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XB-ART-4151
Development February 1, 2004; 131 (3): 571-80.

Morphogenesis during Xenopus gastrulation requires Wee1-mediated inhibition of cell proliferation.

Murakami MS , Moody SA , Daar IO , Morrison DK .


Abstract
Major developmental events in early Xenopus embryogenesis coincide with changes in the length and composition of the cell cycle. These changes are mediated in part through the regulation of CyclinB/Cdc2 and they occur at the first mitotic cell cycle, the mid-blastula transition (MBT) and at gastrulation. In this report, we investigate the contribution of maternal Wee1, a kinase inhibitor of CyclinB/Cdc2, to these crucial developmental transitions. By depleting Wee1 protein levels using antisense morpholino oligonucleotides, we show that Wee1 regulates M-phase entry and Cdc2 tyrosine phosphorylation in early gastrula embryos. Moreover, we find that Wee1 is required for key morphogenetic movements involved in gastrulation, but is not needed for the induction of zygotic transcription. In addition, Wee1 is positively regulated by tyrosine autophosphorylation in early gastrula embryos and this upregulation of Wee1 activity is required for normal gastrulation. We also show that overexpression of Cdc25C, a phosphatase that activates the CyclinB/Cdc2 complex, induces gastrulation defects that can be rescued by Wee1, providing additional evidence that cell cycle inhibition is crucial for the gastrulation process. Together, these findings further elucidate the developmental function of Wee1 and demonstrate the importance of cell cycle regulation in vertebrate morphogenesis.

PubMed ID: 14711880
Article link: Development
Grant support: [+]
Genes referenced: cdc25c cdk1 chrd.1 gal.2 gsc tbxt wee1 wee2
Morpholinos: wee1 MO3 wee2 MO1


Article Images: [+] show captions


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