Shuichi Wada

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The first chordates appear in the fossil record at the time of the Cambrian explosion, nearly 550 million years ago. The modern ascidian tadpole represents a plausible approximation to these ancestral chordates. To illuminate the origins of chordate and vertebrates, we generated a draft of the protein-coding portion of the genome of the most studied(More)
Cephalochordates, urochordates, and vertebrates evolved from a common ancestor over 520 million years ago. To improve our understanding of chordate evolution and the origin of vertebrates, we intensively searched for particular genes, gene families, and conserved noncoding elements in the sequenced genome of the cephalochordate Branchiostoma floridae,(More)
To obtain insight into the axis-forming mechanism in ascidian embryogenesis, Hroth, an ascidian counterpart of orthodenticle/otx, was isolated from Halocynthia roretzi and its expression in embryogenesis was examined by whole mount in situ hybridization. It was revealed that Hroth is expressed in both involuting mesoendoderm and anterior ectoderm during(More)
Hrlim is a LIM class homeobox gene that was first isolated from the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi. To assess its roles in early development of the ascidian, spatial and temporal expression of Hrlim was examined by whole mount in situ hybridization. This revealed that transcription of Hrlim is activated at the 32-cell stage specifically in the endoderm(More)
Two axial structures, a neural tube and a notochord, are key structures in the chordate body plan and in understanding the origin of chordates. To expand our knowledge on mechanisms of development of the neural tube in lower chordates, we have undertaken isolation and characterization of HrzicN, a new member of the Zic family gene of the ascidian,(More)
An extracellular signaling molecule acts on several types of cells, evoking characteristic and different responses depending on intrinsic factors in the signal-receiving cells. In ascidian embryos, notochord and mesenchyme are induced in the anterior and posterior margins, respectively, of the vegetal hemisphere by the same FGF signal emanating from(More)
To obtain insights into the mechanisms of gastrulation and neural tube formation, we studied the function and regulation of expression of Hroth, the ascidian homologue of orthodenticle/otx, during embryogenesis. Microinjection of synthetic Hroth mRNA into fertilized eggs led to embryos with an expanded trunk and a reduced tail. In these embryos, development(More)
In the present study, we conducted an extensive analysis to identify novel genes with developmental function among Ciona intestinalis genes discovered by cDNA projects. Translation of a total of 200 genes expressed during embryogenesis was suppressed by using specific morpholino antisense oligonucleotides. Suppression of the translation of any of 40 genes(More)
Otx genes are expressed in the anterior neural tube and endoderm in all of the chordates so far examined. In mouse embryos, important roles of otx genes in the brain development have been well documented. However, roles of otx genes in other chordate species have been less characterized. To advance our understanding about roles of otx genes in chordates, we(More)
Molecular chaperones play crucial roles in various aspects of the biogenesis and maintenance of proteins in the cell. The heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) chaperone system, in which HSP70 proteins act as chaperones, is one of the major molecular chaperone systems conserved among a variety of organisms. To shed light on the evolutionary history of the(More)