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Apcdd1 is a dual BMP/Wnt inhibitor in the developing nervous system and skin.


Animal development and homeostasis depend on precise temporal and spatial intercellular signaling. Components shared between signaling pathways, generally thought to decrease specificity, paradoxically can also provide a solution to pathway coordination. Here we show that the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) and Wnt signaling pathways share Apcdd1 as a common inhibitor and that Apcdd1 is a taxon-restricted gene with novel domains and signaling functions. Previously, we showed that Apcdd1 inhibits Wnt signaling (Shimomura et al., 2010), here we find that Apcdd1 potently inhibits BMP signaling in body axis formation and neural differentiation in chicken, frog, zebrafish. Furthermore, we find that Apcdd1 has an evolutionarily novel protein domain. Our results from experiments and modeling suggest that Apcdd1 may coordinate the outputs of two signaling pathways that are central to animal development and human disease.

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