Date of Award

2010

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Zoology

Advisor

Clarissa A. Henry

Second Committee Member

Mary S. Tyler

Third Committee Member

Roger B. Sher

Abstract

Hedgehog (Hh) signaling and laminin-111, a basement membrane protein, are required for early muscle development. Hh signaling specifies different populations of muscle fibers and laminin-111 is critical for early muscle morphogenesis. However, additional requirements for Hh signaling and laminin during later phases of muscle development are not known. Furthermore, interactions between Hh signaling and laminin in this context are unknown. We used lamimn gammal mutant zebrafish and cyclopamine to block Hh signal transduction separately and in combination to investigate their functions and interactions. We found that both Hh signaling and laminin are required for normal myosin chain expression. In addition, Hh signaling and laminin act synergistically during fast-twitch fiber elongation: fast muscle cells do not elongate in embryos deficient for both Hh signaling and laminin. Finally, we present evidence which suggests that Hh signaling is indirectly required via slow fiber specification for recovery of fast fiber elongation in laminin gammal mutant embryos.

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