Bmp-4 acts as a morphogen in dorsoventral mesoderm patterning in Xenopus. uri icon


  • The marginal zone is a ring of tissue that gives rise to a characteristic dorsoventral pattern of mesoderm in amphibian embryos. Bmp-4 is thought to play an important role in specifying ventral mesodermal fate. Here we show (1) that different doses of Bmp-4 are sufficient to pattern four distinct mesodermal cell types and to pattern gene expression in the early gastrula marginal zone into three domains, (2) that there is a graded requirement for a Bmp signal in mesodermal patterning, and (3) that Bmp-4 has long-range activity which can become graded in the marginal zone by the antagonizing action of noggin. The results argue that Bmp-4 acts as a morphogen in dorsoventral patterning of mesoderm.

publication date

  • June 1997