Transient downregulation of Bmp signalling induces extra limbs in vertebrates

Bea Christen, Alexandre Miguel Cavaco Rodrigues, Monserrat Barragán Monasterio, Carme Fabregat Roig, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) signalling has been implicated in setting up dorsoventral patterning of the vertebrate limb and in its outgrowth. Here, we present evidence that Bmp signalling or, more precisely, its inhibition also plays a role in limb and fin bud initiation. Temporary inhibition of Bmp signalling either by overexpression of noggin or using a synthetic Bmp inhibitor is sufficient to induce extra limbs in the Xenopus tadpole or exogenous fins in the Danio rerio embryo, respectively. We further show that Bmp signalling acts in parallel with retinoic acid signalling, possibly by inhibiting the known limb-inducing gene wnt2ba.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2557-2565
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Appendage development
  • Bmp signalling
  • Vertebrate
  • Xenopus
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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