Glycogen synthase kinase-3 and dorsoventral patterning in Xenopus embryos

Nature. 1995 Apr 13;374(6523):617-22. doi: 10.1038/374617a0.


Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) is homologous to the product of the Drosophila gene shaggy (zeste-white 3), which is required for signalling by wingless during Drosophila development. To test whether GSK-3 is also involved in vertebrate pattern formation, its role was investigated during early Xenopus development. It was found that dominant-negative GSK-3 mutants induced dorsal differentiation, whereas wild-type GSK-3 induced ventralization. These results indicate that GSK-3 is required for ventral differentiation, and suggest that dorsal differentiation may involve the suppression of GSK-3 activity by a wingless/wnt-related signal.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocyst / cytology
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / radiation effects
  • Embryonic Development*
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / metabolism
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Xenopus / embryology


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3

Associated data

  • GENBANK/L33801
  • GENBANK/L40027