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Development. 1997 Jun;124(12):2325-34.

Bmp-4 acts as a morphogen in dorsoventral mesoderm patterning in Xenopus.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Embryology, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg, Germany.


The marginal zone is a ring of tissue that gives rise to a characteristic dorsoventral pattern of mesoderm in amphibian embryos. Bmp-4 is thought to play an important role in specifying ventral mesodermal fate. Here we show (1) that different doses of Bmp-4 are sufficient to pattern four distinct mesodermal cell types and to pattern gene expression in the early gastrula marginal zone into three domains, (2) that there is a graded requirement for a Bmp signal in mesodermal patterning, and (3) that Bmp-4 has long-range activity which can become graded in the marginal zone by the antagonizing action of noggin. The results argue that Bmp-4 acts as a morphogen in dorsoventral patterning of mesoderm.

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