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Gastrulation is a critical step in the establishment of a basic body plan during development. Convergence and extension (CE) cell movements organize germ layers during gastrulation. Noncanonical Wnt signaling has been known as major signaling that regulates CE cell movement by activating Rho and Rac. In addition, Bmp molecules are expressed in the ventral side of a developing embryo, and the ventral mesoderm region undergoes minimal CE cell movement while the dorsal mesoderm undergoes dynamic cell movements. This suggests that Bmp signal gradient may affect CE cell movement. To investigate whether Bmp signaling negatively regulates CE cell movements, we performed microarray-based screening and found that the transcription of Xenopus Arhgef3.2 (Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor) was negatively regulated by Bmp signaling. We also showed that overexpression or knockdown of Xarhgef3.2 caused gastrulation defects. Interestingly, Xarhgef3.2 controlled gastrulation cell movements through interacting with Disheveled (Dsh2) and Dsh2-associated activator of morphogenesis 1 (Daam1). Our results suggest that Bmp gradient affects gastrulation cell movement (CE) via negative regulation of Xarhgef3.2 expression.


Jaeho Yoon, Vijay Kumar, Ravi Shankar Goutam, Sung-Chan Kim, Soochul Park, Unjoo Lee, Jaebong Kim. Bmp Signal Gradient Modulates Convergent Cell Movement via Xarhgef3.2 during Gastrulation of Xenopus Embryos. Cells. 2021 Dec 24;11(1)

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PMID: 35011606

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