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Development 2018 Jan 22;1452:. doi: 10.1242/dev.155663.
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Nodal induces sequential restriction of germ cell factors during primordial germ cell specification.

Fresques TM , Wessel GM .

Specification of the germ cell lineage is required for sexual reproduction in animals. The mechanism of germ cell specification varies among animals but roughly clusters into either inherited or inductive mechanisms. The inductive mechanism, the use of cell-cell interactions for germ cell specification, appears to be the ancestral mechanism in animal phylogeny, yet the pathways responsible for this process are only recently surfacing. Here, we show that germ cell factors in the sea star initially are present broadly, then become restricted dorsally and then in the left side of the embryo where the germ cells form a posterior enterocoel. We find that Nodal signaling is required for the restriction of two germ cell factors, Nanos and Vasa, during the early development of this animal. We learned that Nodal inhibits germ cell factor accumulation in three ways including: inhibition of specific transcription, degradation of specific mRNAs and inhibition of tissue morphogenesis. These results document a signaling mechanism required for the sequential restriction of germ cell factors, which causes a specific set of embryonic cells to become the primordial germ cells.

PubMed ID: 29358213
PMC ID: PMC5825842
Article link: Development
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: ddx4 lefty1 LOC100887844 LOC115919910 LOC583082 nodall
Morpholinos: nodall MO6

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Aramaki, A mesodermal factor, T, specifies mouse germ cell fate by directly activating germline determinants. 2014, Pubmed