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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1996 Aug;6(4):424-31.

Conservation of dorsal-ventral patterning in arthropods and chordates.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Chicago, 920 East 58th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


Dorsal-ventral patterning within the ectodermal and mesodermal germ layers of Drosophila and Xenopus embryos is specified by a system of genes that has been conserved over 500 million years of evolution. In both organisms, the activity of the TGF-beta family member DPP/BMP4 is antagonized by SOG/CHORDIN. A second Xenopus gene, noggin, has a similar biological activity to chordin. Analysis of the action of these genes indicate that Spemann's organizer promotes dorsal cell fates in Xenopus by antagonizing a ventralizing signal encoded by the Bmp4 gene.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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