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Mol Cell April 1, 1998; 1 (5): 673-83.
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The Xenopus dorsalizing factor Gremlin identifies a novel family of secreted proteins that antagonize BMP activities.

Hsu DR , Economides AN , Wang X , Eimon PM , Harland RM .

Using a Xenopus expression-cloning screen, we have isolated Gremlin, a novel antagonist of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling that is expressed in the neural crest. Gremlin belongs to a novel gene family that includes the head-inducing factor Cerberus and the tumor suppressor DAN. We show that all family members are secreted proteins and that they act as BMP antagonists in embryonic explants. We also provide support for the model that Gremlin, Cerberus, and DAN block BMP signaling by binding BMPs, preventing them from interacting with their receptors. In addition, Cerberus alone blocks signaling by Activin- and Nodal-like members of the TGF beta superfamily. Therefore, we propose that Gremlin, Cerberus, and DAN control diverse processes in growth and development by selectively antagonizing the activities of different subsets of the TGF beta ligands.

PubMed ID: 9660951
Article link: Mol Cell

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: acta4 actc1 actl6a bmp2 bmpr1a cer1 grem1 myc nbl1 ncam1 nodal nodal1 nodal2 nog smad2 tbxt

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