The mechanisms imposing the Dorsal/Ventral (DV) polarity of the early sea urchin embryo consist of a combination of inherited maternal information and inductive interactions among blastomeres. Old and recent studies suggest that a key molecular landmark of DV polarization is the expression of nodal on the future ventral side, in apparent contrast with other metazoan embryos, where nodal is expressed dorsally. A subtle maternally-inherited redox anisotropy, plus some maternal factors such as SoxB1, Univin, and p38-MAPK have been identified as inputs driving the spatially asymmetric transcription of nodal. However, all the mentioned factors are broadly distributed in the embryo as early as nodal transcription occurs, suggesting that repression of the gene in non-ventral territoriesdepends upon negative regulators. Among these, the Hbox12 homeodomain-containing repressor is expressed by prospective dorsal cells, where it acts as a dorsal-specific negative modulator of the p38-MAPK activity. This review provides an overview of the molecular mechanisms governing the establishment of DV polarity in sea urchins, focusing on events taking place in the early embryo. Altogether, these findings provide a framework for future studies aimed to unravel the inceptive mechanisms involved in the DV symmetry breaking.
|Numero di pagine||13|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2015|
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