Disruption of gastrulation and oral-aboral ectoderm differentiation in the Lytechinus pictus embryo by a dominant/negative PDGF receptor

Ravi K. Ramachandran, Athula H. Wikramanayake, J. Akif Uzman, Venkatesh Govindarajan, Craig R. Tomlinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


Little is known about the cell signaling involved in forming the body plan of the sea urchin embryo. Previous work suggested that PDGF-like and EGF-like receptor-mediated signaling pathways are involved in gastrulation and spiculogenesis in the Lytechinus pictus embryo. Here we show that expression of the human PDGF receptor-β lacking the cytoplasmic domain disrupted development in a manner consistent with a dominant/negative mechanism. The truncated PDGF receptor-β inhibited gut and spicule formation and differentiation along the oral-aboral axis. The most severely affected embryos arrested at a developmental stage resembling mesenchyme blastula. Coinjection into eggs of RNA encoding the entire human PDGF receptor-β rescued development. The truncated PDGF receptor-β caused the aboral ectoderm-specific genes LpS1 and LpC2 to be repressed while an oral ectoderm-specific gene, Ecto-V, was expressed in all ectoderm cells. The results support the hypothesis that a PDGF-like signaling pathway plays a key role in the intercellular communication required for gastrulation and spiculogenesis, and in cell commitment and differentiation along the oral-aboral axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2355-2364
Number of pages10
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 1 1997



  • Dominant/negative strategy
  • Gastrulation
  • Oral-aboral axis
  • PDGF receptor
  • Sea urchin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology

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