Understanding how morphogens work

J C Smith, A Hagemann, Yasushi Saka, P H Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we describe the mechanisms by which morphogens in the Xenopus embryo exert their long-range effects. Our results are consistent with the idea that signalling molecules such as activin and the nodal-related proteins traverse responding tissue not by transcytosis or by cytonemes but by movement through the extracellular space. We suggest, however, that additional experiments, involving real-time imaging of morphogens, are required for a real understanding of what influences signalling range and the shape of a morphogen gradient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1387-1392
Number of pages6
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological sciences
Issue number1495
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2008


  • Activins
  • Animals
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Morphogenesis
  • Signal Transduction
  • Xenopus


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