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XB-ART-39604
Dev Cell. April 1, 2009; 16 (4): 517-27.

The miR-430/427/302 family controls mesendodermal fate specification via species-specific target selection.

Rosa A , Spagnoli FM , Brivanlou AH .


Abstract
The role of microRNAs in embryonic cell fate specification is largely unknown. In vertebrates, the miR-430/427/302 family shows a unique expression signature and is exclusively expressed during early embryogenesis. Here, we comparatively address the embryonic function of miR-302 in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and its ortholog miR-427 in Xenopus laevis. Interestingly, we found that this miRNA family displays species-specific target selection among ligands of the Nodal pathway, with a striking conservation of the inhibitors, Lefties, but differential targeting of the activators, Nodals. The Nodal pathway plays a crucial role in germ layer specification. Accordingly, by gain and loss of function experiments in hESCs, we show that miR-302 promotes the mesendodermal lineage at the expense of neuroectoderm formation. Similarly, depletion of miR-427 in Xenopus embryos hinders the organizer formation and leads to severe dorsal mesodermal patterning defects. These findings suggest a crucial role for the miR-430/427/302 family in vertebrate embryogenesis by controlling germ layer specification.

PubMed ID: 19386261
Article link: Dev Cell.

Genes referenced: chdh chrd.1 gsc lefty nodal nodal1 odc1 t

Morpholinos referenced: lefty MO5

References:
Ketting, 2009, Pubmed, Xenbase


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