S. Piccolo, Y. Sasai, B. Lu, E.M. De Robertis, "Dorsoventral patterning in Xenopus: Inhibition of ventral signals by direct binding of chordin to BMP-4," Cell, 86:589-98, 1996. (Cited in more than 170 papers since publication)

Comments by Eddy M. De Robertis, Investigator, Department of Biological Chemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Los Angeles

Eddy M. De Robertis
In 1924, two scientists identified a small group of embryonic cells that tell their neighbors what types of tissues to form.1 Scientists have since worked to discern the precise molecular parts of this machinery, called the Spemann organizer.

The pieces of those molecular mechanisms have become better known in the past five years. A number of organizer-specific genes such as the homeobox gene goosecoid (gsc) and factors secreted by the Spemann organizer, including noggin and chordin, have been identified. However, the precise ways these genes and proteins...

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