The rostro-caudal patterning within a somite is periodically established in the presomitic mesoderm (PSM). In the mouse, Mesp2 is required for the rostral property whereas Notch signaling and Ripply2, a Mesp2-induced protein that suppresses Mesp2 transcription, are required for the caudal property. Here, we examined the mechanism behind rostro-caudal patterning by comparing the spatial movement of Notch activity with Mesp2 protein localization in wild-type embryos and those defective in Ripply1 and 2, both of which are expressed in the PSM. Mesp2 protein appears first as a thin band in the middle of the traveling Notch active domain in both wild-type and Ripply1/2-deficient embryos. In wild-type embryos, the Mesp2 band expands anteriorly to the expression front of Tbx6, an activator of Mesp2 transcription. Notch activity becomes localized further anteriorly to this Mesp2 domain, but does not pass over the anterior Mesp2 domain generated in the previous segmentation cycle. As a result, the Notch active domain appears to be restricted between these two Mesp2 domains. In Ripply1/2-deficient embryos, the Mesp2 band becomes more expanded and the Notch domain is finally diminished. Interestingly, Ripply1/2-deficient embryos exhibit anterior expansion of the Tbx6 protein domain, suggesting that Ripply1/2 regulates Mesp2 expression by modulating elimination of Tbx6 proteins. We propose that the rostro-caudal pattern is established by dynamic interaction of Notch activity with two Mesp2 domains, which are defined in successive segmentation cycles by Notch, Tbx6 and Ripply1/2. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Takahashi, J., Ohbayashi, A., Oginuma, M., Saito, D., Mochizuki, A., Saga, Y., & Takada, S. (2010). Analysis of Ripply1/2-deficient mouse embryos reveals a mechanism underlying the rostro-caudal patterning within a somite. Developmental Biology, 342(2), 134–145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2010.03.015