Hhex and Prox1a: Master Regulators Orchestrating Hepatocyte Differentiation in Zebrafish Liver Development

In this study, researchers investigated the role of transcription factors Hhex and Prox1a in zebrafish liver development. Individually, loss of Hhex or Prox1a function resulted in a small liver phenotype, indicating redundancy in their roles. However, simultaneous loss of both Hhex and Prox1a abolished hepatocyte differentiation, leading to a liverless phenotype. The study also suggested that Hhex and Prox1a act downstream of the Bmp signaling pathway, and their coordination is essential for licensing hepatocyte differentiation from prospective hepatoblasts. Additionally, the study highlighted complex interactions between various cell fate determinants, including Cdx1b, Pdx1, and Ptf1a, in liver and pancreas development.


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