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Int J Biol Sci 2015; 11(8):935-947. doi:10.7150/ijbs.11346

Research Paper

Yes-Associated Protein (Yap) Is Necessary for Ciliogenesis and Morphogenesis during Pronephros Development in Zebrafish (Danio Rerio)

Liangliang He1, Wenyan Xu2, Ying Jing1, Ming Wu1, Shuwei Song1, Ying Cao2✉, Changlin Mei1✉

1. Kidney Institute of CPLA, Division of Nephrology, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, NO.415 Fengyang Road, Shanghai 200003, China.
2. School of life science and technology, Tongji University ,1239 Siping Road, Shanghai 200092, China


The Hippo signaling pathway and its transcriptional co-activator Yap are known as essential regulators for cell proliferation and organ size. However, little is known about their roles in kidney development and ciliogenesis. We examined expression of Yap during zebrafish embryogenesis, and its transcripts were detected in pronephric duct, while Yap protein was found to be localized in the cytoplasm and apical membrane in kidney epithelium cells. By morpholino (MO) knockdown of yap expression in zebrafish, the injected larve exhibits pronephic cysts and many aspects of ciliopathy, which can be rescued by full-length yap mRNA, but not yapS127A mRNA. With transgenic Tg(Na+/K+ ATPase:EGFP), we found that lacking Yap led to expansion and discontinuities of pronephric duct, as well as disorganization of cloaca during pronephros morphogenesis. Mis-located Na+/K+ ATPase and ciliary abnormalities are also detected in pronephric duct of yap morphants. In addition, genetic analysis suggests that yap interacts with ift20, ift88 and arl13b in pronephric cyst formation. Taken together, our data reveals that Yap is required for pronephric duct integrity, maintenance of baso-lateral cell polarity, and ciliogenesis during zebrafish kidney development.

Keywords: Yap, Pronephros, Cyst, Kidney, Cilia, Zebrafish

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
He L, Xu W, Jing Y, Wu M, Song S, Cao Y, Mei C. Yes-Associated Protein (Yap) Is Necessary for Ciliogenesis and Morphogenesis during Pronephros Development in Zebrafish (Danio Rerio). Int J Biol Sci 2015; 11(8):935-947. doi:10.7150/ijbs.11346. Available from