L.B. Zimmerman, J.M. De Jesús-Escobar, R.M. Harland, "The Spemann organizer signal noggin binds and inactivates bone morphogenetic protein 4," Cell, 86:599-606, 1996. (Cited in more than 180 papers since publication)

Comments by Richard M. Harland, Choh Hao Li professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, University of California, Berkeley

Richard M. Harland
Researchers had long suspected that the protein noggin's interaction with bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) dictated developmental decisions such as whether an embryonic cell should form epidermal tissue or build the neural plate.

"But the way it did so was not clear," recalls Richard M. Harland. "It might be acting through its own cell surface receptors and acting inside the cell pathway through its own transduction process." However, experiments in fruit flies done by Chip Ferguson and colleagues at the University of Chicago provided an important clue.1 In Drosophila assays, frog-derived noggin could block the fly version...

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