A dominant negative bone morphogenetic protein 4 receptor causes neuralization in Xenopus ectoderm

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 Jul 6;212(1):212-9. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1995.1958.


Injection of DN-BR mRNA encoding a dominant negative type I receptor for bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) converted prospective ectoderm into neural tissue in Xenopus animal cap explants, in the absence of expression of mesodermal marker genes. The injected caps expressed a general neural marker NCAM and the forebrain marker opsin. Coinjection of wild-type BMP4 receptor mRNA completely reversed the neuralization by DN-BR. No expression of known neuralizing factors, i.e., noggin and follistatin, was detected in the DN-BR-injected animal caps. Furthermore, neuralization elicited by noggin or 3m, a LIM domain mutant of Xlim-1, was substantially inhibited by co-injection of BMP4 mRNA. Since BMP4 is expressed in the prospective ectoderm during gastrulation, our results suggest that the ventralizing factor BMP4 acts also as a physiological inhibitor of neuralization in the development of Xenopus ectoderm.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Cell Differentiation
  • DNA Primers
  • Ectoderm / cytology*
  • Ectoderm / physiology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Gene Expression
  • Growth Substances / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nervous System / embryology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / administration & dosage
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Receptors, Growth Factor*
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Growth Substances
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors