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Dev Biol. 1999 Sep 1;213(1):85-100.

Interference with brachyury function inhibits convergent extension, causes apoptosis, and reveals separate requirements in the FGF and activin signalling pathways.

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Division of Developmental Biology, National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London, NW7 1AA, United Kingdom.


Brachyury plays a key role in mesoderm formation during vertebrate development. Absence of the gene results in loss of posterior mesoderm and failure of the notochord to differentiate, while misexpression of Brachyury in the prospective ectoderm of Xenopus results in ectopic mesoderm formation. Brachyury is therefore both necessary and sufficient for posterior mesoderm formation. Here we present a detailed cellular and molecular analysis of the consequences of inhibiting Brachyury function during Xenopus development. Our results show that Brachyury is required for the convergent extension movements of gastrulation, for mesoderm differentiation in response to FGF, and for the survival of posterior mesodermal cells in both Xenopus and mouse.

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