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Dev Biol 2001 Dec 01;2401:108-22. doi: 10.1006/dbio.2001.0459.
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Mechanisms of mesendoderm internalization in the Xenopus gastrula: lessons from the ventral side.

Ibrahim H , Winklbauer R .

Two main processes are involved in driving ventral mesendoderm internalization in the Xenopus gastrula. First, vegetal rotation, an active movement of the vegetal cell mass, initiates gastrulation by rolling the peripheral blastocoel floor against the blastocoel roof. In this way, the leading edge of the internalized mesendoderm is established, that remains separated from the blastocoel roof by Brachet''s cleft. Second, in a process of active involution, blastopore lip cells translocate on arc-like trails around the tip of Brachet''s cleft. Hereby the lower, Xbra-negative part of the lip moves toward the interior, to contribute mainly to endoderm. In contrast, the upper, Xbra-expressing part moves toward the blastocoel roof-apposed surface of the involuted mesoderm, and eventually becomes inserted into this surface. Vegetal rotation and active mesoderm surface insertion persist over much of gastrulation ventrally. Both processes are also active dorsally. In fact, internalization processes generally spread from dorsal to ventral, though at different rates, which suggests that they are independently controlled. Ventrally and laterally, mesoderm occurs not only in the marginal zone, but also in the adjacent blastocoel roof. Such blastocoel roof mesoderm shares properties with the remaining, ectodermal roof, that are related to its function as substratum for mesendoderm migration. It repels involuted mesoderm, thus contributing to separation of cell layers, and it assembles a fibronectin matrix. These properties change as the blastocoel roof mesoderm moves into the blastopore lip during gastrulation.

PubMed ID: 11784050
Article link: Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: bcr fn1 pim1 tbxt

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