Molecular interactions continuously define the organizer during the cell movements of gastrulation

Cell. 1999 Sep 3;98(5):559-71. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80044-6.


The organizer is a unique region in the gastrulating embryo that induces and patterns the body axis. It arises before gastrulation under the influence of the Nieuwkoop center. We show that during gastrulation, cell movements bring cells into and out of the chick organizer, Hensen's node. During these movements, cells acquire and lose organizer properties according to their position. A "node inducing center," which emits Vg1 and Wnt8C, is located in the middle of the primitive streak. Its activity is inhibited by ADMP produced by the node and by BMPs at the periphery. These interactions define the organizer as a position in the embryo, whose cellular makeup is constantly changing, and explain the phenomenon of organizer regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Movement
  • Chick Embryo
  • Endoderm / metabolism
  • Feedback / physiology
  • Gastrula / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Time Factors
  • Transfection
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Glycoproteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • chordin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF082178