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XB-ART-40282
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A October 13, 2009; 106 (41): 17437-42.

BMP inhibition initiates neural induction via FGF signaling and Zic genes.

Marchal L , Luxardi G , Thomé V , Kodjabachian L .


Abstract
Neural induction is the process that initiates nervous system development in vertebrates. Two distinct models have been put forward to describe this phenomenon in molecular terms. The default model states that ectoderm cells are fated to become neural in absence of instruction, and do so when bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signals are abolished. A more recent view implicates a conserved role for FGF signaling that collaborates with BMP inhibition to allow neural fate specification. Using the Xenopus embryo, we obtained evidence that may unite the 2 views. We show that a dominant-negative R-Smad, Smad5-somitabun-unlike the other BMP inhibitors used previously-can trigger conversion of Xenopus epidermis into neural tissue in vivo. However, it does so only if FGF activity is uncompromised. We report that this activity may be encoded by FGF4, as its expression is activated upon BMP inhibition, and its knockdown suppresses endogenous, as well as ectopic, neural induction by Smad5-somitabun. Supporting the importance of FGF instructive activity, we report the isolation of 2 immediate early neural targets, zic3 and foxD5a. Conversely, we found that zic1 can be activated by BMP inhibition in the absence of translation. Finally, Zic1 and Zic3 are required together for definitive neural fate acquisition, both in ectopic and endogenous situations. We propose to merge the previous models into a unique one whereby neural induction is controlled by BMP inhibition, which activates directly, and, via FGF instructive activity, early neural regulators such as Zic genes.

PubMed ID: 19805078
PMC ID: PMC2765096
Article link: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Genes referenced: bmp4 fgf2 fgf4 foxd4l1.1 foxd4l1.2 nog odc1 sox2 zic1 zic3
Morpholinos: zic3 MO1 zic3 MO5


Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Chang, Neural induction requires continued suppression of both Smad1 and Smad2 signals during gastrulation. 2007, Pubmed, Xenbase


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