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Dev Genes Evol. 2014 Dec;224(4-6):223-33. doi: 10.1007/s00427-014-0481-0. Epub 2014 Oct 11.

Ancient and diverged TGF-β signaling components in Nasonia vitripennis.

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Institute for Developmental Biology, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Strasse 47b, 50674, Cologne, Germany.


The transforming growth factor beta (TGF)-β signaling pathway and its modulators are involved in many aspects of cellular growth and differentiation in all metazoa. Although most of the core components of the pathway are highly conserved, many lineage-specific adaptations have been observed including changes regarding paralog number, presence and absence of modulators, and functional relevance for particular processes. In the parasitic jewel wasp Nasonia vitripennis, the bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), one of the major subgroups of the TGF-β superfamily, play a more fundamental role in dorsoventral (DV) patterning than in all other insects studied so far. However, Nasonia lacks the BMP antagonist Short gastrulation (Sog)/chordin, which is essential for polarizing the BMP gradient along the DV axis in most bilaterian animals. Here, we present a broad survey of TGF-β signaling in Nasonia with the aim to detect other lineage-specific peculiarities and to identify potential mechanisms, which explain how BMP-dependent DV pattering occurs in the early Nasonia embryo in the absence of Sog.

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