Kimelman, D. (2016) A novel cold-sensitive mutant of ntla reveals temporal roles of Brachyury in zebrafish. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 245(8):874-80.
Background With the exception of the head, the vertebrate embryonic body is formed progressively in an anterior-posterior direction, originating from a posteriorly located bipotential neural-mesodermal progenitor population. The T-box transcription factor Brachyury is expressed within the progenitors, and is essential for the formation of the posterior mesoderm. A novel cold-sensitive mutant of zebrafish Brachyury (ntla(cs) ) is described that allows exploration of the temporal role of this key factor.
Results The ntla(cs) mutant is used to show that Ntla has an essential role during early gastrulation, but as gastrulation proceeds the importance of Ntla declines as Ntlb acquires a capacity to form the posterior mesoderm. Remarkably, ntla(cs) embryos held at the non-permissive temperature just during the gastrula stages show recovery of normal levels of mesodermal gene expression, demonstrating the plasticity of the posterior progenitors.
Conclusion ntla(cs) is a valuable tool for exploring the processes forming the posterior body since it allows temporally specific activation and inactivation of Brachyury function. It is used here to show the changing roles of Ntla during early development, and the dynamics of the neuromesdermal progenitors. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.