57 research outputs found

    Rasl11b Knock Down in Zebrafish Suppresses One-Eyed-Pinhead Mutant Phenotype

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    The EGF-CFC factor Oep/Cripto1/Frl1 has been implicated in embryogenesis and several human cancers. During vertebrate development, Oep/Cripto1/Frl1 has been shown to act as an essential coreceptor in the TGFβ/Nodal pathway, which is crucial for germ layer formation. Although studies in cell cultures suggest that Oep/Cripto1/Frl1 is also implicated in other pathways, in vivo it is solely regarded as a Nodal coreceptor. We have found that Rasl11b, a small GTPase belonging to a Ras subfamily of putative tumor suppressor genes, modulates Oep function in zebrafish independently of the Nodal pathway. rasl11b down regulation partially rescues endodermal and prechordal plate defects of zygotic oep−/− mutants (Zoep). Rasl11b inhibitory action was only observed in oep-deficient backgrounds, suggesting that normal oep expression prevents Rasl11b function. Surprisingly, rasl11b down regulation does not rescue mesendodermal defects in other Nodal pathway mutants, nor does it influence the phosphorylation state of the downstream effector Smad2. Thus, Rasl11b modifies the effect of Oep on mesendoderm development independently of the main known Oep output: the Nodal signaling pathway. This data suggests a new branch of Oep signaling that has implications for germ layer development, as well as for studies of Oep/Frl1/Cripto1 dysfunction, such as that found in tumors

    Cytogenetic analysis of three species of Pseudacteon (Diptera, Phoridae) parasitoids of the fire ants using standard and molecular techniques

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    Pseudacteon flies, parasitoids of worker ants, are being intensively studied as potentially effective agents in the biological control of the invasive pest fire ant genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). This is the first attempt to describe the karyotype of P. curvatus Borgmeier, P. nocens Borgmeier and P. tricuspis Borgmeier. The three species possess 2n = 6; chromosomes I and II were metacentric in the three species, but chromosome pair III was subtelocentric in P. curvatus and P. tricuspis, and telocentric in P. nocens. All three species possess a C positive band in chromosome II, lack C positive heterochromatin on chromosome I, and are mostly differentiated with respect to chromosome III. P. curvatus and P. tricuspis possess a C positive band, but at different locations, whereas this band is absent in P. nocens. Heterochromatic bands are neither AT nor GC rich as revealed by fluorescent banding. In situ hybridization with an 18S rDNA probe revealed a signal on chromosome II in a similar location to the C positive band in the three species. The apparent lack of morphologically distinct sex chromosomes is consistent with proposals of environmental sex determination in the genus. Small differences detected in chromosome length and morphology suggests that chromosomes have been highly conserved during the evolutionary radiation of Pseudacteon. Possible mechanisms of karyotype evolution in the three species are suggested

    Nodal-Dependent Mesendoderm Specification Requires the Combinatorial Activities of FoxH1 and Eomesodermin

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    Vertebrate mesendoderm specification requires the Nodal signaling pathway and its transcriptional effector FoxH1. However, loss of FoxH1 in several species does not reliably cause the full range of loss-of-Nodal phenotypes, indicating that Nodal signals through additional transcription factors during early development. We investigated the FoxH1-dependent and -independent roles of Nodal signaling during mesendoderm patterning using a novel recessive zebrafish FoxH1 mutation called midway, which produces a C-terminally truncated FoxH1 protein lacking the Smad-interaction domain but retaining DNA–binding capability. Using a combination of gel shift assays, Nodal overexpression experiments, and genetic epistasis analyses, we demonstrate that midway more accurately represents a complete loss of FoxH1-dependent Nodal signaling than the existing zebrafish FoxH1 mutant schmalspur. Maternal-zygotic midway mutants lack notochords, in agreement with FoxH1 loss in other organisms, but retain near wild-type expression of markers of endoderm and various nonaxial mesoderm fates, including paraxial and intermediate mesoderm and blood precursors. We found that the activity of the T-box transcription factor Eomesodermin accounts for specification of these tissues in midway embryos. Inhibition of Eomesodermin in midway mutants severely reduces the specification of these tissues and effectively phenocopies the defects seen upon complete loss of Nodal signaling. Our results indicate that the specific combinations of transcription factors available for signal transduction play critical and separable roles in determining Nodal pathway output during mesendoderm patterning. Our findings also offer novel insights into the co-evolution of the Nodal signaling pathway, the notochord specification program, and the chordate branch of the deuterostome family of animals

    Friction forces position the neural anlage

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    During embryonic development, mechanical forces are essential for cellular rearrangements driving tissue morphogenesis. Here, we show that in the early zebrafish embryo, friction forces are generated at the interface between anterior axial mesoderm (prechordal plate, ppl) progenitors migrating towards the animal pole and neurectoderm progenitors moving in the opposite direction towards the vegetal pole of the embryo. These friction forces lead to global rearrangement of cells within the neurectoderm and determine the position of the neural anlage. Using a combination of experiments and simulations, we show that this process depends on hydrodynamic coupling between neurectoderm and ppl as a result of E-cadherin-mediated adhesion between those tissues. Our data thus establish the emergence of friction forces at the interface between moving tissues as a critical force-generating process shaping the embryo

    Molecular specification of germ layers in vertebrate embryos

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