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Gene Review

nodal1  -  nodal homolog 1

Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis

Synonyms: Xnr-1, nodal, nodal3.1, nr1, nr1-a, ...
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High impact information on nodal1

  • At mid-blastula two signaling centers are present on the dorsal side: The prospective neuroectoderm expresses bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonists, and the future dorsal endoderm secretes Nodal-related mesoderm-inducing factors [1].
  • Here we show that the cerberus protein functions as a multivalent growth-factor antagonist in the extracellular space: it binds to Nodal, BMP and Wnt proteins via independent sites [2].
  • We also demonstrate that Fgf signaling relays mesoderm induction activity of Nodal signaling and Spr2 is involved in this signal relay process [3].
  • Activin/Nodal signaling is essential for germ-layer formation and axial patterning during embryogenesis [4].
  • We report that FoxD3 function in the Xenopus gastrula is essential for dorsal mesodermal development and for Nodal expression in the Spemann organizer [5].

Biological context of nodal1

  • Taken together, these results provide evidence for a complex genetic network in which bon functions both downstream of, and possibly in parallel to, Nodal signaling to regulate neural patterning via the modulation of mesendodermal gene expression [6].
  • We find that prechordal plate and notochord are strongly reduced in maternal-zygotic sur mutants, whereas other mesendodermal structures are present - a less severe phenotype than that caused by complete loss of Nodal signaling [7].
  • Loss-of-function studies using morpholino antisense oligonucleotides demonstrate that the Frd proteins regulate Wnt signal transduction in a context-dependent manner and may be involved in Nodal signaling [8].

Anatomical context of nodal1

  • Therefore, FoxD3 is required for Nodal expression in the Spemann organizer and this function is essential for dorsal mesoderm formation [5].
  • Using an oocyte expression system we show direct interaction between the mature Derrière ligand and members of both the Nodal and BMP families [9].
  • In addition, VegT activates Sox17alpha in the presence of cycloheximide or a Nodal antagonist, suggesting that Sox17alpha is an immediate-early target of VegT in vegetal blastomeres [10].
  • The initiation of Xfd-12' expression coincides with the induction of mesendoderm by Nodal-related growth factors at the late blastula stage [11].

Associations of nodal1 with chemical compounds

  • Right-side injection of Nodal protein, or polyethyleneimine-based gene transfer of Xnr-1 mRNA in the right LPM induces Xnr-1 and pitx2 in the same side and fully (more than 90%) reverses situs of the internal organs [12].

Other interactions of nodal1

  • Injection of specific inhibitors of VegT or Nodal resulted in a loss of Sox17alpha expression in the gastrula [10].


  1. Dorsal-ventral patterning and neural induction in Xenopus embryos. De Robertis, E.M., Kuroda, H. Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  2. The head inducer Cerberus is a multifunctional antagonist of Nodal, BMP and Wnt signals. Piccolo, S., Agius, E., Leyns, L., Bhattacharyya, S., Grunz, H., Bouwmeester, T., De Robertis, E.M. Nature (1999) [Pubmed]
  3. An SP1-like transcription factor Spr2 acts downstream of Fgf signaling to mediate mesoderm induction. Zhao, J., Cao, Y., Zhao, C., Postlethwait, J., Meng, A. EMBO J. (2003) [Pubmed]
  4. Negative regulation of Activin/Nodal signaling by SRF during Xenopus gastrulation. Yun, C.H., Choi, S.C., Park, E., Kim, S.J., Chung, A.S., Lee, H.K., Lee, H.J., Han, J.K. Development (2007) [Pubmed]
  5. FoxD3 regulation of Nodal in the Spemann organizer is essential for Xenopus dorsal mesoderm development. Steiner, A.B., Engleka, M.J., Lu, Q., Piwarzyk, E.C., Yaklichkin, S., Lefebvre, J.L., Walters, J.W., Pineda-Salgado, L., Labosky, P.A., Kessler, D.S. Development (2006) [Pubmed]
  6. The Mix family homeodomain gene bonnie and clyde functions with other components of the Nodal signaling pathway to regulate neural patterning in zebrafish. Trinh, L.A., Meyer, D., Stainier, D.Y. Development (2003) [Pubmed]
  7. Fast1 is required for the development of dorsal axial structures in zebrafish. Sirotkin, H.I., Gates, M.A., Kelly, P.D., Schier, A.F., Talbot, W.S. Curr. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  8. Frodo proteins: modulators of Wnt signaling in vertebrate development. Brott, B.K., Sokol, S.Y. Differentiation (2005) [Pubmed]
  9. Effects of heterodimerization and proteolytic processing on Derrière and Nodal activity: implications for mesoderm induction in Xenopus. Eimon, P.M., Harland, R.M. Development (2002) [Pubmed]
  10. VegT activation of Sox17 at the midblastula transition alters the response to nodal signals in the vegetal endoderm domain. Engleka, M.J., Craig, E.J., Kessler, D.S. Dev. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  11. Neuroectodermal specification and regionalization of the Spemann organizer in Xenopus. Fetka, I., Doederlein, G., Bouwmeester, T. Mech. Dev. (2000) [Pubmed]
  12. Xenopus nodal related-1 is indispensable only for left-right axis determination. Toyoizumi, R., Ogasawara, T., Takeuchi, S., Mogi, K. Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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