Zebrafish pax5 regulates development of the utricular macula and vestibular function.
ABSTRACT The zebrafish otic vesicle initially forms with only two sensory epithelia, the utricular and saccular maculae, which primarily mediate vestibular and auditory function, respectively. Here, we test the role of pax5, which is preferentially expressed in the utricular macula. Morpholino knockdown of pax5 disrupts vestibular function but not hearing. Neurons of the statoacoustic ganglion (SAG) develop normally. Utricular hair cells appear to form normally but a variable number subsequently undergo apoptosis and are extruded from the otic vesicle. Dendrites of the SAG persist in the utricle but become disorganized after hair cell loss. Hair cells in the saccule develop and survive normally. Otic expression of pax5 requires pax2a and fgf3, mutations in which cause vestibular defects, albeit by distinct mechanisms. Thus, pax5 works in conjunction with fgf3 and pax2a to establish and/or maintain the utricular macula and is essential for vestibular function.
Article: Rapid identification of PAX2/5/8 direct downstream targets in the otic vesicle by combinatorial use of bioinformatics tools.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The pax2/5/8 genes belonging to the PAX family of transcription factors are key developmental regulators that are involved in the patterning of various embryonic tissues. More particularly, their function in inner ear specification has been widely described. However, little is known about the direct downstream targets and, so far, no global approaches have been performed to identify these target genes in this particular tissue. Here we present an original bioinformatics pipeline composed of comparative genomics, database querying and text mining tools, which is designed to rapidly and specifically discover PAX2/5/8 direct downstream targets involved in inner ear development. We provide evidence supported by experimental validation in medaka fish that brain 2 (POU domain, class 3, transcription factor 2), claudin-7, secretory pathway component sec31-like and meteorin-like precursor are novel direct downstream targets of PAX2/5/8. This study illustrates the power of extensive mining of public data repositories using bioinformatics methods to provide answers for a specific biological question. It furthermore demonstrates how the usage of such a combinatorial approach is advantageous for the biologist in terms of experimentation time and costs.Genome biology 11/2008; 9(10):R145. · 6.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pax2;5;8 transcription factors play diverse roles in vertebrate and invertebrate organogenesis, including the development of the inner ear. Past research has suggested various cochlear defects and some vestibular defects in Pax2 null mice but the details of the cochlear defects and the interaction with other Pax family members in ear development remain unclear. We show that Pax2;8 double null mice do not develop an ear past the otocyst stage and show little to no sensory as well as limited and transient neuronal development, thus indicating that these two family members are essential for overall ear morphogenesis and sustained neurosensory development. In support of functional redundancy between Pax proteins, Pax2 can be substituted by a Pax5 minigene, a gene normally not expressed in the embryonic mouse ear. There is no detectable morphological defect in Pax8 null mice suggesting that Pax2 expression can compensate for Pax8. Conversely, Pax8 cannot compensate for Pax2 leading to a cochlear phenotype not fully appreciated previously: Cochlear development is delayed until E15.5 when the cochlea extrudes as a large sack into the brain case. Immunocytochemistry and tracing from the brain show that a cochlear spiral ganglia form as a small addition to the inferior vestibular ganglion. However, the empty cochlear sack, devoid of any sensory epithelium development as indicated by the absence of Sox2 or MyoVII expression, nevertheless develop a dense innervation network of small neurons situated in the wall of the cochlear sack. Combined these data suggest that Pax2 is needed for organ of Corti formation and is directly or indirectly involved in the coordination of spiral ganglion formation which is partially disrupted in the Pax2 null ears. All three Pax genes can signal redundantly in the ear with their function being determined primarily by the spatio-temporal expression driven by the three distinct promoters of these genes.BMC Developmental Biology 01/2010; 10:89. · 2.79 Impact Factor
Article: Zona pellucida domain-containing protein β-tectorin is crucial for zebrafish proper inner ear development.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The zona pellucida (ZP) domain is part of many extracellular proteins with diverse functions from structural components to receptors. The mammalian β-tectorin is a protein of 336 amino acid residues containing a single ZP domain and a putative signal peptide at the N-terminus of the protein. It is 1 component of a gel-like structure called the tectorial membrane which is involved in transforming sound waves into neuronal signals and is important for normal auditory function. β-Tectorin is specifically expressed in the mammalian and avian inner ear. We identified and cloned the gene encoding zebrafish β-tectorin. Through whole-mount in situ hybridization, we demonstrated that β-tectorin messenger RNA was expressed in the otic placode and specialized sensory patch of the inner ear during zebrafish embryonic stages. Morpholino knockdown of zebrafish β-tectorin affected the position and number of otoliths in the ears of morphants. Finally, swimming behaviors of β-tectorin morphants were abnormal since the development of the inner ear was compromised. Our results reveal that zebrafish β-tectorin is specifically expressed in the zebrafish inner ear, and is important for regulating the development of the zebrafish inner ear. Lack of zebrafish β-tectorin caused severe defects in inner ear formation of otoliths and function.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e23078. · 4.09 Impact Factor