Learn More
Wnt/Frizzled/ss-catenin-based signaling systems play diverse roles in metazoan development, being involved not only in the establishment of body axes in embryogenesis but also in regulating stem cell fate in mammalian post-embryonic development. We have studied the role the canonical Wnt cascade plays in stem cell fate determination in Hydractinia, a member(More)
We have studied the role the canonical Wnt pathway plays in hydroid pattern formation during embryonic development and metamorphosis. Transcripts of Wnt and Tcf were asymmetrically deposited in the oocyte and subsequent developmental stages, marking the sites of first cleavage, posterior larval pole and the upcoming head of the metamorphosed polyp. To(More)
The evolutionary origin of stem cell pluripotency is an unresolved question. In mammals, pluripotency is limited to early embryos and is induced and maintained by a small number of key transcription factors, of which the POU domain protein Oct4 is considered central. Clonal invertebrates, by contrast, possess pluripotent stem cells throughout their life,(More)
Hydroids, members of the most ancient eumetazoan phylum, the Cnidaria, harbor multipotent, migratory stem cells lodged in interstitial spaces of epithelial cells and are therefore referred to as interstitial cells or i-cells. According to traditional understanding, based on studies in Hydra, these i-cells give rise to several cell types such as stinging(More)
We studied the role of Wnt signaling in axis formation during metamorphosis and regeneration in the cnidarian Hydractinia. Activation of Wnt downstream events during metamorphosis resulted in a complete oralization of the animals and repression of aboral structures (i.e. stolons). The expression of Wnt3, Tcf and Brachyury was upregulated and became(More)
With the rapid increase of the quantity of molecular data, many animals joined the ranks of the so-called 'emerging models' of Evo-Devo. One of the necessary steps in converting an emerging model into an established one is gaining comprehensive knowledge of its normal embryonic development. The marine colonial hydrozoan Hydractinia echinata - an excellent(More)
In Hydractinia, a colonial marine hydroid representing the basal phylum Cnidaria, Wnt signaling plays a major role in the specification of the primary body axis in embryogenesis and in the establishment of the oral pole during metamorphosis. Here we report supplementing investigations on head regeneration and bud formation in post-metamorphic development.(More)
Chitinases are enzymes that degrade chitin, the second most abundant polymer in nature. They are ubiquitous among living organisms where they play a role in development, food-digestion and innate immunity. We have cloned and characterized the first cnidarian chitinase cDNA from the hydroid Hydractinia. The Hydractinia chitinase exhibits a typical secreted(More)
Tachylectin-related proteins are a recently characterized group of pattern recognition molecules, functioning in the innate immunity of various animals, from the ancient sponges to vertebrates. Tachylectins are characterized by six internal tandem repeats forming beta-propeller domains. We have identified and characterized a tachylectin-related gene in the(More)
To analyse cell migration and the differentiation potential of migratory stem cells in Hydractinia, we generated animals with an eGFP reporter gene stably expressed and transmitted via the germline. The transgene was placed under the control of two different actin promoters and the promoter of elongation factor-1α. One actin promoter (Act-II) and the EF-1α(More)