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EMBO J November 1, 1999; 18 (21): 6062-72.

The zinc finger gene Xblimp1 controls anterior endomesodermal cell fate in Spemann''s organizer.

de Souza FS , Gawantka V , Gómez AP , Delius H , Ang SL , Niehrs C .

The anterior endomesoderm of the early Xenopus gastrula is a part of Spemann''s organizer and is important for head induction. Here we describe Xblimp1, which encodes a zinc finger transcriptional repressor expressed in the anterior endomesoderm. Xblimp1 represses trunk mesoderm and induces anterior endomesoderm in a cooperative manner with the pan-endodermal gene Mix.1. Furthermore, Xblimp1 can cooperate with the BMP inhibitor chordin to induce ectopic heads, while a dominant-negative Xblimp1 inhibits head formation. The head inducer cerberus is positively regulated by Xblimp1 and is able to rescue microcephalic embryos caused by dominant-negative Xblimp1. Our results indicate that Xblimp1 is required for anterior endomesodermal cell fate and head induction.

PubMed ID: 10545117
PMC ID: PMC1171671
Article link: EMBO J

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: cer1 chrd.1 mix1 prdm1