The proper execution of gastrulation requires that cell signalling, cell adhesion and cell migration are all precisely coordinated and integrated. In their investigations into how this might occur, Latinkic et al. studied Cyr61,a CCN-family, secreted, extracellular matrix (ECM)- associated protein. CCN proteins are very versatile – they can mediate cell adhesion and migration, for example, and can induce signalling events – all expected features of candidate gastrulation regulators. The authors now report, on p. 2429, that Cyr61 is an important regulator of gastrulation movements: both its overexpression and inhibition disrupt gastrulation in frog embryos, perhaps because Cyr61 is required for the assembly of a fibronectin-rich ECM and because it regulates cell- cell and cell-matrix adhesion. Intriguingly, Xcyr61 also appears to both stimulate and inhibit Wnt signalling in a context-dependent manner. Future studies into the different domains of Cyr61 should reveal where its many activities reside.