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Dev Biol. 2007 Apr 1;304(1):355-66. Epub 2006 Dec 23.

Function of FGF signaling in the developmental process of the median fin fold in zebrafish.

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  • 1Department of Developmental Biology and Neurosciences, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, Aobayama, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8578, Japan.


Median fins, unpaired appendages in fish, are fundamental locomotory organs that are believed to have evolved before paired lateral appendages in vertebrates. However, the early process of median fin development remains largely unknown. We investigated the early development of the median fin fold, a rudiment of median fins, and report here the process in zebrafish embryos and the function of FGF signaling in the process. Using expressions of three genes, dlx5a, sp9 and fgf24, as markers of different phases of fold development, our findings suggest that the early process of median fin fold development can be divided into two steps, specification of the median fin fold territory and construction of the fold structure. Both loss-of-function and gain-of-function assays revealed that FGF signaling plays roles in each step, suggesting a common mechanism for the development of median appendages and paired lateral appendages.

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