Xenopus mad proteins transduce distinct subsets of signals for the TGFβ superfamily

Jonathan M. Graff, Anu Bansal, Douglas A. Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

400 Scopus citations


Xenopus cDNAs homologous to the Drosophila Mad gene and C. elegans CEM genes have been cloned and functionally analyzed by microinjection into frog embryos. The results show that these genes (Xmad) encode intracellular proteins that act downstream of TGFβ superfamily ligands. Most interesting is the fact that different Xmad proteins produce distinct biological responses. Xmad1 produces ventral mesoderm, apparently transducing a signal for BMP2 and BMP4, whereas Xmad2 induces dorsal mesoderm like Vg1, activin, and nodal. These results suggest that an individual Xmad protein waits poised in the cytoplasm for instruction from a distinct subset of TGFβ ligands and then conveys specific information to the nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-487
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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