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Nodal signalling is involved in left-right asymmetry in snails

AuthorsGrande, Cristina ; Patel, Nipam H.
KeywordsDevelopmental biology
Left-right asymmetry
Nodal signalling molecule
Nodal orthologues
Shell chirality
Issue Date21-Dec-2008
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Macmillan Publishers
CitationNature 457: 1007-1011 (2009)
AbstractMany animals display specific internal or external features with left–right asymmetry. In vertebrates, the molecular pathway that leads to this asymmetry uses the signalling molecule Nodal, a member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily, which is expressed in the left lateral plate mesoderm, and loss of nodal function produces a randomization of the left–right asymmetry of visceral organs. Orthologues of nodal have also been described in other deuterostomes, including ascidians and sea urchins, but no nodal orthologue has been reported in the other two main clades of Bilateria: Ecdysozoa (including flies and nematodes) and Lophotrochozoa (including snails and annelids). Here we report the first evidence for a nodal orthologue in a non-deuterostome group. We isolated nodal and Pitx (one of the targets of Nodal signalling) in two species of snails and found that the side of the embryo that expresses nodal and Pitx is related to body chirality: both genes are expressed on the right side of the embryo in the dextral (right-handed) species Lottia gigantea and on the left side in the sinistral (left-handed) species Biomphalaria glabrata. We pharmacologically inhibited the Nodal pathway and found that nodal acts upstream of Pitx, and that some treated animals developed with a loss of shell chirality. These results indicate that the involvement of the Nodal pathway in left–right asymmetry might have been an ancestral feature of the Bilateria.
Description5 pages, 4 figures.-- Supplementary information (figures 1-5, tables 1-3, supplementary methods and supplementary results) available at the publisher's site: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/suppinfo/nature07603.html.
Nodal, Pitx and hedgehog sequences of L. gigantea and B. glabrata are deposited at the EMBL-GenBank data libraries; accession numbers EU394708 and EU394707 (for nodal), EU797117 and EU797116 (for Pitx) and EU394706 and EU394705 (for hedgehog). In addition, a brachyury sequence of L. gigantea is deposited as accession number EU797118.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature07603
Appears in Collections:(MNCN) Artículos
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