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Abstract

Hedgehog (Hh) signaling and laminin-111, a basement membrane protein, are required for early muscle development. Hh signaling specifies different populations of muscle fibers and laminin-111 is critical for early muscle morphogenesis. However, additional requirements for Hh signaling and laminin during later phases of muscle development are not known. Furthermore, interactions between Hh signaling and laminin in this context are unknown. We used laminin gamma1 mutant zebrafish and cyclopamine to block Hh signal transduction separately and in combination to investigate their functions and interactions. We found that both Hh signaling and laminin are required for normal myosin chain expression. In addition, Hh signaling and laminin act synergistically during fast-twitch fiber elongation: fast muscle cells do not elongate in embryos deficient for both Hh signaling and laminin. Finally, we present evidence that suggests that Hh signaling is indirectly required via slow fiber specification for recovery of fast fiber elongation in laminin gamma1 mutant embryos. Developmental Dynamics 239:905–913, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.