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Int J Dev Biol January 1, 2009; 53 (8-10): 1399-407.

Generating asymmetries in the early vertebrate embryo: the role of the Cerberus-like family.

Belo JA , Silva AC , Borges AC , Filipe M , Bento M , Gonçalves L , Vitorino M , Salgueiro AM , Texeira V , Tavares AT , Marques S .

One fundamental aspect of vertebrate embryonic development is the formation of the body plan. For this process, asymmetries have to be generated during early stages of development along the three main body axes: Anterior-Posterior, Dorso-Ventral and Left-Right. We have been studying the role of a novel class of molecules, the Cerberus/Dan gene family. These are dedicated secreted antagonists of three major signaling pathways: Nodal, BMP and Wnt. Our studies contribute to the current view that the fine tuning of signaling is controlled by a set of inhibitory molecules rather than by activators. In this context, the Cerberus-like molecules emerge as key players in the regulation and generation of asymmetries in the early vertebrate embryo.

PubMed ID: 19247954
Article link: Int J Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: cer1 nodal