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PLoS One 2012 Jan 01;710:e46630. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046630.
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mNanog possesses dorsal mesoderm-inducing ability by modulating both BMP and Activin/nodal signaling in Xenopus ectodermal cells.

Miyazaki A , Ishii K , Yamashita S , Nejigane S , Matsukawa S , Ito Y , Onuma Y , Asashima M , Michiue T .

BACKGROUND: In Xenopus early embryogenesis, various genes are involved with mesoderm formation. In particular, dorsal mesoderm contains the organizer region and induces neural tissues through the inhibition of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling. In our initial study to identify novel genes necessary for maintaining the undifferentiated state, we unexpectedly revealed mesoderm-inducing activity for mNanog in Xenopus. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The present series of experiments investigated the effect of mNanog gene expression on Xenopus embryo. Ectopic expression of mNanog induced dorsal mesoderm gene activity, secondary axis formation, and weakly upregulated Activin/nodal signaling. The injection of mNanog also effectively inhibited the target genes of BMP signaling, while Xvent2 injection downregulated the dorsal mesoderm gene expression induced by mNanog injection. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggested that mNanog expression induces dorsal mesoderm by regulating both Activin/nodal signaling and BMP signaling in Xenopus. This finding highlights the possibly novel function for mNanog in stimulating the endogenous gene network in Xenopus mesoderm formation.

PubMed ID: 23071603
PMC ID: PMC3469649
Article link: PLoS One

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: acss2.2 acvr1b bmp4 cer1 chrd gal.2 gsc inhba lhx1 mixer nodal nodal1 nodal2 nodal3.1 nodal3.2 nodal5.2 nodal5.4 nodal6 odc1 sia1 smad2 sox17a tbxt ventx2.2 wnt8a

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References [+] :
Asashima, The vegetalizing factor belongs to a family of mesoderm-inducing proteins related to erythroid differentiation factor. 1990, Pubmed, Xenbase