Keeping a lid on nodal: transcriptional and translational repression of nodal signalling.
Sampath K., Robertson EJ.
Nodal is an evolutionarily conserved member of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily of secreted signalling factors. Nodal factors are known to play key roles in embryonic development and asymmetry in a variety of organisms ranging from hydra and sea urchins to fish, mice and humans. In addition to embryonic patterning, Nodal signalling is required for maintenance of human embryonic stem cell pluripotency and mis-regulated Nodal signalling has been found associated with tumour metastases. Therefore, precise and timely regulation of this pathway is essential. Here, we discuss recent evidence from sea urchins, frogs, fish, mice and humans that show a role for transcriptional and translational repression of Nodal signalling during early development.