Segregation of Germ Layer Fates by Nuclear Migration-Dependent Localization of Not mRNA

Naohito Takatori, Gaku Kumano, Hidetoshi Saiga, Hiroki Nishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


An important step in early embryonic development is the allocation and segregation of germ layer fates into distinct embryonic regions. However, the mechanism that segregates the mesendoderm into mesoderm and endoderm fates remains largely unknown in most animals. Here, using ascidians, a primitive chordate, we show that these fates are segregated by partitioning of asymmetrically localized Not mRNA from the mesendoderm cell to its mesodermal daughter. Migration of the mesendoderm cell nucleus to the future mesoderm-forming region, release of Not mRNA from the nucleus, Wnt5α-dependent local retention of the mRNA, and subsequent repositioning of the mitotic spindle to the center of the cell are each required for the asymmetric localization and partitioning of Not mRNA. Our results show that nuclear migration plays an unexpected role in asymmetric cell divisions that segregate germ layer fates in chordate embryos.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-598
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Oct 19


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