Chicken Caronte, the ortholog of mammalian Cerberus, is a member of the Cerberus/DAN family of secreted glycoproteins. There are at least 5 Dan Domain (DAND) family members including DAN (DAND1), Gremlin/Drm (DAND2), PRDC (Protein Related to Dan and Cerberus; DAND3), Cerberus (DAND4), and Coco (DAND5). Caronte is expressed in the left paraxial mesoderm and is the molecule responsible for transducing left-sided positional information from the node to the periphery of the lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) during chicken embryonic development. Caronte functions as a BMP antagonist, inducing Nodal and downstream genes in the LPM by interfering with the repressive activity of bilaterally-produced BMPs. In addition, antagonism of BMPs by Caronte induces the expression of the Lefty gene in the midline.View more
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