Neto, A., Mercader, N., and Gómez-Skarmeta, J.L. (2012) The osr1 and osr2 genes act in the pronephric anlage downstream of retinoic acid signaling and upstream of wnt2b to maintain pectoral fin development. Development (Cambridge, England). 139(2):301-11.
Vertebrate odd-skipped related genes (Osr) have an essential function during the formation of the intermediate mesoderm (IM) and the kidney structures derived from it. Here, we show that these genes are also crucial for limb bud formation in the adjacent lateral plate mesoderm (LPM). Reduction of zebrafish Osr function impairs fin development by the failure of tbx5a maintenance in the developing pectoral fin bud. Osr morphant embryos show reduced wnt2b expression, and increasing Wnt signaling in Osr morphant embryos partially rescues tbx5a expression. Thus, Osr genes control limb bud development in a non-cell-autonomous manner, probably through the activation of Wnt2b. Finally, we demonstrate that Osr genes are downstream targets of retinoic acid (RA) signaling. Therefore, Osr genes act as a relay within the genetic cascade of fin bud formation: by controlling the expression of the signaling molecule Wnt2ba in the IM they play an essential function transmitting the RA signaling originated in the somites to the LPM.