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Motile cilia induce fluid movement through their rhythmic beating activity. In mammals, the transcription factor Foxj1 has been implicated in motile cilia formation. Here we show that a zebrafish Foxj1 homolog, foxj1a, is a target of Hedgehog signaling in the floor plate. Loss of Foxj1a compromises the assembly of motile cilia that decorate floor plate(More)
BACKGROUND In the zebrafish embryo, the differentiation of distinct muscle fiber types has been shown to require the activity of members of the Hedgehog (Hh) family of secreted proteins. Evidence from other systems suggests that Hh behaves as a morphogen, inducing cell fates in a concentration-dependent manner. Exactly how Hh signaling contributes to the(More)
Axon pathfinding and target choice are governed by cell type-specific responses to external cues. Here, we show that in the Drosophila embryo, motorneurons with targets in the dorsal muscle field express the homeobox gene even-skipped and that this expression is necessary and sufficient to direct motor axons into the dorsal muscle field. Previously, it was(More)
Vertebrate skeletal muscles comprise distinct fiber types that differ in their morphology, contractile function, mitochondrial content and metabolic properties. Recent studies identified the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α as a key mediator of the physiological stimuli that modulate fiber-type plasticity in postembryonic development. Although myoblasts(More)
The erect wing locus of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster encodes a protein, EWG, that shares extensive homology with the P3A2 DNA binding protein of sea urchin and a recently identified mammalian transcription factor. Loss-of-function erect wing alleles result in embryonic lethality. Viable alleles of erect wing cause severe abnormalities of the(More)
Signaling by lipid-modified secreted glycoproteins of the Hedgehog family play fundamental roles during pattern formation in animal development and in humans; dysfunction of Hedgehog pathway components is frequently associated with a variety of congenital abnormalities and cancer. Transcriptional regulation of Hedgehog target genes is mediated by members of(More)
Cilia play many essential roles in fluid transport and cellular locomotion, and as sensory hubs for a variety of signal transduction pathways. Despite having a conserved basic morphology, cilia vary extensively in their shapes and sizes, ultrastructural details, numbers per cell, motility patterns and sensory capabilities. Emerging evidence indicates that(More)
Skeletal muscles arise by fusion of precursor cells, myoblasts, into multinucleated fibers. In vertebrates, mechanisms controlling this essential step in myogenesis remain poorly understood. Here we provide evidence that Kirrel, a homolog of receptor proteins that organize myoblast fusion in Drosophila melanogaster , is necessary for muscle precursor fusion(More)
Cell-cell fusion is a crucial and highly regulated event in the genesis of both form and function of many tissues. One particular type of cell fusion, myoblast fusion, is a key cellular process that shapes the formation and repair of muscle. Despite its importance for human health, the mechanisms underlying this process are still not well understood. The(More)
The B-lymphocyte-inducing maturation protein (Blimp-1) gene encodes a zinc finger and SET/PR domain-containing transcriptional factor. A number of functional studies in a variety of vertebrate species have demonstrated that Blimp-1 is a master regulator of cell fate determination and cell differentiation in a wide diversity of developmental contexts.(More)