Meeting Abstract

P3.85  Friday, Jan. 6  The role of beta-catenin in the early development of archosaur skin appendages MUSSER, Jacob M*; WAGNER, Gunter P; PRUM, Richard O; Yale University

Beta-catenin, a key component of the wnt signalling pathway, is important in the development of many vertebrate epidermal appendages and has been linked to the formation of a thickened epidermis in the initial stage of hair and feather development. In the canonical wnt pathway, binding of the wnt ligand to its receptor results in the translocation of beta-catenin to the nucleus, where it acts as a transcriptional cofactor and regulates the expression of genes important in later stages of hair and feather development. However, while the role of beta-catenin has been explored in hair and feathers, its expression and use in the early development of other epidermal appendages is poorly understood. Here, we examine the role of beta-catenin in scale and claw development in birds and alligators to shed light on the developmental decisions being made in skin development and to understand the extent of homology in the early development of different epidermal appendages.