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Nature 2007 Sep 13;4497159:183-8. doi: 10.1038/nature06100.
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MicroRNA control of Nodal signalling.

Martello G , Zacchigna L , Inui M , Montagner M , Adorno M , Mamidi A , Morsut L , Soligo S , Tran U , Dupont S , Cordenonsi M , Wessely O , Piccolo S .

MicroRNAs are crucial modulators of gene expression, yet their involvement as effectors of growth factor signalling is largely unknown. Ligands of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily are essential for development and adult tissue homeostasis. In early Xenopus embryos, signalling by the transforming growth factor-beta ligand Nodal is crucial for the dorsal induction of the Spemann's organizer. Here we report that Xenopus laevis microRNAs miR-15 and miR-16 restrict the size of the organizer by targeting the Nodal type II receptor Acvr2a. Endogenous miR-15 and miR-16 are ventrally enriched as they are negatively regulated by the dorsal Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. These findings exemplify the relevance of microRNAs as regulators of early embryonic patterning acting at the crossroads of fundamental signalling cascades.

PubMed ID: 17728715
Article link: Nature
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: acvr2a nodal nodal1 smc4
Morpholinos: smc4 MO1 smc4 MO2