Nodal homolog (mouse)
Symbols NODAL; MGC138230
External IDs OMIM601265 MGI97359 HomoloGene8417 GeneCards: NODAL Gene
Species Human Mouse
Entrez 4838 18119
Ensembl ENSG00000156574 ENSMUSG00000037171
UniProt Q96S42 A0PK81
RefSeq (mRNA) NM_018055 NM_013611.4
RefSeq (protein) NP_060525 NP_038639.2
Location (UCSC) Chr 10:
72.19 – 72.21 Mb
Chr 10:
60.88 – 60.89 Mb
PubMed search [1] [2]

Nodal is a protein that in humans is encoded by the NODAL gene.[1][2] It is a member of the TGF beta superfamily. Like many other members of this superfamily, it is involved in cell differentiation. Studies of the mouse counterpart suggested that this gene may be essential for mesoderm formation and subsequent organization of left-right axial structures in early embryonic development.[2]



The left-right asymmetry in the body of vertebrates is established by a process that uses the Nodal and Lefty proteins; Nodal is expressed in the left side of the organism in early development.[3] An ortholog of Nodal was recently found in snails and was shown to be involved in left-right asymmetry as well.[4]

Nodal signaling is important very early in development for cell fate determination and for many other developmental processes.[5] A nodal knockout in mouse causes the absence of the primitive streak and failure in the formation of mesoderm, leading to developmental arrest just after gastrulation.[6][7][8]

Nodal is widely distributed cytokine.[9] The presence of Nodal is not only limited to vertebrates, it is also known to be conserved in other chordates, deuterostomes (cephalochordates, tunicates and echinoderms) and protostomes such as snails, but interestingly neither the nematode C. elegans (another protosome) nor the fruit fly (an arthropode) have a copy of nodal.[10][11] Although mouse and human only have one nodal gene, the zebra fish contain three nodal paralogs: squint , cyclops and southpaw, and the frog five (xnr1,2,3,5 and 6). Even though the zebra fish Nodal homologs are very similar, they have specialized to perform different roles; for instance, Squint and Cyclops are important for mesoendoderm formation, whereas to Southpaw that has a major role in asymmetric heart morphogenesis and visceral left-right asymmetry.[12] Another example of protein speciation is the case of the frog where Xnr1 and Xnr2 regulate movements in gastrulation in contrast to Xnr5 and Xnr6 that are involved in mesoderm induction.[13] Mouse Nodal has been implicated in left-right asymmetry, neural pattering and mesoderm induction (see nodal signaling).


