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Gene Review

nodal2  -  nodal homolog 2

Xenopus laevis

Synonyms: Xnr2, nodal2-a, nr2
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High impact information on LOC397835

  • Inhibition of activin function using antisense morpholino oligonucleotides interferes with mesoderm formation in a concentration-dependent manner and also changes the expression levels of other inducing agents such as Xnr2 and Derrière [1].
  • We also find that the TGF beta s, Xnr1, Xnr2, Xnr4 and derrière rescue expression of these genes, supporting the idea that cell interactions are critical for proper endoderm formation [2].
  • During blastula stages Xnr1, Xnr2 and Xnr4 are expressed in a dorsal to ventral gradient in endodermal cells [3].
  • We find that Xnr1, Xnr2, Xnr4 and derrière mRNA all rescue mesoderm formation, as well as the formation of blastopores and the wild-type body axis [4].
  • Reciprocally, Xnr2 induced dorsoanterior endodermal markers, such as cerberus, Xhex-1 and Frzb, in animal cap ectoderm [5].

Biological context of LOC397835

  • Here, two Xenopus nodal-related genes (Xnr-1 and Xnr-2) are identified and shown to be expressed transiently during embryogenesis, first within the vegetal region of late blastulae and later in the marginal zone during gastrulation, with enrichment in the dorsal lip [6].
  • This effect on laterality was specific to Xnr-1, since neither Xnr-2 nor Xnr-3 plasmids had this activity [7].

Anatomical context of LOC397835

  • We show that inhibition of MAPK activation in Xenopus animal caps results in the conversion of Xnr2 from a dorsal mesoderm inducer to a ventral mesoderm inducer, supporting a role for Xnr2 in induction of ventral mesoderm [8].

Associations of LOC397835 with chemical compounds

  • Mutations introduced to the conserved cysteine residues characteristic of the TGFbeta family were found to inactivate Xnr2, but not Xnr3 [9].

Other interactions of LOC397835

  • However, in both cases (Xatv/Xlefty-deficiency alone, or combined with Xbra interference), Xnr2 expression was constrained to the superficial cell layer, suggesting a fundamental tissue-specific competence in the ability to express Xnrs, an observation with direct implications regarding the induction of endodermal vs. mesodermal fates [10].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of LOC397835


  1. Activin redux: specification of mesodermal pattern in Xenopus by graded concentrations of endogenous activin B. Piepenburg, O., Grimmer, D., Williams, P.H., Smith, J.C. Development (2004) [Pubmed]
  2. Maternal VegT is the initiator of a molecular network specifying endoderm in Xenopus laevis. Xanthos, J.B., Kofron, M., Wylie, C., Heasman, J. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. Endodermal Nodal-related signals and mesoderm induction in Xenopus. Agius, E., Oelgeschläger, M., Wessely, O., Kemp, C., De Robertis, E.M. Development (2000) [Pubmed]
  4. Mesoderm induction in Xenopus is a zygotic event regulated by maternal VegT via TGFbeta growth factors. Kofron, M., Demel, T., Xanthos, J., Lohr, J., Sun, B., Sive, H., Osada, S., Wright, C., Wylie, C., Heasman, J. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. Xenopus nodal-related signaling is essential for mesendodermal patterning during early embryogenesis. Osada, S.I., Wright, C.V. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Nodal-related signals induce axial mesoderm and dorsalize mesoderm during gastrulation. Jones, C.M., Kuehn, M.R., Hogan, B.L., Smith, J.C., Wright, C.V. Development (1995) [Pubmed]
  7. Functional differences among Xenopus nodal-related genes in left-right axis determination. Sampath, K., Cheng, A.M., Frisch, A., Wright, C.V. Development (1997) [Pubmed]
  8. Boundaries and functional domains in the animal/vegetal axis of Xenopus gastrula mesoderm. Kumano, G., Ezal, C., Smith, W.C. Dev. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  9. Direct neural induction and selective inhibition of mesoderm and epidermis inducers by Xnr3. Hansen, C.S., Marion, C.D., Steele, K., George, S., Smith, W.C. Development (1997) [Pubmed]
  10. Cooperative non-cell and cell autonomous regulation of Nodal gene expression and signaling by Lefty/Antivin and Brachyury in Xenopus. Cha, Y.R., Takahashi, S., Wright, C.V. Dev. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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