Embryonic mesoderm and endoderm induction requires the actions of non-embryonic Nodal-related ligands and Mxtx2

Hong, S.K., Jang, M.K., Brown, J.L., McBride, A.A., and Feldman, B.
Development (Cambridge, England)   138(4): 787-795 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Feldman, Benjamin, Hong, Sung-Kook
Mxtx2, Ndr1, Ndr2, Ntla, Mesendoderm, Yolk syncytial layer, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/metabolism*
  • Endoderm/metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Homeodomain Proteins/genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins/metabolism*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism*
  • Ligands
  • Mesoderm/metabolism*
  • Nodal Signaling Ligands/genetics
  • Nodal Signaling Ligands/metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Zebrafish/embryology
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish/metabolism*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism*
21266414 Full text @ Development
Vertebrate mesoderm and endoderm formation requires signaling by Nodal-related ligands from the TGFβ superfamily. The factors that initiate Nodal-related gene transcription are unknown in most species and the relative contributions of Nodal-related ligands from embryonic, extraembryonic and maternal sources remain uncertain. In zebrafish, signals from the yolk syncytial layer (YSL), an extraembryonic domain, are required for mesoderm and endoderm induction, and YSL expression of nodal-related 1 (ndr1) and ndr2 accounts for a portion of this activity. A variable requirement of maternally derived Ndr1 for dorsal and anterior axis formation has also been documented. Here we show that Mxtx2 directly activates expression of ndr2 via binding to its first intron and is required for ndr2 expression in the YSL. Mxtx2 is also required for the Nodal signaling-independent expression component of the no tail a (ntla) gene, which is required for posterior (tail) mesoderm formation. Therefore, Mxtx2 defines a new pathway upstream of Nodal signaling and posterior mesoderm formation. We further show that the co-disruption of extraembryonic Ndr2, extraembryonic Ndr1 and maternal Ndr1 eliminates endoderm and anterior (head and trunk) mesoderm, recapitulating the loss of Nodal signaling phenotype. Therefore, non-embryonic sources of Nodal-related ligands account for the complete spectrum of early Nodal signaling requirements. In summary, the induction of mesoderm and endoderm depends upon the combined actions of Mxtx2 and Nodal-related ligands from non-embryonic sources.
Genes / Markers
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Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes