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Mech Dev. 1997 Jun;64(1-2):105-10.

L-type calcium channel activation controls the in vivo transduction of the neuralizing signal in the amphibian embryos.

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Centre de Biologie du Développement, UMR 5547 CNRS, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.


We have analyzed the transduction pathways involved in the triggering of neural induction, in amphibian embryos, in vivo. Using a plasmid construction, we have targetted the bioluminescent calcium probe aequorin to the plasma membrane of ectoderm cells of the amphibian Pleurodeles waltl before gastrulation. We have demonstrated that the in vivo triggering of neural induction depends on the activation of calcium-dependent pathways and involves L-type calcium channels. Furthermore, on excised ectoderm taken at the gastrula stage, we show that noggin, a protein currently considered as one of the natural inducers, also activates L-type calcium channels. This activation represents the first necessary event to determine cells of the dorsal ectoderm toward the neural pathway.

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