The inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor is a calcium ion channel involved in the release of free Ca2+ from intracellular stores. For analysis of the role of IP3-induced Ca2+ release (IICR) on patterning of the embryonic body, monoclonal antibodies that inhibit IICR were produced. Injection of these blocking antibodies into the ventral part of early Xenopus embryos induced modest dorsal differentiation. A close correlation between IICR blocking potencies and ectopic dorsal axis induction frequency suggests that an active IP3-Ca2+ signal may participate in the modulation of ventral differentiation.
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