A small molecule screen identifies a novel compound that induces a homeotic transformation in Hydra.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Developmental processes such as morphogenesis, patterning and differentiation are continuously active in the adult Hydra polyp. We carried out a small molecule screen to identify compounds that affect patterning in Hydra. We identified a novel molecule, DAC-2-25, that causes a homeotic transformation of body column into tentacle zone. This transformation occurs in a progressive and polar fashion, beginning at the oral end of the animal. We have identified several strains that respond to DAC-2-25 and one that does not, and we used chimeras from these strains to identify the ectoderm as the target tissue for DAC-2-25. Using transgenic Hydra that express green fluorescent protein under the control of relevant promoters, we examined how DAC-2-25 affects tentacle patterning. Genes whose expression is associated with the tentacle zone are ectopically expressed upon exposure to DAC-2-25, whereas those associated with body column tissue are turned off as the tentacle zone expands. The expression patterns of the organizer-associated gene HyWnt3 and the hypostome-specific gene HyBra2 are unchanged. Structure-activity relationship studies have identified features of DAC-2-25 that are required for activity and potency. This study shows that small molecule screens in Hydra can be used to dissect patterning processes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Glauber, KM; Dana, CE; Park, SS; Colby, DA; Noro, Y; Fujisawa, T; Chamberlin, AR; Steele, RE

Published Date

  • December 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 140 / 23

Start / End Page

  • 4788 - 4796

PubMed ID

  • 24255098

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3833435

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1477-9129

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0950-1991

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1242/dev.094490


  • eng