BMP antagonism is required in both the node and lateral plate mesoderm for mammalian left-right axis establishment.
In mouse, left-right (L-R) patterning depends on asymmetric expression of Nodal around the node, leading to Nodal expression specifically in the left lateral plate mesoderm (LPM). Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling is also involved, but the mechanistic relationship with Nodal expression remains unclear. We find that BMP signal transduction is higher in the right LPM, although Bmp4, which is required for L-R patterning, is expressed symmetrically. By contrast, the BMP antagonists noggin (Nog) and chordin (Chrd) are expressed at higher levels in the left LPM. In Chrd;Nog double mutants, BMP signaling is elevated on both sides, whereas Nodal expression is absent. Ectopic expression of Nog in the left LPM of double mutants restores Nodal expression. Ectopic Bmp4 expression in the left LPM of wild-type embryos represses Nodal transcription, whereas ectopic Nog in the right LPM leads to inappropriate Nodal expression. These data indicate that chordin and noggin function to limit BMP signaling in the left LPM, thereby derepressing Nodal expression. In the node, they promote peripheral Nodal expression and proper node morphology, potentially in concert with Notch signaling. These results indicate that BMP antagonism is required in both the node and LPM to facilitate L-R axis establishment in the mammalian embryo.
Mine, N; Anderson, RM; Klingensmith, J
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