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Quantitative analysis of Nodal/Lefty-mediated pattern formation

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 QUANTPATTERN project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the QUANTPATTERN project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "QUANTPATTERN" about.

inform    proteins    modeling    plans    organizes    proportions    how    size    born    adapt    difference    human    postulates    invariant    unknown    activator    weights    self    patterning    activators    maternally    absence    model    transform    remarkably    cells    influential    mediate    stem    underlying    found    gain    biology    pair    developmental    embryos    unravel    inhibitors    questions    biophysical    poorly    differential    nodal    constant    patterned    principles    considerably    too    quantitative    embryo    diffusivity    vary    regenerative    prepatterns    strategies    diffusive    vivo    tissue    combining    homogenous    engineering    central    emerge    replacement    influence    population    diffusivities    body    form    reaction    multicellular    structures    inhibitor    lefty    organizing    molecular    medicine    mathematical    mouse    supporting    experimentation    diffusion    tissues    uniform    zebrafish    embryonic    risk    patterns    organize    living    initially    innovative    mystery    begun    first   

Project "QUANTPATTERN" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 80539
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙499˙750 €
 EC max contribution 1˙499˙750 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-07-01   to  2020-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

How an initially homogenous population of cells self-organizes to form patterned embryos and tissues is a long-standing mystery in the field of developmental biology. Understanding such self-organizing processes is of central importance for regenerative medicine and would inform approaches to transform embryonic stem cells into complex multicellular structures for human tissue replacement. The influential reaction-diffusion model postulates that patterns emerge during development under the influence of poorly diffusive activators and highly diffusive inhibitors, and we have recently found biophysical evidence supporting the differential diffusivity of the activator Nodal and its inhibitor Lefty in zebrafish embryos. While we have begun to define the Nodal/Lefty activator-inhibitor pair as a reaction-diffusion system that can transform a uniform field of cells into an embryo, three important questions remain: First, how is the differential diffusivity of activators and inhibitors achieved in living embryos? The molecular weights of activator and inhibitor proteins are too similar to explain the difference in diffusivities. Second, how do reaction-diffusion systems adapt to tissue size? Embryos can vary considerably in size, but the proportions of their body plans are remarkably constant. How reaction-diffusion systems mediate this scale-invariant patterning in vivo is unknown. Third, how do reaction-diffusion systems self-organize? Embryos are often born with maternally provided prepatterns, and it is unknown whether reaction-diffusion systems also form relevant patterns in the absence of such prepatterns. We will address these questions in zebrafish and mouse embryonic stem cells by combining innovative quantitative experimentation and mathematical modeling. This high-risk/high-gain approach will allow us to unravel general principles underlying self-organizing processes and will inform new strategies for human tissue engineering from embryonic stem cells.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 David Mörsdorf, Patrick Müller
Tuning Protein Diffusivity with Membrane Tethers
published pages: 177-181, ISSN: 0006-2960, DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.8b01150
Biochemistry 58/3 2020-02-28
2019 Daniel Čapek, Patrick Müller
Positional information and tissue scaling during development and regeneration
published pages: dev177709, ISSN: 0950-1991, DOI: 10.1242/dev.177709
Development 146/24 2020-02-28
2018 Xavier Diego, Luciano Marcon, Patrick Müller, James Sharpe
Key Features of Turing Systems are Determined Purely by Network Topology
published pages: , ISSN: 2160-3308, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.8.021071
Physical Review X 8/2 2019-05-29
2018 Alexander Bläßle, Gary Soh, Theresa Braun, David Mörsdorf, Hannes Preiß, Ben M. Jordan, Patrick Müller
Quantitative diffusion measurements using the open-source software PyFRAP
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03975-6
Nature Communications 9/1 2019-05-29
2016 Luciano Marcon, Xavier Diego, James Sharpe, Patrick Müller
High-throughput mathematical analysis identifies Turing networks for patterning with equally diffusing signals
published pages: , ISSN: 2050-084X, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.14022
eLife 5 2019-05-29
2018 María Almuedo-Castillo, Alexander Bläßle, David Mörsdorf, Luciano Marcon, Gary H. Soh, Katherine W. Rogers, Alexander F. Schier, Patrick Müller
Scale-invariant patterning by size-dependent inhibition of Nodal signalling
published pages: , ISSN: 1465-7392, DOI: 10.1038/s41556-018-0155-7
Nature Cell Biology 2019-05-29
2018 Katherine W. Rogers, Patrick Müller
Nodal and BMP dispersal during early zebrafish development
published pages: , ISSN: 0012-1606, DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2018.04.002
Developmental Biology 2019-05-29

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