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Curr Opin Genet Dev 2013 Aug 01;234:445-53. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2013.04.010.
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Nodal: master and commander of the dorsal-ventral and left-right axes in the sea urchin embryo.

Molina MD , de Crozé N , Haillot E , Lepage T .

Recent studies suggest that specification of the dorsal-ventral and left-right axes of the sea urchin embryo relies on Nodal-expressing signalling centres located in the ventral ectoderm and in the archenteron that share striking similarities with vertebrate organising centres. Nodal and its downstream target BMP2/4 pattern all three germ layers along the dorsal-ventral axis, repress neural fates and control morphogenesis of the larva. Moreover, Nodal establishes left-right asymmetry by repressing formation of the adult rudiment and inhibiting germline cells differentiation on the right side, while BMP2/4 promotes expression of mesodermal genes on the left side. These findings provide a framework for future studies and raise new questions regarding the events upstream and downstream of Nodal and BMP signalling during axis formation.

PubMed ID: 23769944
Article link: Curr Opin Genet Dev

Genes referenced: bmp2 LOC100887844 nodall