Studies with a Xenopus BMP receptor suggest that ventral mesoderm-inducing signals override dorsal signals in vivo

Cell. 1994 Oct 7;79(1):169-79. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(94)90409-x.


We report the isolation of a Xenopus BMP receptor that is expressed maternally in the appropriate location to play a role in mesoderm induction. This receptor binds both BMP-2 and BMP-4 with high affinity. A truncated form of this BMP receptor specifically blocks BMP-4 signaling. Expression of this truncated BMP receptor during embryogenesis converts ventral mesoderm to dorsal mesoderm. Contrary to the popularly held view that ventral is the ground state for all mesoderm, our results suggest that formation of ventral mesoderm requires an active signal and that, in the absence of this ventral signal, dorsal mesoderm is formed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Activins
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Growth Substances / genetics
  • Inhibins / genetics
  • Mesoderm / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, Growth Factor*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Xenopus / embryology*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Growth Substances
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Activins
  • Inhibins
  • RNA
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U16654