Cleavage of the BMP-4 Antagonist Chordin by Zebrafish Tolloid

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Science  12 Dec 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5345, pp. 1937-1940
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5345.1937

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Dorsoventral patterning of vertebrate andDrosophila embryos requires bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and antagonists of BMP activity. The Drosophila genetolloid encodes a metalloprotease similar to BMP-1 that interacts genetically with decapentaplegic, theDrosophila homolog of vertebrate BMP-2/4. Zebrafish embryos overexpressing a zebrafish homolog of tolloid were shown to resemble loss-of-function mutations in chordino, the zebrafish homolog of the Xenopus BMP-4 antagonist Chordin. Furthermore, Chordin was degraded by COS cells expressing Tolloid. These data suggest that Tolloid antagonizes Chordin activity by proteolytically cleaving Chordin. A conserved function for zebrafish and Drosophila Tolloid during embryogenesis is proposed.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

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