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Analysis of SMAD1/5 target genes in a sea anemone reveals ZSWIM4-6 as a novel BMP signaling modulator

Knabl P, Schauer A, Pomreinke AP, Zimmermann B, Rogers KW, Čapek D, Müller P, Genikhovich G
Elife. 2024 Feb 7;13:e80803. doi: 10.7554/eLife.80803
BMP signaling has a conserved function in patterning the dorsal-ventral body axis in Bilateria and the directive axis in anthozoan cnidarians. So far, cnidarian studies have focused on the role of different BMP signaling network components in regulating pSMAD1/5 gradient formation. Much less is known about the target genes downstream of BMP signaling. To address this, we generated a genome-wide list of direct pSMAD1/5 target genes in the anthozoan Nematostella vectensis, several of which were conserved in Drosophila and Xenopus. Our ChIP-seq analysis revealed that many of the regulatory molecules with documented bilaterally symmetric expression in Nematostella are directly controlled by BMP signaling. We identified several so far uncharacterized BMP-dependent transcription factors and signaling molecules, whose bilaterally symmetric expression may be indicative of their involvement in secondary axis patterning. One of these molecules is zswim4-6, which encodes a novel nuclear protein that can modulate the pSMAD1/5 gradient and potentially promote BMP-dependent gene repression.
Not Epub
Organism or Cell Type: 
Nematostella vectensis (sea anemone)
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