  1. ^ Gebbia M, Ferrero GB, Pilia G, Bassi MT, Aylsworth A, Penman-Splitt M, Bird LM, Bamforth JS, Burn J, Schlessinger D, Nelson DL, Casey B (Dec 1997). "X-linked situs abnormalities result from mutations in ZIC3". Nat Genet 17 (3): 305–8. doi:10.1038/ng1197-305. PMID 9354794. 
  2. ^ a b "Entrez Gene: NODAL nodal homolog (mouse)". 
  3. ^ Hamada H, Meno C, Watanabe D, Saijoh Y (February 2002). "Establishment of vertebrate left-right asymmetry". Nat. Rev. Genet. 3 (2): 103–13. doi:10.1038/nrg732. PMID 11836504. 
  4. ^ Grande C, Patel NH (February 2009). "Nodal signalling is involved in left-right asymmetry in snails". Nature 457 (7232): 1007–11. doi:10.1038/nature07603. PMC 2661027. PMID 19098895. 
  5. ^ Dougan ST, Warga RM, Kane DA, Schier AF, Talbot WS (May 2003). "The role of the zebrafish nodal-related genes squint and cyclops in patterning of mesendoderm". Development 130 (9): 1837–51. PMID 12642489. 
  6. ^ Conlon FL, Lyons KM, Takaesu N, Barth KS, Kispert A, Herrmann B, Robertson EJ (July 1994). "A primary requirement for nodal in the formation and maintenance of the primitive streak in the mouse". Development 120 (7): 1919–28. PMID 7924997. 
  7. ^ Zhou X, Sasaki H, Lowe L, Hogan BL, Kuehn MR (February 1993). "Nodal is a novel TGF-beta-like gene expressed in the mouse node during gastrulation". Nature 361 (6412): 543–7. doi:10.1038/361543a0. PMID 8429908. 
  8. ^ Reissmann E, Jörnvall H, Blokzijl A, et al. (August 2001). "The orphan receptor ALK7 and the Activin receptor ALK4 mediate signaling by Nodal proteins during vertebrate development". Genes Dev. 15 (15): 2010–22. doi:10.1101/gad.201801. PMC 312747. PMID 11485994. 
  9. ^ Chen, Hsu-Hsin & Geijsen, Neils (2006). "Signaling germline commitment". In Simón, Carlos & Pellicer, Antonio. Stem cells in human reproduction: basic science and therapeutic potential. CRC Press. p. 74. ISBN 9780415397773. 
  10. ^ Chea HK, Wright CV, Swalla BJ (October 2005). "Nodal signaling and the evolution of deuterostome gastrulation". Dev. Dyn. 234 (2): 269–78. doi:10.1002/dvdy.20549. PMID 16127715. 
  11. ^ Schier AF (November 2009). "Nodal morphogens". Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 1 (5): a003459. doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a003459. PMC 2773646. PMID 20066122. 
  12. ^ Baker K, Holtzman NG, Burdine RD (September 2008). "Direct and indirect roles for Nodal signaling in two axis conversions during asymmetric morphogenesis of the zebrafish heart". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 105 (37): 13924–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.0802159105. PMC 2544555. PMID 18784369. 
  13. ^ Luxardi G, Marchal L, Thomé V, Kodjabachian L (February 2010). "Distinct Xenopus Nodal ligands sequentially induce mesendoderm and control gastrulation movements in parallel to the Wnt/PCP pathway". Development 137 (3): 417–26. doi:10.1242/dev.039735. PMID 20056679. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • nodal — nodal, ale, aux [ nɔdal, o ] adj. • 1820; jointure nodale « qui forme un nœud » 1503; du lat. nodus « nœud » 1 ♦ Phys. Relatif aux nœuds d une corde ou d une surface vibrante. Points nodaux. Ligne nodale sur une plaque vibrante, ou n. f. la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • nodal — NODÁL, Ă, nodali, e, adj. Care se referă la locul de intersecţie a mai multor căi de comunicaţie, artere, ligamente etc. ♦ fig. Esenţial, fundamental. – Din fr. nodal. Trimis de ana zecheru, 08.06.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  NODÁL adj. v. adânc,… …   Dicționar Român

  • Nodal — Nod al, a. Of the nature of, or relating to, a node; as, a nodal point. [1913 Webster] {Nodal line}, {Nodal point}, in a vibrating plate or cord, that line or point which remains at rest while the other parts of the body are in a state of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nodal — can refer to Nodal, a protein encoded by the gene NODAL and responsible for left right asymmetry Nodal (software), a novel music composition program This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • nodal — nodal, ale, (no dal, da l ) adj. Terme de physique. Qui a rapport aux noeuds d une surface vibrante. Figures nodales.    Lignes nodales, ou, substantivement, les nodales, lignes qui se forment sur une plaque recouverte de sable qu on fait vibrer …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • nodal — adj. 2 g. 1. Relativo a nó ou a nós. 2. linha nodal: parte de um corpo que permanece em repouso entre duas partes que vibram em sentido contrário …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • nodal — synodal …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • nodal — (adj.) 1831, from NODE (Cf. node) + AL (Cf. al) (1). Related: Nodality …   Etymology dictionary

  • nodal — 1. adj. Perteneciente o relativo al nodo. 2. Fís. Se dice de las líneas que permanecen fijas en las membranas o en las placas vibrantes …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • nodal — [nōd′ l] adj. of or like a node or nodes nodality [nō dal′ə tē] n. nodally adv …   English World dictionary

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