Zuniga, E., Rippen, M., Alexander, C., Schilling, T.F., and Crump, J.G. (2011) Gremlin 2 regulates distinct roles of BMP and Endothelin 1 signaling in dorsoventral patterning of the facial skeleton. Development (Cambridge, England). 138(23):5147-5156.
Patterning of the upper versus lower face involves generating distinct pre-skeletal identities along the dorsoventral (DV)
axes of the pharyngeal arches. Whereas previous studies have shown roles for BMPs, Endothelin 1 (Edn1) and Jagged1b-Notch2
in DV patterning of the facial skeleton, how these pathways are integrated to generate different skeletal fates has remained
unclear. Here, we show that BMP and Edn1 signaling have distinct roles in development of the ventral and intermediate skeletons,
respectively, of the zebrafish face. Using transgenic gain-of-function approaches and cell-autonomy experiments, we find that
BMPs strongly promote hand2 and msxe expression in ventral skeletal precursors, while Edn1 promotes the expression of nkx3.2 and three Dlx genes (dlx3b, dlx5a and dlx6a) in intermediate precursors. Furthermore, Edn1 and Jagged1b pattern the intermediate and dorsal facial skeletons in part
by inducing the BMP antagonist Gremlin 2 (Grem2), which restricts BMP activity to the ventral-most face. We therefore propose
a model in which later cross-inhibitory interactions between BMP and Edn1 signaling, in part mediated by Grem2, separate an
initially homogenous ventral region into distinct ventral and intermediate skeletal precursor domains.