Distinct expression patterns of dickkopf genes during late embryonic development of Danio rerio
- Untergasser, G., Martowicz, A., Hermann, M., Töchterle, S., and Meyer, D.
- Gene expression patterns : GEP 11(8): 491-500 (Journal)
- Registered Authors
- Meyer, Dirk, Töchterle, Sonja
- MeSH Terms
- Cell Differentiation/physiology
- Embryo, Nonmammalian/cytology
- Embryo, Nonmammalian/embryology*
- Embryonic Development/physiology*
- Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental/physiology*
- Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/biosynthesis*
- Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/genetics
- Organ Specificity/physiology
- Zebrafish Proteins/biosynthesis*
- Zebrafish Proteins/genetics
- 21889616 Full text @ Gene Expr. Patterns
Dickkopf (dkk) genes belong to the family of secreted wnt-inhibitors with conserved cysteine-rich domains. In contrast to the prototype dkk1, dkk3 does not modulate canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Until now, neither functions nor interaction partners of dkk3 in lower vertebrates have been described. In this study we cloned two dkk3 homologues dkk3a(dkk3l) and dkk3b(dkk3) and a dkk1 homologue dkk1a of the zebrafish and studied their expression patterns during embryonic development in comparison to the known dkk1b gene. Moreover, mutants with defects in hedgehog signalling (smo), notch (mib) signalling, nodal signalling (Zoep) or retinoic acid synthesis (neckless) were analyzed for changes in dkk3 gene expression.
In situ hybridization analyses showed a dynamic expression of dkk1a and dkk1b primarily in epidermal structures of the otic vesicle, lens, branchial arches and fin folds. While dkk1a was expressed mainly in deep tissues, dkk1b expression was mainly found in protrusions at the outer surface of the branchial arch epidermis. In contrast, dkk3 genes showed expression in different tissues. Strong signals for dkk3a(dkk3l) were present in various neuronal structures of the head, whereas dkk3b(dkk3) expression was restricted mainly to endocrine cells of the pancreas and to the brachial arches.
In summary, both dkk3 genes display a unique and distinct expression pattern in late embryonic development, pointing to a specific role during neuronal and pancreatic cell differentiation.