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Journal Article

Zebrafish twist2/dermo1 regulates scale shape and scale organization during skin development and regeneration


Nüsslein-Volhard,  C
Department Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Jacob, T., Chakravarty, A., Panchal, A., Patil, M., Ghodadra, G., Sudhakaran, J., et al. (2021). Zebrafish twist2/dermo1 regulates scale shape and scale organization during skin development and regeneration. Cells & Development, 166: 203684. doi:10.1016/j.cdev.2021.203684.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-57BF-E
Scales are skin appendages in fishes that evolutionarily predate feathers in birds and hair in mammals. Zebrafish scales are dermal in origin and develop during metamorphosis. Understanding regulation of scale development in zebrafish offers an exciting possibility of unraveling how the mechanisms of skin appendage formation evolved in lower vertebrates and whether these mechanisms remained conserved in birds and mammals. Here we have investigated the expression and function of twist 2/dermo1 gene - known for its function in feather and hair formation - in scale development and regeneration. We show that of the four zebrafish twist paralogues, twist2/dermo1 and twist3 are expressed in the scale forming cells during scale development. Their expression is also upregulated during scale regeneration. Our knockout analysis reveals that twist2/dermo1 gene functions in the maintenance of the scale shape and organization during development as well as regeneration. We further show that the expression of twist2/dermo1 and twist3 is regulated by Wnt signaling. Our results demonstrate that the function of twist2/dermo1 in skin appendage formation, presumably under regulation of Wnt signaling, originated during evolution of basal vertebrates.