The transcription factor Six1a plays an essential role in the craniofacial myogenesis of zebrafish.Dev Biol. 2009 Jul 15; 331(2):152-66.DB
Transcription factor Six1a plays important roles in morphogenesis, organogenesis, and cell differentiation. However, the role of Six1a during zebrafish cranial muscle development is still unclear. Here, we demonstrated that Six1a was required for sternohyoideus, medial rectus, inferior rectus, and all pharyngeal arch muscle development. Although Six1a was also necessary for myod and myogenin expression in head muscles, it did not affect myf5 expression in cranial muscles that originate from head mesoderm. Overexpression of myod enabled embryos to rescue all the defects in cranial muscles induced by injection of six1a-morpholino (MO), suggesting that myod is directly downstream of six1a in controlling craniofacial myogenesis. However, overexpression of six1a was unable to rescue arch muscle defects in the tbx1- and myf5-morphants, suggesting that six1a is only involved in myogenic maintenance, not its initiation, during arch muscle myogenesis. Although the craniofacial muscle defects caused by pax3-MO phenocopied those induced by six1a-MO, injection of six1a, myod or myf5 mRNA did not rescue the cranial muscle defects in pax3 morphants, suggesting that six1a and pax3 do not function in the same regulatory network. Therefore, we proposed four putative regulatory pathways to understand how six1a distinctly interacts with either myf5 or myod during zebrafish craniofacial muscle development.