Somites are important mesoderm structures that form in regularly timed intervals from the anterior end of the paraxial mesoderm at the end of gastrulation during embryogenesis. Cells of the ventromedial portion of the somite, the sclerotome, undergo epithelial to mesenchymal transition, surround the notochord, and give rise to connective tissues of the axial skeleton including the vertebrae, tendons, and ligaments. We are interested in understanding how the sclerotome is compartmentalized into the region that makes tendons. Genes expressed in the sclerotome, twist1 and twist2, are likely involved in the downstream differentiation of sclerotome to tendon progenitors. Previous studies have shown that Tgf-beta signaling is important for tendon formation. We are investigating how knockdown of twist1b or twist2 affects Tgf-beta expression in early tendon precursors derived from the sclerotome in zebrafish embryos.
Dr. Nicole Glenn
Bishay, Marinia N., "The Effect of Twist1b and Twist2 Knockdown on TGF-beta Signaling Expression in Tendon Progenitors" (2021). Honors Theses. 57.