Chibby functions in Xenopus ciliary assembly, embryonic development, and the regulation of gene expression

Jianli Shi, Ying Zhao, Domenico Galati, Mark Winey, Michael W. Klymkowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Wnt signaling and ciliogenesis are core features of embryonic development in a range of metazoans. Chibby (Cby), a basal-body associated protein, regulates β-catenin-mediated Wnt signaling in the mouse but not Drosophila. Here we present an analysis of Cby[U+05F3]s embryonic expression and morphant phenotypes in Xenopus laevis. Cby RNA is supplied maternally, negatively regulated by Snail2 but not Twist1, preferentially expressed in the neuroectoderm, and regulates β-catenin-mediated gene expression. Reducing Cby levels reduced the density of multiciliated cells, the number of basal bodies per multiciliated cell, and the numbers of neural tube primary cilia; it also led to abnormal development of the neural crest, central nervous system, and pronephros, all defects that were rescued by a Cby-GFP chimera. Reduction of Cby led to an increase in Wnt8a and decreases in Gli2, Gli3, and Shh RNA levels. Many, but not all, morphant phenotypes were significantly reversed by the Wnt inhibitor SFRP2. These observations extend our understanding of Cby[U+05F3]s role in mediating the network of interactions between ciliogenesis, signaling systems and tissue patterning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-298
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 15 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Chibby
  • Cilia
  • Hedgehog
  • Neural crest
  • Neural plate
  • Pronephros
  • Snail2
  • Wnt signaling
  • Xenopus laevis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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