Development Genes and Evolution

, Volume 213, Issue 5–6, pp 264–272 | Cite as

A genomewide survey of developmentally relevant genes in Ciona intestinalis

VI. Genes for Wnt, TGFβ, Hedgehog and JAK/STAT signaling pathways
  • Kyosuke Hino
  • Yutaka Satou
  • Kasumi Yagi
  • Nori Satoh
Original Article


Cell–cell interactions play important roles in a variety of developmental processes, and therefore molecules involved in the signaling pathways have been studied extensively. Recently, the draft genome sequence of the basal chordate, Ciona intestinalis, was determined. Here we annotated genes for the signaling pathways of Wnt, transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), Hedgehog, and JAK/STAT in the genome of Ciona intestinalis. The Ciona genome contains ten wnt genes, six frizzled genes, four sFRP genes, ten TGFβ family member genes, five TGFβ-receptor genes, and five Smad genes; most of the genes were found with less redundancy than in vertebrate genomes. The other genes in the signaling pathways are present as a single copy in the Ciona genome. In addition, all of the identified genes for the signaling pathway, except for a few genes, have EST evidence, and their cDNAs are available from the Ciona intestinalis gene collection. Therefore, Ciona intestinalis may provide an experimental system for exploring the basic genetic cascade associated with the signaling pathways in chordates.


Basal chordates Ciona intestinalis Genomewide survey Hedgehog JAK/STAT TGFβ Wnt 

Supplementary material (278 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 284 KB.


  1. Bejsovec A (2000) Wnt signaling: an embarrassment of receptors. Curr Biol 10:R919–R922PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boutros M, Mlodzik M (1999) Dishevelled: at the crossroads of divergent intracellular signaling pathways. Mech Dev 83:27–37PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cadigan KM, Nusse R (1997) Wnt signaling: a common theme in animal development. Genes Dev 11:3286–3305PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carstea ED, Morris JA, Coleman KG et al (1997) Niemann-Pick C1 disease gene: homology to mediators of cholesterol homeostasis. Science 277:228–231PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dale L, Jones CM (1999) BMP signalling in early Xenopus development. BioEssays 21:751–760PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Darras S, Nishida H (2001) The BMP signaling pathway is required together with the FGF pathway for notochord induction in the ascidian embryo. Development 128:2629–2638PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Dehal P, Satou Y, Campbell RK et al (2002) The draft genome of Ciona intestinalis: insights into chordate and vertebrate origins. Science 298:2157–2167PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hill CS (1999) The Smads. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 31:1249–1254PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hsu DR, Economides AN, Wang X, Eimon PM, Harland RM (1998) The Xenopus dorsalizing factor Gremlin identifies a novel family of secreted proteins that antagonize BMP activities. Mol Cell 1:673–683PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Imai K, Takada N, Satoh N, Satou Y (2000) β-catenin mediates the specification of endoderm cells in ascidian embryos. Development 127:3009–3020PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Jones SE, Jomary C (2002) Secreted Frizzled-related proteins: searching for relationships and patterns. BioEssays 24:811–820PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Luo H, Dearolf CR (2001) The JAK/STAT pathway and Drosophila development. BioEssays 23:1138–1147PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Miller JR (2002) The Wnts. Genome Biol 3:REVIEWS3001PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Miya T, Morita K, Ueno N, Satoh N (1996) An ascidian homologue of vertebrate BMPs-5–8 is expressed in the midline of the anterior neuroectoderm and in the midline of the ventral epidermis of the embryo. Mech Dev 57:181–190PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ogawa K, Ishihara S, Saito Y, Mineta K, Nakazawa M, Ikeo K, Gojobori T, Watanabe K, Agata K (2002) Induction of a noggin-Like gene by ectopic DV interaction during planarian regeneration. Dev Biol 250:59–70PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Riddle RD, Johnson RL, Laufer E, Tabin C (1993) Sonic hedgehog mediates the polarizing activity of the ZPA. Cell 75:1401–1416PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Satou Y, Imai KS, Satoh N (2001) Early embryonic expression of a LIM-homeobox gene Cs-lhx3 is downstream of β-catenin and responsible for the endoderm differentiation in Ciona savignyi embryos. Development 128:3559–3570PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Satou Y, Yamada L, Mochizuki Y, Takatori N, Kawashima T, Sasaki A, Hamaguchi M, Awazu S, Yagi K, Sasakura Y, Nakayama A, Ishikawa H, Inaba K, Satoh N (2002) A cDNA resource from the basal chordate Ciona intestinalis. Genesis 33:153–154PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Satou Y, Imai KS, Levine M, Kohara Y, Rokhsar D, Satoh N (2003) A genomewide survey of developmentally relevant genes in Ciona intestinalis. I. Genes for bHLH transcription factors. Dev Genes Evol DOI 10.1007/s00427-003-319-7Google Scholar
  20. Schier AF, Shen MM (2000) Nodal signalling in vertebrate development. Nature 403:385–389PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Starr R, Hilton DJ (1999) Negative regulation of the JAK/STAT pathway. BioEssays 21:47–52PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Takatori N, Satou Y, Satoh N (2002) Expression of hedgehog genes in Ciona intestinalis embryos. Mech Dev 116:235–238PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Zorn AM (2001) Wnt signalling: antagonistic Dickkopfs. Curr Biol 11:R592–R595PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyosuke Hino
    • 1
  • Yutaka Satou
    • 1
  • Kasumi Yagi
    • 1
  • Nori Satoh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Graduate School of ScienceKyoto UniversityKyoto 606–8502Japan

Personalised recommendations