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Gene Review

neurl1  -  neuralized E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 1

Xenopus laevis

Synonyms: Xneur, neurl, neurl-A
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High impact information on neurl-A

  • We show that the anterior dorsal mesendoderm of the organizer region has a weak neural inducing activity compared with the presumptive anterior notochord, but is able to pattern either neuralized stage 10.5 dorsal ectoderm or animal caps injected with BMP inhibitors to a dorsal telencephalic fate [1].
  • In order to address this issue and to identify downstream targets after BMP inhibition, we have monitored the transcriptional changes in ectodermal explants neuralized by Smad7 using a Xenopus laevis 5000-clone gastrula-stage cDNA microarray [2].
  • Furthermore, we show that FGF action is both necessary and sufficient for ventral forebrain marker expression in neuralized animal caps, and possibly also required for dorsal telencephalic specification [1].
  • In neuralized animal cap explants, XMeis3-antimorph protein modified caudalization by basic fibroblast growth factor and Wnt3a [3].
  • Blocking the endogenous FGF signal with a dominant negative FGF receptor (XFD) mainly inhibited development of posterior neural tissue in neuralized ACs [4].

Biological context of neurl-A


Anatomical context of neurl-A

  • Chick posterior non-axial mesoderm also induces Pax-3, provided that the animal caps are neuralized by treatment with noggin [7].
  • We find that early gastrula ectoderm has little lens-forming competence, but instead forms neural tissue, despite its location outside the neural plate; we believe that the transplants are being neuralized by a signal originating in the host neural plate [8].
  • In addition, Wnt signaling induces neural crest when its posteriorizing activity is blocked by inhibition of FGF signaling in neuralized explants [9].

Associations of neurl-A with chemical compounds

  • Finally we show that the putative posteriorizing factors, retinoic acid and bFGF, induce Pax-3 in neuralized animal caps [7].
  • First, animal caps neuralized by noggin undergo primary neurogenesis in response to retinoid signalling and second primary neurogenesis is elevated in neural conjugates in which the ectodermal, but not the mesodermal, component has been co-injected with RAR/RXR mRNA [10].

Regulatory relationships of neurl-A

  • The animal cap assay revealed that X-Serrate-1 suppresses primary neurogenesis in neuralized animal cap, but X-Delta-1 does not [11].
  • In contrast to t-R4, platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)-dependent FGFR-1 activation in neuralized ectodermal cells expressing a chimeric PDGFR-FGFR-1 receptor results in the expression of Krox20 and Hoxb9 [5].

Other interactions of neurl-A

  • Furthermore, in animal caps neuralized by expression of noggin, co-expression of Noelin-1 causes expression of neuronal differentiation markers several stages before neurogenesis normally occurs in this tissue [12].
  • Supporting this finding, the inhibition of CEMs by Crescent in mesodermalized but not neuralized animal caps is reversed by the dominant-negative form of Cdc42, a putative mediator of Wnt/Ca2+ pathway [13].
  • In neuralized ectoderm, Msx1 is sufficient to induce multiple early neural crest genes [14].
  • We provide evidence that FGFR-1 and FGFR-4 signals elicit distinct responses both in naive and neuralized ectodermal cells [5].
  • Ectopic expression of XAP-2 can restore transcription of epidermal genes in neuralized ectoderm, both in ectodermal explants and in the intact embryo [15].


  1. Induction and patterning of the telencephalon in Xenopus laevis. Lupo, G., Harris, W.A., Barsacchi, G., Vignali, R. Development (2002) [Pubmed]
  2. Gene profiling during neural induction in Xenopus laevis: regulation of BMP signaling by post-transcriptional mechanisms and TAB3, a novel TAK1-binding protein. Muñoz-Sanjuán, I., Bell, E., Altmann, C.R., Vonica, A., Brivanlou, A.H. Development (2002) [Pubmed]
  3. XMeis3 protein activity is required for proper hindbrain patterning in Xenopus laevis embryos. Dibner, C., Elias, S., Frank, D. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. Studies on the role of fibroblast growth factor signaling in neurogenesis using conjugated/aged animal caps and dorsal ectoderm-grafted embryos. Xu, R.H., Kim, J., Taira, M., Sredni, D., Kung, H. J. Neurosci. (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. Signaling specificities of fibroblast growth factor receptors in early Xenopus embryo. Umbhauer, M., Penzo-Méndez, A., Clavilier, L., Boucaut, J., Riou, J. J. Cell. Sci. (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. Developmental neurobiology of the anterior areas in amphibians: urodele perspectives. Eagleson, G.W. Int. J. Dev. Biol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  7. Expression of Pax-3 is initiated in the early neural plate by posteriorizing signals produced by the organizer and by posterior non-axial mesoderm. Bang, A.G., Papalopulu, N., Kintner, C., Goulding, M.D. Development (1997) [Pubmed]
  8. Changes in neural and lens competence in Xenopus ectoderm: evidence for an autonomous developmental timer. Servetnick, M., Grainger, R.M. Development (1991) [Pubmed]
  9. Neural crest induction by the canonical Wnt pathway can be dissociated from anterior-posterior neural patterning in Xenopus. Wu, J., Yang, J., Klein, P.S. Dev. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  10. The control of Xenopus embryonic primary neurogenesis is mediated by retinoid signalling in the neurectoderm. Sharpe, C., Goldstone, K. Mech. Dev. (2000) [Pubmed]
  11. The intracellular domain of X-Serrate-1 is cleaved and suppresses primary neurogenesis in Xenopus laevis. Kiyota, T., Kinoshita, T. Mech. Dev. (2004) [Pubmed]
  12. The secreted glycoprotein Noelin-1 promotes neurogenesis in Xenopus. Moreno, T.A., Bronner-Fraser, M. Dev. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  13. Role of crescent in convergent extension movements by modulating Wnt signaling in early Xenopus embryogenesis. Shibata, M., Itoh, M., Hikasa, H., Taira, S., Taira, M. Mech. Dev. (2005) [Pubmed]
  14. Msx1 and Pax3 cooperate to mediate FGF8 and WNT signals during Xenopus neural crest induction. Monsoro-Burq, A.H., Wang, E., Harland, R. Dev. Cell (2005) [Pubmed]
  15. Transcription factor AP-2 is an essential and direct regulator of epidermal development in Xenopus. Luo, T., Matsuo-Takasaki, M., Thomas, M.L., Weeks, D.L., Sargent, T.D. Dev. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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