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Curr Biol. 2005 Mar 8;15(5):480-8.

The zebrafish-secreted matrix protein you/scube2 is implicated in long-range regulation of hedgehog signaling.

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Department of Biological Science, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.

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  • Curr Biol. 2005 Jul 26;15(14):1337.


The Hedgehog (Hh) signal plays a pivotal role in induction of ventral neuronal and muscle cell types around the midline during vertebrate development [1]. We report that the gene disrupted in zebrafish you mutants, in which Hh signaling is impaired, encodes the secreted matrix protein Scube2. Consistently, epistasis analyses suggested that Scube2 functions upstream of Hh ligands or through a parallel pathway. In addition, overexpression analyses suggested that Scube2 is an essential, but a permissive, mediator of Hh signaling in zebrafish embryos. Surprisingly, the you gene is expressed in the dorsal neural tube, raising the possibility that Scube2 could indirectly act via a long-range regulator of Hh signaling. The dorsal Bmps have a long-range and opposing influence on Hh signaling [2-5]. We show that neural plate patterning is affected in you mutants in a way that is consistent with the aberrant long-range action of a Bmp-dependent signal. We further show that Bmp activity can be attenuated by the coexpression of Scube2. Our data support the idea that Scube2 can modulate the long-range action of Bmp-dependent signaling in the neural tube and somites.

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