Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The origin of SMAD

Just had to share this one. Have you ever wondered what SMAD stands for? The story starts with the common fruit fly. During development, its 15 body segments are established from 14 parasegments that give rise to various limbs and apendages. Three genes are particularly important for the establishment of the boundaries of these parasegments and the polarity of these segments: wingless, hedgehog and pentadeca(15)plegic (dpp). Not surprisingly the dpp KO have severe dorsal/ventral polarity defects. During the course of research it was found that the drosophila homolog of SMA (c elegans), when mutated in the mother repressed the gene decapentaplegic in the embryo. Hence the gene was called, tongue-in-cheek, "mothers against decapentaplegic". And in the human we have SMA and MAD related protein (SMAD), also officialy known as MOTHERS AGAINST DECAPENTAPLEGIC, DROSOPHILA, HOMOLOG OF.


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Very interesting way to leave this knowledge, specially when you're posting something important: the origin of SMAD. I've been looking information about it, so I'd love if you can add even more databases or sources about this. I really need it.