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Development. 2002 Nov;129(22):5205-16.

T-brain homologue (HpTb) is involved in the archenteron induction signals of micromere descendant cells in the sea urchin embryo.

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Department of Mathematical and Life Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8526, Japan.


Signals from micromere descendants play a crucial role in sea urchin development. In this study, we demonstrate that these micromere descendants express HpTb, a T-brain homolog of Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus. HpTb is expressed transiently from the hatched blastula stage through the mesenchyme blastula stage to the gastrula stage. By a combination of embryo microsurgery and antisense morpholino experiments, we show that HpTb is involved in the production of archenteron induction signals. However, HpTb is not involved in the production of signals responsible for the specification of secondary mesenchyme cells, the initial specification of primary mesenchyme cells, or the specification of endoderm. HpTb expression is controlled by nuclear localization of beta-catenin, suggesting that HpTb is in a downstream component of the Wnt signaling cascade. We also propose the possibility that HpTb is involved in the cascade responsible for the production of signals required for the spicule formation as well as signals from the vegetal hemisphere required for the differentiation of aboral ectoderm.

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