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Reaction-diffusion modeling contributed to new paper on Nodal signaling in zebrafish

Today the article "Nodal Signaling Range Is Regulated by Proprotein Convertase-Mediated Maturation" was published in Developmental Cell. The paper describes a new mechanism by which a protein gradient can form during embryonic development. FurinA, a so-called "proprotein convertase" prepares the Nodal-related signaling protein Spaw for secretion in the extracellular space, where it activates production of the Spaw pro-protein in adjacent cells. We contributed a reaction-diffusion model to analyze the mechanism and to show how FurinA can control the signaling range of Nodal. This is the second paper we have co-authored with the Jeroen Bakkers group at Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht.