Chengtian Zhao

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The formation and function of cilia involves the movement of intraflagellar transport (IFT) particles underneath the ciliary membrane, along axonemal microtubules. Although this process has been studied extensively, its molecular basis remains incompletely understood. For example, it is unknown how the IFT particle interacts with transmembrane proteins. To(More)
Sp1-like family is an expanding transcription factor family. Members of this family bind to the GC-box or GT-box elements in the promoter/enhancers and regulate the expression of the target genes. Currently, this family consists of at least nine members, which may act as a transactivator or a repressor on target promoters. Sp1-like transcription factors are(More)
The differentiation of cilia is mediated by kinesin-driven transport. As the function of kinesins in vertebrate ciliogenesis is poorly characterized, we decided to determine the role of kinesin-2 family motors--heterotrimeric kinesin-II and the homodimeric Kif17 kinesin--in zebrafish cilia. We report that kif17 is largely dispensable for ciliogenesis; kif17(More)
Sox9 is a transcription factor related to campomelic dysplasia and sex reversal in human patients. Earlier studies in zebrafish led to the identification of two homologues of mammalian sox9, sox9a and sox9b. The present study represents the first evaluation of expression patterns of zebrafish sox9b during early embryogenesis. Our analyses reveal that sox9b(More)
Fgf signaling, mediated in part by the transcription factor Brachyury/Xbra/Ntl, plays important roles in mesoderm formation during the early development of vertebrate embryos. We have identified a zebrafish gene, spr2, which encodes a member of the Sp1-like transcription factor family. spr2 is expressed in both hypoblast and epiblast cells during late(More)
During vertebrate craniofacial development, neural crest cells (NCCs) contribute to most of the craniofacial pharyngeal skeleton. Defects in NCC specification, migration and differentiation resulting in malformations in the craniofacial complex are associated with human craniofacial disorders including Treacher-Collins Syndrome, caused by mutations in(More)
Cilia play key roles in many aspects of embryogenesis and adult physiology in vertebrates. Past genetic screens in zebrafish identified numerous defects of ciliogenesis, including several mutations in the components of the intraflagellar transport machinery. In contrast to previous studies, here we describe a collection of mutants that affect subpopulations(More)
Cilia are required for the development and function of many organs. Efficient transport of protein cargo along ciliary axoneme is necessary to sustain these processes. Despite its importance, the mode of interaction between the intraflagellar ciliary transport (IFT) mechanism and its cargo proteins remains poorly understood. Our studies demonstrate that IFT(More)
HuC, a vertebrate ortholog of Drosophila elav gene, encodes an RNA binding protein and is involved in early neurogenesis. Zebrafish huC is expressed in distinct neurons, including Rohon-Beard (RB) sensory neurons, interneurons and motoneurons, during primary neurogenesis, and in all neurons later during secondary neurogenesis. In this study, we identify two(More)
Gata2 is an essential hematopoietic transcriptional factor that is also expressed prominently in the nervous system. The early lethality of knockout mice due to severe anemia has largely precluded studies of gata2 neural regulation and function. In this report, we describe the identification of zebrafish Pur alpha and Sp8 orthologs as two factors that(More)