Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mechanism uncovered for the establishment of vertebrate left–right asymmetry

Date:
October 1, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A research team has demonstrated a mechanism by which left-right asymmetry in the body is established and maintained. The study offers a new model of how families of genes interact to promote and direct body asymmetry.

Zebrafish.
Credit: iStockphoto/Andrew Ilyasov

A research team at the Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht, demonstrates a mechanism by which left-right asymmetry in the body is established and maintained. The study, published in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics on September 29, offers a new model of how families of genes interact to promote and direct body asymmetry.

Although organisms appear bilaterally symmetrical when observed from the outside, internal organs are positioned asymmetrically along the left-right axis, and the organs themselves exhibit intrinsic left-right asymmetries. While complete organ reversal (situs inversus) rarely gives rise to medical complications, severe medical problems occur in infants with partial organ reversal (situs ambigious or heterotaxia), including improper connections of the major vessels to the heart. These heart defects are often lethal if not immediately corrected after birth by cardiac surgery, meaning that the establishment of correct left-right asymmetry is a critical process.

The researchers, led by Dr. Jeroen Bakkers, identified a receptor for bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) as a regulator of left-right patterning in zebrafish using a forward genetic screen. Two growth factors, Nodal and BMP, have previously been shown to be important for orchestrating left-right asymmetry, but the mechanism and hierarchy for the regulation of this process had been unclear. The data presented in this study reveal a new mechanism by which these proteins pattern the embryo along the left-right axis, through the induction and maintenance of a genetic midline 'barrier'.

Dr. Bakkers and colleagues conclude that further studies are required to tease out whether there are species-specific differences during the development of embryonic left-right patterning, but this study and another by other researchers studying mouse development lend support for a conservation of this pathway in regulating organism left-right asymmetry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Smith KA, Noλl E, Thurlings I, Rehmann H, Chocron S, et al. Bmp and Nodal Independently Regulate lefty1 Expression to Maintain Unilateral Nodal Activity during Left-Right Axis Specification in Zebrafish. PLoS Genet, 7(9): e1002289 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002289

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Mechanism uncovered for the establishment of vertebrate left–right asymmetry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929171658.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, October 1). Mechanism uncovered for the establishment of vertebrate left–right asymmetry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929171658.htm
Public Library of Science. "Mechanism uncovered for the establishment of vertebrate left–right asymmetry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929171658.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins