ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-070912-10
A role for N-cadherin in mesodermal morphogenesis during gastrulation
Warga, R.M., and Kane, D.A.
Date: 2007
Source: Developmental Biology   310(2): 211-225 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Kane, Donald A., Warga, Rachel M.
Keywords: Mesoderm, Muscle, Notochord, Cell adhesion, N-Cadherin, Gain-of-function, Gastrulation
MeSH Terms:
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cadherins/genetics
  • Cadherins/physiology*
  • Cell Adhesion/physiology*
  • Ectoderm/embryology
  • Ectoderm/physiology
  • Gastrulation/physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Mesoderm/embryology
  • Mesoderm/physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Neural Tube/embryology
  • Neural Tube/physiology
  • Neurulation/physiology
  • Zebrafish/embryology
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins/physiology*
PubMed: 17826762 Full text @ Dev. Biol.
Cell adhesion molecules mediate numerous developmental processes necessary for the segregation and organization of tissues. Here we show that the zebrafish biber (bib) mutant encodes a dominant allele at the N-cadherin locus. When knocked down with antisense oligonucleotides, bib mutants phenocopy parachute (pac) null alleles, demonstrating that bib is a gain-of-function mutation. The mutant phenotype disrupts normal cell-cell contacts throughout the mesoderm as well as the ectoderm. During gastrulation stages, cells of the mesodermal germ layer converge slowly; during segmentation stages, the borders between paraxial and axial tissues are irregular and somite borders do not form; later, myotomes are fused. During neurulation, the neural tube is disorganized. Although weaker, all traits present in bib mutants were found in pac mutants. When the distribution of N-cadherin mRNA was analyzed to distinguish mesodermal from neuroectodermal expression, we found that N-cadherin is strongly expressed in the yolk cell and hypoblast in the early gastrula, just preceding the appearance of the bib mesodermal defects. Only later is N-cadherin expressed in the anlage of the CNS, where it is found as a radial gradient in the forming neural plate. Hence, besides a well-established role in neural and somite morphogenesis, N-cadherin is essential for morphogenesis of the mesodermal germ layer during gastrulation.