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Mech Dev. 2006 Oct;123(10):783-91. Epub 2006 Jul 21.

Myocyte-specific enhancer factor 2A is essential for zebrafish posterior somite development.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Shanghai Medical School and Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Ministry of Education, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, PR China.


Somite development is governed tightly by genetic factors. In the large-scale mutagenesis screens of zebrafish, no mutations were linked to myocyte enhancer factor 2A (MEF2A) locus. In this study, we find that MEF2A knock-down embryos display a downward tail curvature and have U-shaped posterior somites. Furthermore, we demonstrate that MEF2A is required for Hedgehog signaling. MEF2A inhibition results in induction of apoptosis in the posterior somites. We further find that Hedgehog signaling can negatively regulate MEF2A expression in the somites. Microarray studies reveal a number of genes that are differentially expressed in the MEF2A morphants. Our studies suggest that MEF2A is essential for zebrafish posterior somite development.

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