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Dev Dyn. 2011 Sep;240(9):2204-20. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.22713.

Examination of a palatogenic gene program in zebrafish.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cell and Developmental Biology, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology and Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA. swartz@mail.utexas.edu

Abstract

Human palatal clefting is debilitating and difficult to rectify surgically. Animal models enhance our understanding of palatogenesis and are essential in strategies designed to ameliorate palatal malformations in humans. Recent studies have shown that the zebrafish palate, or anterior neurocranium, is under similar genetic control to the amniote palatal skeleton. We extensively analyzed palatogenesis in zebrafish to determine the similarity of gene expression and function across vertebrates. By 36 hours postfertilization (hpf) palatogenic cranial neural crest cells reside in homologous regions of the developing face compared with amniote species. Transcription factors and signaling molecules regulating mouse palatogenesis are expressed in similar domains during palatogenesis in zebrafish. Functional investigation of a subset of these genes, fgf10a, tgfb2, pax9, and smad5 revealed their necessity in zebrafish palatogenesis. Collectively, these results suggest that the gene regulatory networks regulating palatogenesis may be conserved across vertebrate species, demonstrating the utility of zebrafish as a model for palatogenesis.

PMID:
22016187
PMCID:
PMC3202344
DOI:
10.1002/dvdy.22713
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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