Ectodermal syndecan-2 Mediates Left-Right Axis Formation in Migrating Mesoderm as a Cell-Nonautonomous Vg1 Cofactor

Dev Cell. 2002 Jan;2(1):115-24. doi: 10.1016/s1534-5807(01)00107-1.


Heparan sulfate proteoglycans expressed on the Xenopus animal cap ectoderm have been implicated in transmitting left-right information to heart and gut primordia. We report here that syndecan-2 functions in the ectoderm to mediate cardiac and visceral situs, upstream of known asymmetrically expressed genes but independently of its ability to mediate fibronectin fibrillogenesis. Left-right development is dependent on a distinct subset of glycosaminoglycan attachment sites on syndecan-2. A novel in vivo approach with enterokinase demonstrates that syndecan-2 functions in left-right patterning during early gastrulation. We describe a cell-nonautonomous role for ectodermal syndecan-2 in transmitting left-right information to migrating mesoderm. The results further suggest that this function may be related to the transduction of Vg1-related signals.

MeSH terms

  • Activin Receptors, Type I / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Digestive System / embryology*
  • Ectoderm / metabolism
  • Gastrula / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Heparitin Sulfate / metabolism
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Proteins*
  • Proteoglycans / genetics
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Situs Inversus / embryology
  • Syndecan-2
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Xenopus
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins


  • GDF1 protein, Xenopus
  • Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Proteins
  • Proteoglycans
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • sdc2 protein, Xenopus
  • sdc2 protein, zebrafish
  • Syndecan-2
  • Heparitin Sulfate
  • Activin Receptors, Type I