Recent studies indicate that many developing tissues modify glycolysis to favor lactate synthesis, but how this promotes development is unclear. Using forward and reverse genetics in zebrafish, we show that disrupting the glycolytic gene phosphoglycerate kinase-1 (pgk1) impairs Fgf-dependent development of hair cells and neurons in the otic vesicle and other neurons in the CNS/PNS. Fgf-MAPK signaling underperforms in pgk1-/- mutants even when Fgf is transiently overexpressed. Wild-type embryos treated with drugs that block synthesis or secretion of lactate mimic the pgk1-/- phenotype, whereas pgk1-/- mutants are rescued by treatment with exogenous lactate. Lactate treatment of wild-type embryos elevates expression of Etv5b/Erm even when Fgf signaling is blocked. However, lactate's ability to stimulate neurogenesis is reversed by blocking MAPK. Thus, lactate raises basal levels of MAPK and Etv5b (a critical effector of the Fgf pathway), rendering cells more responsive to dynamic changes in Fgf signaling required by many developing tissues.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1-8 and Supplemental Figures 1-14.
- Bruce B Riley
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (#2018-0124) of Texas A&M University.
- Tanya T Whitfield, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
© 2020, Kantarci et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.