[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extracellular regulation of growth factor signaling is a key event for embryonic patterning. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG) are among the molecules that regulate this signaling during embryonic development. Here we study the function of syndecan1 (Syn1), a cell-surface HSPG expressed in the non-neural ectoderm during early development of Xenopus embryos. Overexpression of Xenopus Syn1 (xSyn1) mRNA is sufficient to reduce BMP signaling, induce chordin expression and rescue dorso-ventral patterning in ventralized embryos. Experiments using chordin morpholinos established that xSyn1 mRNA can inhibit BMP signaling in the absence of chordin. Knockdown of xSyn1 resulted in a reduction of BMP signaling and expansion of the neural plate with the concomitant reduction of the non-neural ectoderm. Overexpression of xSyn1 mRNA in xSyn1 morphant embryos resulted in a biphasic effect, with BMP being inhibited at high concentrations and activated at low concentrations of xSyn1. Interestingly, the function of xSyn1 on dorso-ventral patterning and BMP signaling is specific for this HSPG. In summary, we report that xSyn1 regulates dorso-ventral patterning of the ectoderm through modulation of BMP signaling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The BMP4 signaling pathway plays key roles during early embryonic development and for maintenance of adult homeostasis. In the extracellular space, BMP4 activity is regulated by a group of interacting molecules including the BMP antagonist Chordin, the metalloproteinase Tolloid and Twisted gastrulation (Tsg). In this study, we identified Biglycan (Bgn), a member of the small leucine-rich proteoglycan family, as a new extracellular modulator of BMP4 signaling. Xenopus Bgn (xBgn) is expressed uniformly in the ectoderm and mesoderm and their derivatives during development. Microinjection of Bgn mRNA induced secondary axes, dorsalized the mesoderm and inhibited BMP4 activity in Xenopus embryos. Biochemical experiments showed that Bgn binds BMP4 and Chordin, interaction that increased binding of BMP4 to Chordin. Bgn was also able to improve the efficiency of Chordin-Tsg complexes to block BMP4 activity. Using antisense morpholinos, we demonstrated that Bgn required Chordin to induce double axes in Xenopus. This work unveiled a new function for Bgn, its ability to regulate BMP4 signaling through modulation of Chordin anti-BMP4 activity.
The EMBO Journal 05/2005; 24(7):1397-405. · 9.82 Impact Factor