Control of Vertebrate Left-Right Asymmetry by a Snail-Related Zinc Finger Gene

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Science  28 Feb 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5304, pp. 1301-1304
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5304.1301

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A gene encoding a zinc finger protein of the Snail family, cSnR, is expressed in the right-hand lateral mesoderm during normal chick development. Antisense disruption of cSnR function during the hours immediately preceding heart formation randomized the normally reliable direction of heart looping and subsequent embryo torsion. Implanted ectopic sources of intercellular signal proteins that are involved in establishing normal left-right information randomized the handedness of heart development and also altered the asymmetry of cSnR expression. cSnR thus appears to act downstream of these signals, or perhaps in parallel with the latest expressed of them, the Nodal protein, in controlling the anatomical asymmetry.

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