ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-201209-14
Midline morphogenesis of zebrafish foregut endoderm is dependent on Hoxb5b
Dalgin, G., Prince, V.E.
Date: 2020
Source: Developmental Biology   471: 1-9 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Dalgin, Gokhan, Prince, Victoria E.
Keywords: CRISPR/Cas9, Endoderm, Foregut, Liver, Pancreas, hoxb5
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Body Patterning*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/embryology*
  • Endoderm/embryology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Homeodomain Proteins/genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins/metabolism*
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism*
PubMed: 33290819 Full text @ Dev. Biol.
During vertebrate embryonic development complex morphogenetic events drive the formation of internal organs associated with the developing digestive tract. The foregut organs derive from hepatopancreatic precursor cells that originate bilaterally within the endoderm monolayer, and subsequently converge toward the midline where they coalesce to produce the gut tube from which the liver and pancreas form. The progenitor cells of these internal organs are influenced by the lateral plate mesoderm (LPM), which helps direct them towards their specific fates. However, it is not completely understood how the bilateral organ precursors move toward the embryonic midline and ultimately coalesce to form functional organs. Here we demonstrate that the zebrafish homeobox gene hoxb5b regulates morphogenesis of the foregut endoderm at the midline. At early segmentation stages, hoxb5b is expressed in the LPM adjacent to the developing foregut endoderm. By 24 hpf hoxb5b is expressed directly in the endoderm cells of the developing gut tube. When Hoxb5b function is disrupted, either by morpholino knockdown or sgRNA/Cas9 somatic disruption, the process of foregut morphogenesis is disrupted, resulting in a bifurcated foregut. By contrast, knockdown of the paralogous hoxb5a gene does not alter gut morphology. Further analysis has indicated that Hoxb5b knockdown specimens produce endocrine pancreas cell types, but liver cells are absent. Finally, cell transplantation experiments revealed that Hoxb5b function in the endoderm is not needed for proper coalescence of the foregut at the midline. Together, our findings imply that midline morphogenesis of foregut endoderm is guided by a hoxb5b-mediated mechanism that functions extrinsically, likely within the LPM. Loss of hoxb5b function prevents normal coalescence of endoderm cells at the midline and thus disrupts gut morphogenesis.