ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-181106-27
A novel mechanism of gland formation in zebrafish involving transdifferentiation of renal epithelial cells and live cell extrusion
Naylor, R.W., Chang, H.G., Qubisi, S., Davidson, A.J.
Date: 2018
Source: eLIFE   7: (Journal)
Registered Authors: Davidson, Alan, Naylor, Richard
Keywords: developmental biology, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Cell Transdifferentiation*
  • Endocrine Glands/embryology*
  • Epithelial Cells/physiology*
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-beta/metabolism
  • Receptors, Notch/metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism
PubMed: 30394875 Full text @ Elife
Transdifferentiation is the poorly understood phenomenon whereby a terminally differentiated cell acquires a completely new identity. Here, we describe a rare example of a naturally occurring transdifferentiation event in zebrafish in which kidney distal tubule epithelial cells are converted into an endocrine gland known as the Corpuscles of Stannius (CS). We find that this process requires Notch signalling and is associated with the cytoplasmic sequestration of the Hnf1b transcription factor, a master-regulator of renal tubule fate. A deficiency in the Irx3b transcription factor results in ectopic transdifferentiation of distal tubule cells to a CS identity but in a Notch-dependent fashion. Using live-cell imaging we show that CS cells undergo apical constriction en masse and are then extruded from the tubule to form a distinct organ. This system provides a valuable new model to understand the molecular and morphological basis of transdifferentiation and will advance efforts to exploit this rare phenomenon therapeutically.