Willot, V., Mathieu, J., Lu, Y., Schmid, B., Sidi, S., Yan, Y.-L., Postlethwait, J.H., Mullins, M., Rosa, F., and Peyriéras, N. (2002) Cooperative action of ADMP- and BMP-mediated pathways in regulating cell fates in the zebrafish gastrula. Developmental Biology. 241(1):59-78.
It was shown in Xenopus and chick that Spemann's organizer activity is regulated through the negative action of Anti-Dorsalizing Morphogenetic Protein (ADMP). We report the characterization and functional properties of admp in zebrafish. admp expression profile is consistent with a role in the organizer, including the tail organizer. We studied admp function through overexpression experiments, with the use of a dominant-negative form (TR-ADMP) and of an antisense morpholino-modified oligonucleotide. Our results indicate that the ADMP pathway causes the restriction of anterior and axial fates and that ADMP, BMP2b, and BMP7 pathways have distinct actions but cooperate in establishing proper dorso-ventral regionalization. This is shown by partial rescue of the dorsalized mutant snailhouse and of the ventralized mutant chordino, upon admp and tr-admp RNA injection, respectively. Moreover, ADMP and BMP7 probably form heterodimers as shown by the ability of TR-ADMP and BMP7 to antagonize each other. We observed that a MYC-tagged ADMP was secreted and detected in the extracellular space, suggesting that admp could act at a distance. Simultaneous local inhibition of bmp function at the blastoderm margin and impairment of ADMP secretion led to the induction of secondary head structures, confirming that the two pathways cooperatively regulate organizer formation and activity.