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Development. 1999 Jan;126(1):181-90.

In vivo analysis using variants of zebrafish BMPR-IA: range of action and involvement of BMP in ectoderm patterning.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0812, Japan.

Abstract

It has been an intriguing problem whether the polypeptide growth factors belonging to the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily function as direct and long-range signaling molecules in pattern formation of the early embryo. In this study, we examined the mechanism of signal propagation of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) in the ectodermal patterning of zebrafish embryos, in which BMP functions as an epidermal inducer and a neural inhibitor. To estimate the effective range of zbmp-2, we first performed whole-mount in situ hybridization analysis. The zbmp-2-expressing domain and the neuroectoderm, marked by otx-2 expression, were complementary, suggesting that BMP has a short-range effect in vivo. Moreover, mosaic experiments using a constitutively active form of a zebrafish BMP type I receptor (CA-BRIA) demonstrated that the cell-fate conversion, revealed by ectopic expression of gata-3 and repression of otx-2, occurred in a cell-autonomous manner, denying the involvement of the relay mechanism. We also found that zbmp-2 was induced cell autonomously within the transplanted cells in the host ectoderm, suggesting that BMP cannot influence even the neighboring cells. This result is consistent with the observation that there is no gap between the expression domains of zbmp-2 and otx-2. Taken together, we propose that, in ectodermal patterning, BMP exerts a direct and cell-autonomous effect to fate uncommitted ectodermal cells to become epidermis.

PMID:
9834197
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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