The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 64: 409 - 413 (2020)

Vol 64, Issue 7-8-9

Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) regulates embryonic organizer formation during zebrafish early embryogenesis

Original Article | Published: 7 October 2020

Yanyan Liu1, Ziyuan Lin2 and Huaqin Sun*,2

1Prenatal Diagnosis Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecologic and 2SCU-CUHK Joint Laboratory for Reproductive Medicine, Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children, Ministry of Education, Department of Pediatrics, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People's Republic of China


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is associated with the manifestation of a number of medical conditions throughout the body. This prompted us to investigate the etiology of CF from the viewpoint of the embryonic organizer, which is responsible for steering the movement of surrounding cells into specific organs and tissues. In our previous work, we found that a cftr mutant had decreased nuclear β-catenin levels in the early embryo at 5 hours post-fertilization (hpf), when the organizer forms. It is known that nuclear β-catenin signaling is essential for the induction of the dorsal organizer. Therefore, we explored the role of cftr in the formation of the embryonic organizer in this work. Indeed, the expression of organizer and germ layer markers was significantly affected in cftr mutant embryos dependent on Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Furthermore, quantitative proteome analysis revealed that the cftr mutant induced significant alteration in the expression of proteins related to many critical biological processes, cellular components, molecular functions, and signaling pathways, except for the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. These findings demonstrate the function of cftr in embryonic organizer formation and provide an explanation for why many abnormalities occur in the bodies of CF patients.


CFTR, organizer, early embryogenesis

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