Chordin expression, mediated by Nodal and FGF signaling, is restricted by redundant function of two beta-catenins in the zebrafish embryo

Varga, M., Maegawa, S., Bellipanni, G., and Weinberg, E.S.
Mechanisms of Development   124(9-10): 775-791 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Bellipanni, Gianfranco, Maegawa, Shingo, Varga, Máté, Weinberg, Eric
β-Catenin, Wnt8, Vox, Vent, Nodal signaling, FGF signaling, Dorsoventral patterning, ichabod (ich)
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors/physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental/physiology
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Glycoproteins/biosynthesis*
  • Glycoproteins/genetics*
  • Glycoproteins/metabolism
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/biosynthesis*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/genetics*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism
  • Male
  • Nodal Protein
  • Organizers, Embryonic/physiology
  • RNA 5' Terminal Oligopyrimidine Sequence/genetics
  • Signal Transduction/physiology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta/physiology*
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish/metabolism*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Zebrafish Proteins/physiology*
  • beta Catenin/antagonists & inhibitors
  • beta Catenin/physiology*
17686615 Full text @ Mech. Dev.
Using embryos transgenic for the TOP-GFP reporter, we show that the two zebrafish beta-catenins have different roles in the organizer and germ-ring regions of the embryo. beta-Catenin-activated transcription in the prospective organizer region specifically requires beta-catenin-2, whereas the ventrolateral domain of activated transcription is abolished only when both beta-catenins are inhibited. chordin expression during zebrafish gastrulation has been previously shown in both axial and paraxial domains, but is excluded from ventrolateral domains. We show that this gene is expressed in paraxial territories adjacent to the domain of ventrolateral beta-catenin-activated transcription, with only slight overlap, consistent with the now well-known inhibitory effects of Wnt8 on dorsal gene expression. Eliminating both Wnt8/beta-catenin signaling and organizer activity by inhibition of expression of the two beta-catenins results in massive ectopic circumferential expression of chordin and later, by formation of a distinctive embryonic phenotype ('ciuffo') that expresses trunk and anterior neural markers with correct relative anteroposterior patterning. We show that chordin expression is required for this neural gene expression. The Nodal gene squint has been shown to be necessary for optimal expression of chordin and is sufficient in some contexts for its expression. However, chordin is not normally expressed in the ventrolateral germ-ring despite robust expression of squint in this domain. We show the ectopic circumferential expression of chordin and other dorsal genes to be completely dependent on Nodal and FGF signaling, and to be independent of a functional organizer. We propose that whereas the axial domain of chordin expression is formed by cells that are derived from the organizer, the paraxial domain is the result of axial-derived anti-Wnt signals, which relieve the repression that otherwise is set by the Wnt8/beta-catenin/vox,vent pathway on latent germ-ring Nodal/FGF-activated expression.
Genes / Markers
Figure Gallery
Mutation and Transgenics
Human Disease / Model Data
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes
Errata and Notes