Ectopic Wnt signal determines the eyeless phenotype of zebrafish masterblind mutant

van de Water, S., van de Wetering, M., Joore, J., Esseling, J., Bink, R., Clevers, H., and Zivkovic, D.
Development (Cambridge, England)   128(20): 3877-3888 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Jongejan-Zivkovic, Dana, Joore, Jos
masterblind; zebrafish; Wnt; GSK3b; lithium
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Axin Protein
  • Body Patterning/genetics
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases/genetics
  • Central Nervous System/abnormalities
  • Central Nervous System/embryology
  • Eye Abnormalities/embryology
  • Eye Abnormalities/genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • Lithium/toxicity
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Proteins/genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins/genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger/genetics
  • RNA, Messenger/metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Wnt1 Protein
  • Zebrafish/embryology
  • Zebrafish/genetics*
  • Zebrafish Proteins*
11641213 Full text @ Development
masterblind (mbl) is a zebrafish mutation characterised by the absence or reduction in size of the telencephalon, optic vesicles and olfactory placodes. We show that inhibition of Gsk3beta in zebrafish embryos either by overexpression of dominant negative dn gsk3beta mRNA or by lithium treatment after the midblastula transition phenocopies mbl. The loss of anterior neural tissue in mbl and lithium-treated embryos is preceded by posteriorization of presumptive anterior neuroectoderm during gastrulation, which is evident from the anterior shift of marker genes Otx2 and Wnt1. Heterozygous mbl embryos showed increased sensitivity to inhibition of GSK3beta by lithium or dn Xgsk3beta that led to the loss of eyes. Overexpression of gsk3beta mRNA rescued eyes and the wild-type fgf8 expression of homozygous mbl embryos. emx1 that delineates the telencephalon is expanded and shifted ventroanteriorly in mbl embryos. In contrast to fgf8, the emx1 expression domain was not restored upon overexpression of gsk3beta mRNA. These experiments place mbl as an antagonist of the Wnt pathway in parallel or upstream of the complex consisting of Axin, APC and Gsk3beta that binds and phosphorylates beta-catenin, thereby destabilising it. mbl maps on LG 3 close to a candidate gene axin1. In mbl we detected a point mutation in the conserved minimal Gsk3beta-binding domain of axin1 leading to a leucine to glutamine substitution at position 399. Overexpression of wild-type axin1 mRNA rescued mbl completely, demonstrating that mutant axin1 is responsible for the mutant phenotype. Overexpression of mutant L399Q axin1 in wild-type embryos resulted in a dose-dependent dominant negative activity as demonstrated by the loss of telencephalon and eyes. We suggest that the function of Axin1/Mbl protein is to antagonise the Wnt signal and in doing so to establish and maintain the most anterior CNS. Our findings provide new insights into the mechanisms by which the Wnt pathway generates anteroposterior polarity of the neural plate.
Genes / Markers
Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes