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EMBO J July 1, 2003; 22 (13): 3303-13.

A role for maternal beta-catenin in early mesoderm induction in Xenopus.

Mesoderm formation results from an inducing process that requires maternal and zygotic FGF/MAPK and TGFbeta activities, while maternal activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway determines the anterior-dorsal axis. Here, we show a new role of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in mesoderm induction. We find that maternal beta-catenin signaling is not only active dorsally but also all around the equatorial region, coinciding with the prospective mesoderm. Maternal beta-catenin function is required both for expression of dorsal genes and for activation of MAPK and the mesodermal markers Xbra and eomesodermin. beta-catenin acts in a non- cell-autonomous manner upstream of zygotic FGF and nodal signals. The Wnt/beta-catenin activity in the equatorial region of the early embryo is the first example of a maternally provided mesoderm inducer restricted to the prospective mesoderm.

PubMed ID: 12839992
PMC ID: PMC165652
Article link: EMBO J

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ctnnb1 eomes mapk1 nodal tbxt tgfb1
Morpholinos: ctnnb1 MO1

References [+] :
Agius, Endodermal Nodal-related signals and mesoderm induction in Xenopus. 2000, Pubmed, Xenbase