Forgot your Password

If you have forgotten your password, please enter your account email below and we will reset your password and email you the new password.


Login to SciCrunch


Register an Account

Delete Saved Search

Are you sure you want to delete this saved search?


NIF LinkOut Portal


Zebrafish eda and edar mutants reveal conserved and ancestral roles of ectodysplasin signaling in vertebrates.

Harris MP, Rohner N, Schwarz H, Perathoner S, Konstantinidis P, Nüsslein-Volhard C
PLoS genetics


The genetic basis of the development and variation of adult form of vertebrates is not well understood. To address this problem, we performed a mutant screen to identify genes essential for the formation of adult skeletal structures of the zebrafish. Here, we describe the phenotypic and molecular characterization of a set of mutants showing loss of adult structures of the dermal skeleton, such as the rays of the fins and the scales, as well as the pharyngeal teeth. The mutations represent adult-viable, loss of function alleles in the ectodysplasin (eda) and ectodysplasin receptor (edar) genes. These genes are frequently mutated in the human hereditary disease hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED; OMIM 224900, 305100) that affects the development of integumentary appendages such as hair and teeth. We find mutations in zebrafish edar that affect similar residues as mutated in human cases of HED and show similar phenotypic consequences. eda and edar are not required for early zebrafish development, but are rather specific for the development of adult skeletal and dental structures. We find that the defects of the fins and scales are due to the role of Eda signaling in organizing epidermal cells into discrete signaling centers of the scale epidermal placode and fin fold. Our genetic analysis demonstrates dose-sensitive and organ-specific response to alteration in levels of Eda signaling. In addition, we show substantial buffering of the effect of loss of edar function in different genetic backgrounds, suggesting canalization of this developmental system. We uncover a previously unknown role of Eda signaling in teleosts and show conservation of the developmental mechanisms involved in the formation and variation of both integumentary appendages and limbs. Lastly, our findings point to the utility of adult genetic screens in the zebrafish in identifying essential developmental processes involved in human disease and in morphological evolution.

ZFIN Links

  1. Welcome

    Welcome to NIF. Explore available research resources: data, tools and materials, from across the web

  2. Community Resources

    Search for resources specially selected for NIF community

  3. More Resources

    Search across hundreds of additional biomedical databases

  4. Literature

    Search Pub Med abstracts and full text from PubMed Central

  5. Insert your Query

    Enter your search terms here and hit return. Search results for the selected tab will be returned.

  6. Join the Community

    Click here to login or register and join this community.

  7. Categories

    Narrow your search by selecting a category. For additional help in searching, view our tutorials.

  8. Query Info

    Displays the total number of search results. Provides additional information on search terms, e.g., automated query expansions, and any included categories or facets. Expansions, filters and facets can be removed by clicking on the X. Clicking on the + restores them.

  9. Search Results

    Displays individual records and a brief description. Click on the icons below each record to explore additional display options.