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Development January 1, 2019; 146 (9):

A dual function of FGF signaling in Xenopus left-right axis formation.

Schneider I , Kreis J , Schweickert A , Blum M , Vick P .

Organ left-right (LR) asymmetry is a conserved vertebrate feature, which is regulated by left-sided activation of Nodal signaling. Nodal asymmetry is established by a leftward fluid-flow generated at the ciliated LR organizer (LRO). Although the role of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling pathways during mesoderm development is conserved, diverging results from different model organisms suggest a non-conserved function in LR asymmetry. Here, we demonstrate that FGF is required during gastrulation in a dual function at consecutive stages of Xenopus embryonic development. In the early gastrula, FGF is necessary for LRO precursor induction, acting in parallel with FGF-mediated mesoderm induction. During late gastrulation, the FGF/Ca2+-branch is required for specification of the flow-sensing lateral LRO cells, a function related to FGF-mediated mesoderm morphogenesis. This second function in addition requires input from the calcium channel Polycystin-2. Thus, analogous to mesoderm development, FGF activity is required in a dual role for laterality specification; namely, for generating and sensing leftward flow. Moreover, our findings in Xenopus demonstrate that FGF functions in LR development share more conserved features across vertebrate species than previously anticipated.

PubMed ID: 31036544
Article link: Development

Genes referenced: a2ml1 dand5 dnah9 fgf8 fgfr1 foxj1 foxj1.2 myf5 myod1 nodal nodal1 nodal3.1 pitx2 pkd2 rho shh spry1 tbxt tekt2 wnt11b
GO keywords: nodal signaling pathway involved in determination of left/right asymmetry [+]

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