unraveling the mechanism underlying the scaling of dorsal-ventral patterning, this work provides proof of principal for scalers identification in embryos of other species.

PubMed ID: 34919801
Article link: Dev Cell

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: admp bmp1 bmp4 chrd.1 gtf2ird1 mcf2 mmp3 myc nog nog2 pam shh sst.1 szl tll1

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