Regulation of neural induction by the Chd and Bmp-4 antagonistic patterning signals in Xenopus

Nature. 1995 Jul 27;376(6538):333-6. doi: 10.1038/376333a0.


In Drosophila the amount of neurogenic ectoderm, from which the central nervous system (CNS) derives, is regulated by a dorsal-ventral system of positional information in which two secreted molecules of antagonistic functions, decapentaplegic (dpp) and short-gastrulation (sog), play fundamental roles. The vertebrate homologue of dpp is either bmp-4 or bmp-2 (ref. 5), and the homologue os sog is chd (s-chordin). In Xenopus the CNS is induced by signals emanating from the organizer, and two proteins secreted by the organizer, noggin and follistatin, have been shown to induce neural tissue in animal-cap assays. Here we report that Chd, another organizer-specific secreted factor, has neuralizing activity and that this activity can be antagonized by Bmp-4. Inhibition of the function of the endogenous Bmp-4 present in the animal cap also leads to neural differentiation. We suggest that conserved molecular mechanisms involving chd/sog and bmp-4/dpp gene products pattern the ectoderm in Xenopus and in Drosophila.

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 Proteins
  • Culture Techniques
  • DNA Primers
  • Drosophila
  • Embryonic Induction*
  • Gastrula / cytology
  • Gastrula / physiology
  • Glycoproteins*
  • Growth Substances / genetics
  • Growth Substances / physiology*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Mesoderm / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Xenopus


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Glycoproteins
  • Growth Substances
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Proteins
  • chordin