Two TGFβ-related proteins, Nodal and Lefty, are asymmetrically expressed and play central roles in establishing left-right (L-R) asymmetry of our body. Nodal acts as a left-side determinant whereas Lefty restricts Nodal activity to the left side by acting as a feedback inhibitor of Nodal. While the mechanism for symmetry breaking is variable among animals, the pair of Nodal and Lefty has a conserved role in the L-R asymmetry pathway. Function and regulation of Nodal and Lefty have been revealed in the last decades, but in this review we summarize the role of TGFβ-related proteins together with more recent findings. We mainly discuss observations made with mouse embryos, unless indicated otherwise.
Keywords: Lefty; Left–right asymmetry; Nodal; Node.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.