Published in Cardiovascular Week, January 17th, 2005
According to research from Sweden, "Mesendoderm formation and left-right patterning during vertebrate development depend upon selected members of the transforming growth factor P superfamily, particularly Nodal and Nodal-related ligands. Two type I serine/threonine kinase receptors have been identified for Nodal, ALK4 and ALK7. Mouse embryos lacking ALK4 fail to produce mesendoderm and die shortly after gastrulation, resembling the phenotype of Nodal knockout mice. Whether ALK4 contributes to left-right patterning is still unknown," investigators in Sweden report.
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