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Cell April 22, 1994; 77 (2): 273-81.
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Inhibition of activin receptor signaling promotes neuralization in Xenopus.

Expression of a truncated activin type II receptor, which blocks signaling by activin, neuralizes explants of embryonic cells that would otherwise become epidermal cells. This neuralization is direct and does not require the presence of mesoderm. The induced neural tissue expresses general molecular markers of the central nervous system as well as an array of neural markers along the anteroposterior axis. In the context of the whole embryo, expression of this truncated activin receptor diverts prospective ectoderm and endoderm to a neural fate. We propose that inhibition of the activin type II receptor signaling causes the cells of Xenopus embryos to adopt a neural fate. These results, along with previous experiments performed in Drosophila, suggest that the formation of the nervous system in vertebrates and invertebrates occurs by a common strategy.

PubMed ID: 8168134
Article link: Cell

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: acta4 actc1 ag1 egr2 en2 fn1 hoxa9 hoxb9 mtor ncam1 tbx2
Antibodies: Nervous Ab2 Neuronal Ab8

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