Using zebrafish as a model organism, Dr. Christian Klein and Professor Ferdinand le Noble showed that the gene navigator-3 (abbreviated nav3a) regulates liver organogenesis. If nav3a is missing, the liver cannot develop (Development 2011, doi:10.1242/dev.056861)*. “Moreover, first evidence indicates,” Dr. Klein said, “that the expression of this gene is dysregulated during the pathogenesis of liver diseases in humans.”
New insights into liver organogenesis in zebrafish embryos (Photo: Christian Klein/Copyright: MDC)
Scientists have known for some time that in the early phase of embryogenesis, neural guidance genes also play a role in the development of the vascular system. This is the focus of the research group “Angiogenesis and Cardiovascular Pathology” led by Professor le Noble. Dr. Klein, a member of this research group, discovered during his study of zebrafish that the navigator gene nav3a is also crucial for liver organogenesis.
In the zebrafish embryo, the navigator gene is active in the precursor cells of the liver. If it is missing, the liver cannot develop. The navigator gene, as its name implies, guides the cells in their migration. In a further step the researchers showed that nav3a optimizes cytoskeletal modulation in the cells, precisely orchestrating the migration of the cells to their determined destination, at which they subsequently form the liver. The production of the navigator gene is initiated by the signaling molecule wnt2bb, which belongs to a gene family that has key functions in organogenesis.
The study of developmental processes in zebrafish embryos is also important for research into human diseases. According to Dr. Klein there are first indications “that dysregulated expression of nav3a is involved in the pathogenesis of liver cancer and liver cirrhosis in humans. Nav3a could thus be an important therapeutic target.”*Neuron navigator 3a regulates liver organogenesis during zebrafish embryogenesis
Christian Klein1, Janine Mikutta1, Janna Krueger1,2, Katja Scholz1, Joep Brinkmann1, Dong Liu1, Justus Veerkamp3, Doreen Siegel4, Salim Abdelilah-Seyfried3 and Ferdinand le Noble1,2,1Department of Angiogenesis and Cardiovascular Pathology, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), D-13125 Berlin, Germany. 2Center for Stroke Research Berlin (CSB), 10117 Berlin, Germany. 3Department of. Epithelial Polarity and Zebrafish Genetics, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), D-13125 Berlin, Germany. 4Institute of Biochemistry, University of Ulm, D-89091, Ulm, Germany.
*Author for correspondence (firstname.lastname@example.org)Barbara Bachtler
Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy