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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 plays an important role in regulating pharyngeal skeleton and inner ear formation and differentiation.

Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IGFBP)-3 is the major insulin-like growth factor ( IGF) carrier protein in the bloodstream. IGFBP-3 prolongs the half-life of circulating IGFs and prevents their potential hypoglycemic effect. IGFBP-3 is also expressed in many peripheral tissues in fetal and adult stages. In vitro, IGFBP-3 can inhibit or potentiate IGF actions and even possesses IGF-independent activities, suggesting that local IGFBP-3 may also have paracrine/autocrine function(s). The in vivo function of IGFBP-3, however, is unclear. In this study, we elucidate the developmental role of IGFBP-3 using the zebrafish model. IGFBP-3 mRNA expression is first detected in the migrating cranial neural crest cells and subsequently in pharyngeal arches in zebrafish embryos. IGFBP-3 mRNA is also persistently expressed in the developing inner ears. To determine the role of IGFBP-3 in these tissues, we ablated the IGFBP-3 gene product using morpholino-modified antisense oligonucleotides (MOs). The IGFBP-3 knocked down embryos had delayed pharyngeal skeleton morphogenesis and greatly reduced pharyngeal cartilage differentiation. Knockdown of IGFBP-3 also significantly decreased inner ear size and disrupted hair cell differentiation and semicircular canal formation. Furthermore, reintroduction of a MO-resistant form of IGFBP-3 "rescued" the MO-induced defects. These findings suggest that IGFBP-3 plays an important role in regulating pharyngeal cartilage and inner ear development and growth in zebrafish.[1]


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