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ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-191108-32
Hhex regulates the specification and growth of the hepatopancreatic ductal system
Villasenor, A., Gauvrit, S., Collins, M.M., Maischein, H.M., Stainier, D.Y.R.
Date: 2019
Source: Developmental Biology   458(2): 228-236 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Maischein, Hans-Martin, Stainier, Didier
Keywords: Endoderm, Extrahepatic duct, Hepatopancreatic ductal system, Hhex, Yolk syncytial layer
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified/metabolism
  • Body Patterning/physiology
  • Digestive System/metabolism
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/metabolism
  • Endoderm/metabolism
  • Endothelial Cells/metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental/genetics
  • Hepatopancreas/embryology*
  • Hepatopancreas/growth & development*
  • Hepatopancreas/metabolism
  • Homeodomain Proteins/genetics
  • Repressor Proteins/genetics
  • Repressor Proteins/metabolism*
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish/metabolism
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism*
PubMed: 31697936 Full text @ Dev. Biol.
Significant efforts have advanced our understanding of foregut-derived organ development; however, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that underlie the formation of the hepatopancreatic ductal (HPD) system. Here, we report a role for the homeodomain transcription factor Hhex in directing HPD progenitor specification in zebrafish. Loss of Hhex function results in impaired HPD system formation. We found that Hhex specifies a distinct population of HPD progenitors that gives rise to the cystic duct, common bile duct, and extra-pancreatic duct. Since hhex is not uniquely expressed in the HPD region but is also expressed in endothelial cells and the yolk syncytial layer (YSL), we tested the role of blood vessels as well as the YSL in HPD formation. We found that blood vessels are required for HPD patterning, but not for HPD progenitor specification. In addition, we found that Hhex is required in both the endoderm and the YSL for HPD development. Our results shed light on the mechanisms directing endodermal progenitors towards the HPD fate and emphasize the tissue specific requirement of Hhex during development.