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Development. 2018 Jan 22;145(2). pii: dev155663. doi: 10.1242/dev.155663.

Nodal induces sequential restriction of germ cell factors during primordial germ cell specification.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, 185 Meeting St., Providence, RI 02912, USA.
2
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, 185 Meeting St., Providence, RI 02912, USA gary_wessel@brown.edu.

Abstract

Specification of the germ cell lineage is required for sexual reproduction in animals. The mechanism of germ cell specification varies among animals but roughly clusters into either inherited or inductive mechanisms. The inductive mechanism, the use of cell-cell interactions for germ cell specification, appears to be the ancestral mechanism in animal phylogeny, yet the pathways responsible for this process are only recently surfacing. Here, we show that germ cell factors in the sea star initially are present broadly, then become restricted dorsally and then in the left side of the embryo where the germ cells form a posterior enterocoel. We find that Nodal signaling is required for the restriction of two germ cell factors, Nanos and Vasa, during the early development of this animal. We learned that Nodal inhibits germ cell factor accumulation in three ways including: inhibition of specific transcription, degradation of specific mRNAs and inhibition of tissue morphogenesis. These results document a signaling mechanism required for the sequential restriction of germ cell factors, which causes a specific set of embryonic cells to become the primordial germ cells.

KEYWORDS:

Induction; Nanos; Nodal; Primordial germ cell; Sea star; Vasa

PMID:
29358213
PMCID:
PMC5825842
[Available on 2019-01-15]
DOI:
10.1242/dev.155663
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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