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Gene Expr Patterns. 2006 Jan;6(2):180-6. Epub 2005 Sep 15.

Multiple noggins in vertebrate genome: cloning and expression of noggin2 and noggin4 in Xenopus laevis.

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Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, 16/10 Miklukho-Maklaya, Moscow 117997, Russia.


Noggin is a neural inducer secreted by cells of the Spemann organizer. A single noggin gene was identified until very recently in all tested vertebrates. The only exception was zebrafish, in which two close homologs of noggin, named noggin1 and noggin3, and one gene more diverged from them, noggin2, were cloned. Nevertheless, finding of three zebrafish noggins was attributed exclusively to specific genomic duplications in the fish evolutionary branch. However, very recently it was shown that Xenopus tropicalis have additional noggin homolog, called noggin2 [Fletcher, R.B., Watson, A.L., Harland, R.M. (2004). Expression of Xenopus tropicalis noggin1 and noggin2 in early development: two noggin genes in a tetrapod. Gene Expr. Patterns 5, 225-230], which indicates at least two independent noggin genes in vertebrate phylum. Now we report identification of two novel noggin homologs in each of so evolutionary distant species as Xenopus laevis, chicken and fugu. One of these noggins is ortholog of the X. tropicalis and zebrafish noggin2, whereas another, named noggin4, was not known previously. In the X. laevis embryos, the expression of noggin2 very resembles that of its counterpart in X. tropicalis: it begins with neurulation at the anterior margin of the neural plate and, afterward, continues mainly in the forebrain and dorsal hindbrain. At the same time, noggin4 is expressed starting from the beginning of gastrulation, throughout the ectoderm, with a local expression maximum in the prospective anterior neurectoderm. Later, it is widely expressed on the dorsal side of embryo, including neural tube, eyes, otic vesicles, cranial placodes, branchial arches, and somites. The data presented here demonstrate that the vertebrate phylum contains at least three distinct noggin genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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