Branko V. Latinkić

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The mesoderm of Xenopus laevis arises through an inductive interaction in which signals from the vegetal hemisphere of the embryo act on overlying equatorial cells. One candidate for an endogenous mesoderm-inducing factor is activin, a member of the TGFbeta superfamily. Activin is of particular interest because it induces different mesodermal cell types in(More)
The Xenopus homologue of Brachyury, Xbra, is expressed in the presumptive mesoderm of the early gastrula. Induction of Xbra in animal pole tissue by activin occurs only in a narrow window of activin concentrations; if the level of inducer is too high, or too low, the gene is not expressed. Previously, we have suggested that the suppression of Xbra by high(More)
Tissue specification in the early embryo requires the integration of spatial information at the promoters of developmentally important genes. Although several response elements for signalling pathways have been identified in Xenopus promoters, it is not yet understood what defines the sharp borders that restrict expression to a specific tissue. Here we use(More)
Connective-tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a member of the CCN family of secreted proteins. CCN family members contain four characteristic domains and exhibit multiple activities: they associate with the extracellular matrix, they can mediate cell adhesion, cell migration and chemotaxis, and they can modulate the activities of peptide growth factors. Many of(More)
Phagocytic myeloid cells provide the principle line of immune defence during early embryogenesis in lower vertebrates. They may also have important functions during normal embryo morphogenesis, not least through the phagocytic clearance of cell corpses arising from apoptosis. We have identified two cDNAs that provide sensitive molecular markers of embryonic(More)
The earliest step in heart formation in vertebrates occurs during gastrulation, when cardiac tissue is specified. Dorsoanterior endoderm is thought to provide a signal that induces adjacent mesodermal cells to adopt a cardiac fate. However, the nature of this signalling and the precise role of endoderm are unknown because of the close proximity and(More)
cyr61 and fisp12 are homologous immediate-early genes that are transcriptionally activated upon growth factor stimulation in fibroblasts. Their gene products belong to an emerging family of secreted proteins with a high degree of sequence homology, including conservation of all 38 cysteine residues in their secreted portions. We have recently shown that(More)
Vertebrate homologues of the Drosophila tinman transcription factor have been implicated in the processes of specification and differentiation of cardiac mesoderm. In Xenopus three members of this family have been isolated to date. Here we show that the XNkx2-3, Xnkx2-5, and XNkx2-10 genes are expressed in increasingly distinctive patterns in endodermal and(More)
Cyr61 is a secreted, heparin-binding, extracellular matrix-associated protein whose activities include the promotion of adhesion and chemotaxis, and the stimulation of fibroblast and endothelial cell growth. Many, if not all, of these activities of Cyr61 are mediated through interactions with integrins. We explore the role of Cyr61 in the early development(More)