Induction of a secondary embryonic axis in zebrafish occurs following the overexpression of beta-catenin

Mech Dev. 1995 Oct;53(2):261-73. doi: 10.1016/0925-4773(95)00442-4.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Proteins*
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Xenopus
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • beta Catenin


  • CTNNB1 protein, Xenopus
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • beta Catenin
  • ctnnb1 protein, zebrafish
  • wnt8a protein, zebrafish

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U41081