ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-090429-2
Germ cell migration in zebrafish is cyclopamine-sensitive but Smoothened-independent
Mich, J.K., Blaser, H., Thomas, N.A., Firestone, A.J., Yelon, D., Raz, E., and Chen, J.K.
Date: 2009
Source: Developmental Biology   328(2): 342-354 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Blaser, Heiko, Chen, James K., Firestone, Ari, Mich, John, Raz, Erez, Yelon, Deborah
Keywords: Primordial germ cell, Zebrafish, Hedgehog signaling, Smoothened, Cyclopamine
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion/drug effects
  • Cell Adhesion/physiology
  • Cell Movement/drug effects
  • Cell Movement/physiology*
  • Cell Polarity/drug effects
  • Cell Polarity/physiology
  • Chemotaxis/drug effects
  • Chemotaxis/physiology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/drug effects
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/physiology
  • Germ Cells/drug effects
  • Germ Cells/physiology*
  • Hedgehog Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Hedgehog Proteins/metabolism*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled/physiology*
  • Signal Transduction/drug effects
  • Signal Transduction/physiology
  • Veratrum Alkaloids/pharmacology*
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
  • Zebrafish/physiology
  • Zebrafish Proteins/physiology*
PubMed: 19389352 Full text @ Dev. Biol.
Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the progenitors of reproductive cells in metazoans and are an important model for the study of cell migration in vivo. Previous reports have suggested that Hedgehog (Hh) protein acts as a chemoattractant for PGC migration in the Drosophila embryo and that downstream signaling proteins such as Patched (Ptc) and Smoothened (Smo) are required for PGC localization to somatic gonadal precursors. Here we interrogate whether Hh signaling is required for PGC migration in vertebrates, using the zebrafish as a model system. We find that cyclopamine, an inhibitor of Hh signaling, causes strong defects in the migration of PGCs in the zebrafish embryo. However, these defects are not due to inhibition of Smoothened (Smo) by cyclopamine; rather, we find that neither maternal nor zygotic Smo is required for PGC migration in the zebrafish embryo. Cyclopamine instead acts independently of Smo to decrease the motility of zebrafish PGCs, in part by dysregulating cell adhesion and uncoupling cell polarization and translocation. These results demonstrate that Hh signaling is not required for zebrafish PGC migration, and underscore the importance of regulated cell-cell adhesion for cell migration in vivo.