A truncated activin receptor inhibits mesoderm induction and formation of axial structures in Xenopus embryos

Nature. 1992 Oct 15;359(6396):609-14. doi: 10.1038/359609a0.


Activins can induce mesoderm in embryonic explants and have been proposed as the natural inducer in Xenopus. A mutant activin receptor that inhibits activin signalling is used to show that activin is required for the induction of mesoderm in vivo and the patterning of the embryonic body plan. Blocking the activin signal transduction pathway also reveals autonomous induction of a neural marker and unmasks a relationship between activin and fibroblast growth factor.

MeSH terms

  • Activin Receptors
  • Activins
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Gene Expression
  • Growth Substances / physiology*
  • Inhibins / physiology*
  • Mesoderm / physiology*
  • Mutagenesis
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Signal Transduction
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology*


  • Growth Substances
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Activins
  • Inhibins
  • Activin Receptors