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Int J Biol Sci. 2013;9(3):267-78. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.4887. Epub 2013 Mar 6.

Yes-associated protein (yap) is required for early embryonic development in zebrafish (danio rerio).

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


The hippo (Hpo) signaling pathway plays a critical role in regulation of organ size. The kinase cascade ultimately antagonizes the transcriptional co-activator Yki/YAP, which is a key regulator of cell proliferation and apoptosis. In this study, we performed a knocking down study using antisense morpholino (MO) reagents and found that zebrafish YAP, a key transcriptional co-activator of Hpo pathway, plays a critical role in early embryonic development. At the cellular level, yap inhibition increases apoptosis and decreases cell proliferation. Reduction of yap function severely delays several developmental events, including gastrulation, cardiogenesis and hematopoiesis. Knockdown of yap showed some evidence of ventralization, including reduction of dorsally expressed marker goosecoid (gsc), expansion of ventral marker gata2, disruption of the somites, and reduction in head size. Finally, we performed a preliminary analysis with real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for the candidate targets of zebrafish Hpo pathway. In conclusion, our results revealed that zebrafish yap coordinately regulates cell proliferation and apoptosis and is required for dorsoventral axis formation, gastrulation, cardiogenesis, hematopoiesis, and somitogenesis.


Yap; Yes-Associated Protein; Zebrafish

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