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Gene Review

nodal  -  nodal growth differentiation factor

Xenopus laevis

Synonyms: nodal4, nodal4-A, nr4, xnr4
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High impact information on Xnr4

  • We show that loss of maternal Zic2 results in persistent and increased expression of Xenopus nodal-related (Xnr) genes, except for Xnr4, and overall increased Nodal signaling [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].
  • Ectopic expression of Xnr4 can induce and dorsalize mesoderm [5].

Anatomical context of Xnr4


  1. Maternal Xenopus Zic2 negatively regulates Nodal-related gene expression during anteroposterior patterning. Houston, D.W., Wylie, C. Development (2005) [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. Xnr4: a Xenopus nodal-related gene expressed in the Spemann organizer. Joseph, E.M., Melton, D.A. Dev. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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