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Dev Biol 1994 Nov 01;1661:149-58. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1994.1303.
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The univin gene encodes a member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily with restricted expression in the sea urchin embryo.

Stenzel P , Angerer LM , Smith BJ , Angerer RC , Vale WW .

We have identified a gene in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus that encodes a member of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) gene superfamily. We have named the gene univin, and it is the first member of this superfamily to be reported in echinoderms. The cDNA sequence predicts a 383-amino-acid residue protein with 7 cysteine residues characteristic of members of this superfamily and with a cluster of basic residues appropriately situated to signal proteolytic cleavage. Sequence comparisons place univin in the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) group of the TGF-beta superfamily along with the vertebrate BMPs, decapentaplegic protein from Drosophila, and Vg-1 from Xenopus. Analyses of univin expression in early embryos by RNA blots and in situ hybridization revealed the highest levels of expression in the egg and prehatching blastula. During late cleavage stages, univin mRNA accumulation is progressively restricted to a circumequatorial band. Expression is further restricted during gastrulation when univin transcripts are detected primarily in the presumptive foregut and ciliated band. By pluteus stage, signals are detectable only in these cell types. The restricted temporal and spatial patterns of expression of univin during early blastula stages parallel those of SpAN, which encodes an astacin-like protease related to tolloid and BMP-1 (Reynolds et al., 1992). The fact that these proteases are thought to function in the proteolytic activation of TGF-beta-related proteins that, respectively, regulate Drosophila embryonic dorsal-ventral patterning and vertebrate bone development suggests that SpAN and univin could also have critical roles in early developmental decisions in the sea urchin embryo.

PubMed ID: 7958442
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: bmp1l LOC100887844 LOC100889251 LOC105439407 LOC115919910 LOC588471 LOC752081 LOC756768 span univin