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Xenopus chordin: a novel dorsalizing factor activated by organizer-specific homeobox genes.

A Xenopus gene whose expression can be activated by the organizer-specific homeobox genes goosecoid and Xnot2 was isolated by differential screening. The chordin gene encodes a novel protein of 941 amino acids that has a signal sequence and four Cys-rich domains. The expression of chordin starts in Spemann's organizer subsequent to that of goosecoid, and its induction by activin requires de novo protein synthesis. Microinjection of chordin mRNA induces twinned axes and can completely rescue axial development in ventralized embryos. This molecule is a potent dorsalizing factor that is expressed at the right time and in the right place to regulate cell-cell interactions in the organizing centers of head, trunk, and tail development.

Pubmed ID: 8001117


  • Sasai Y
  • Lu B
  • Steinbeisser H
  • Geissert D
  • Gont LK
  • De Robertis EM



Publication Data

December 2, 1994

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: HD21502-09
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: R37 HD021502
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: R37 HD021502-13

Mesh Terms

  • Activins
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cell Differentiation
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Glycoproteins
  • Goosecoid Protein
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Inhibins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Mesoderm
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Notochord
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Xenopus
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Zygote