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, 53 (2), 261-73

Induction of a Secondary Embryonic Axis in Zebrafish Occurs Following the Overexpression of Beta-Catenin

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Induction of a Secondary Embryonic Axis in Zebrafish Occurs Following the Overexpression of Beta-Catenin

G M Kelly et al. Mech Dev.

Abstract

Formation of the vertebrate axis may involve a Wnt signaling cascade similar to the Drosophila wingless pathway. Zebrafish wnt8 is a candidate for involvement in axis specification insofar as it is expressed maternally and when overexpressed it can induce goosecoid, a transcription factor normally expressed in the embryonic shield. In this study we demonstrate that beta-catenin, a cadherin associated protein in the Wnt pathway, is expressed maternally in zebrafish and is widely distributed in the early embryo. Overexpressing beta-catenin in early zebrafish embryos induces goosecoid and ntl, ultimately leading to a duplication of a complete secondary axis. These data are consistent with the involvement of beta-catenin in a Wnt signaling pathway which is involved in mesoderm induction in zebrafish.

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