ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-050215-7
Interaction of Wnt and caudal-related genes in zebrafish posterior body formation
Shimizu, T., Bae, Y.K., Muraoka, O., and Hibi, M.
Date: 2005
Source: Developmental Biology   279(1): 125-141 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Bae, Young Ki, Hibi, Masahiko, Muraoka, Osamu, Shimizu, Takashi
Keywords: Wnt; caudal-related gene; fgf; hox; Tail; Posterior body; Segmentation; Zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Homeodomain Proteins/genetics*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/genetics*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Transcription Factors/genetics*
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics
PubMed: 15708563 Full text @ Dev. Biol.
Although Wnt signaling plays an important role in body patterning during early vertebrate embryogenesis, the mechanisms by which Wnts control the individual processes of body patterning are largely unknown. In zebrafish, wnt3a and wnt8 are expressed in overlapping domains in the blastoderm margin and later in the tailbud. The combined inhibition of Wnt3a and Wnt8 by antisense morpholino oligonucleotides led to anteriorization of the neuroectoderm, expansion of the dorsal organizer, and loss of the posterior body structure-a more severe phenotype than with inhibition of each Wnt alone-indicating a redundant role for Wnt3a and Wnt8. The ventrally expressed homeobox genes vox, vent, and ved mediated Wnt3a/Wnt8 signaling to restrict the organizer domain. Of posterior body-formation genes, expression of the caudal-related cdx1a and cdx4/kugelig, but not bmps or cyclops, was strongly reduced in the wnt3a/wnt8 morphant embryos. Like the wnt3a/wnt8 morphant embryos, cdx1a/cdx4 morphant embryos displayed complete loss of the tail structure, suggesting that Cdx1a and Cdx4 mediate Wnt-dependent posterior body formation. We also found that cdx1a and cdx4 expression is dependent on Fgf signaling. hoxa9a and hoxb7a expression was down-regulated in the wnt3a/wnt8 and cdx1a/cdx4 morphant embryos, and in embryos with defects in Fgf signaling. Fgf signaling was required for Cdx-mediated hoxa9a expression. Both the wnt3a/wnt8 and cdx1a/cdx4 morphant embryos failed to promote somitogenesis during mid-segmentation. These data indicate that the cdx genes mediate Wnt signaling and play essential roles in the morphogenesis of the posterior body in zebrafish.