Dohrmann CE, Kessler DS, Melton DA. 1996. Induction of axial mesoderm by zDVR-1, the zebrafish orthologue of Xenopus Vg1. Developmental biology. 175(1):108-17. Pubmed: 8608857


The zebrafish DVR-1 (zDVR-1) gene, like Xenopus Vg1, is present maternally as an unprocessed precursor protein which is distributed ubiquitously along the future dorsoventral axis. Also, like Vg1, overexpression of zDVR-1 in zebrafish directs synthesis of more precursor, but no processed protein. However, the native zDVR-1 precursor is processed to mature protein when expressed in Xenopus. Like processed Vg1, mature zDVR-1 is a potent inducer of axial mesoderm. The parallels in expression pattern, apparent regulation of protein processing, and mesoderm-inducing activity support the hypothesis that localized protein processing controls production of a dorsal mesoderm inducer in these two species. Furthermore, using mutant mRNAs, we show that cleavage site sequences of the precursor protein are important in regulating protein processing.

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Doug Melton is pursuing a cure for type 1 diabetes. His lab studies the developmental biology of the pancreas, using that information to grow and develop pancreatic cells (islets of Langerhans). In parallel, they investigate ways to protect beta cells from autoimmune attack.

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