Semino, C.E., Allende, M.L., Bakkers, J., Sapink, H.P., and Robbins, P.P. (1998) Expression of Rhizobium Chitin Oligosaccharide Fucosyltransferase in zebrafish embryos disrupts normal development. Ann N Y Acad Sci 842: 49-54.
In this report we present data about the effect of the Rhizobium NodZ enzyme on zebrafish development. We injected zebrafish embryos with a plasmid expressing NodZ protein, and we confirmed that the enzyme is active and has chitin oligosaccharide fucosyltransferase (NodZ) activity in vitro. In addition, the embryos injected with the NodZ-expressing plasmid, but not with a control plasmid, showed malformations or bends in the tail, and in some cases shunted tail structures and fused somites. These results clearly indicate that the likely substrates for this enzyme, chitin oligosaccharides and free N-glycans, have essential functions during early vertebrate embryogenesis.