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Dev Biol 1999 Feb 01;2061:63-72. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1998.9127.
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Regulation of BMP signaling by the BMP1/TLD-related metalloprotease, SpAN.

Wardle FC , Angerer LM , Angerer RC , Dale L .

We have used the Xenopus embryo as a test system for analyzing the activity of SpAN, a sea urchin metalloprotease in the astacin family containing BMP1 and tolloid. Embryos expressing SpAN initiated gastrulation on a time scale indistinguishable from controls, but invagination of the vegetal pole was subsequently delayed by several hours. At tailbud stages the most severely affected embryos were completely ventralized, lacking all dorsal structures. Molecular analysis of injected embryos, using probes for both dorsal (xgsc and xnot) and ventral (xhox3 and xwnt8) mesoderm, indicates that SpAN ventralizes dorsal mesoderm during gastrula stages. These results mirror those previously obtained with BMP4, suggesting that SpAN may enhance the activity of this ventralizing factor. Consistent with this suggestion, we have shown that SpAN blocks the dorsalizing activity of noggin and chordin, two inhibitory binding proteins for BMP4, but not that of a dominant-negative receptor for BMP4. In contrast, a dominant-negative SpAN, in which the metalloprotease domain has been deleted, dorsalizes ventral mesoderm, a phenotype that can be rescued by coexpressing either SpAN or XBMP1. This suggests that SpAN is mimicking a Xenopus metalloprotease responsible for regulating the activity of Xenopus BMPs during gastrulation. Moreover, our results raise the possibility that SpAN may function to facilitate BMP signaling in early sea urchin embryos.

PubMed ID: 9918695
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: bmp1l chrd LOC100887844 LOC105439407 LOC115929777 pole span