Conservation of early odontogenic signaling pathways in Aves.
Chen Y,Zhang Y,Jiang T X,Barlow A J,St Amand T R,Hu Y,Heaney S,Francis-West P,Chuong C M,Maas R
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Teeth have been missing from birds (Aves) for at least 60 million years. However, in the chick oral cavity a rudiment forms that resembles the lamina stage of the mammalian molar tooth germ. We have addressed the molecular basis for this secondary loss of tooth formation in Aves by analyzing in chick embryos the status of molecular pathways known to regulate mouse tooth development. Similar to the mouse dental lamina, expression of Fgf8, Pitx2, Barx1, and Pax9 defines a potential chick odontogenic region. However, the expression of three molecules involved in tooth initiation, Bmp4, Msx1, and Msx2, are absent from the presumptive chick dental lamina. In chick mandibles, exogenous bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) induces Msx expression and together with fibroblast growth factor promotes the development of Sonic hedgehog expressing epithelial structures. Distinct epithelial appendages also were induced when chick mandibular epithelium was recombined with a tissue source of BMPs and fibroblast growth factors, chick skin mesenchyme. These results show that, although latent, the early signaling pathways involved in odontogenesis remain inducible in Aves and suggest that loss of odontogenic Bmp4 expression may be responsible for the early arrest of tooth development in living birds.
Human periapical cyst-mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into neuronal cells.
Marrelli M,Paduano F,Tatullo M
Journal of dental research
It was recently reported that human periapical cysts (hPCys), a commonly occurring odontogenic cystic lesion of inflammatory origin, contain mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with the capacity for self-renewal and multilineage differentiation. In this study, periapical inflammatory cysts were compared with dental pulp to determine whether this tissue may be an alternative accessible tissue source of MSCs that retain the potential for neurogenic differentiation. Flow cytometry and immunofluorescence analysis indicated that hPCy-MSCs and dental pulp stem cells spontaneously expressed the neuron-specific protein β-III tubulin and the neural stem-/astrocyte-specific protein glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in their basal state before differentiation occurs. Furthermore, undifferentiated hPCy-MSCs showed a higher expression of transcripts for neuronal markers (β-III tubulin, NF-M, MAP2) and neural-related transcription factors (MSX-1, Foxa2, En-1) as compared with dental pulp stem cells. After exposure to neurogenic differentiation conditions (neural media containing epidermal growth factor [EGF], basic fibroblast growth factor [bFGF], and retinoic acid), the hPCy-MSCs showed enhanced expression of β-III tubulin and GFAP proteins, as well as increased expression of neurofilaments medium, neurofilaments heavy, and neuron-specific enolase at the transcript level. In addition, neurally differentiated hPCy-MSCs showed upregulated expression of the neural transcription factors Pitx3, Foxa2, Nurr1, and the dopamine-related genes tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter. The present study demonstrated for the first time that hPCy-MSCs have a predisposition toward the neural phenotype that is increased when exposed to neural differentiation cues, based on upregulation of a comprehensive set of proteins and genes that define neuronal cells. In conclusion, these results provide evidence that hPCy-MSCs might be another optimal source of neural/glial cells for cell-based therapies to treat neurologic diseases.
Complementary striped expression patterns of NK homeobox genes during segment formation in the annelid Platynereis.
Saudemont Alexandra,Dray Nicolas,Hudry Bruno,Le Gouar Martine,Vervoort Michel,Balavoine Guillaume
NK genes are related pan-metazoan homeobox genes. In the fruitfly, NK genes are clustered and involved in patterning various mesodermal derivatives during embryogenesis. It was therefore suggested that the NK cluster emerged in evolution as an ancestral mesodermal patterning cluster. To test this hypothesis, we cloned and analysed the expression patterns of the homologues of NK cluster genes Msx, NK4, NK3, Lbx, Tlx, NK1 and NK5 in the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii, a representative of trochozoans, the third great branch of bilaterian animals alongside deuterostomes and ecdysozoans. We found that most of these genes are involved, as they are in the fly, in the specification of distinct mesodermal derivatives, notably subsets of muscle precursors. The expression of the homologue of NK4/tinman in the pulsatile dorsal vessel of Platynereis strongly supports the hypothesis that the vertebrate heart derived from a dorsal vessel relocated to a ventral position by D/V axis inversion in a chordate ancestor. Additionally and more surprisingly, NK4, Lbx, Msx, Tlx and NK1 orthologues are expressed in complementary sets of stripes in the ectoderm and/or mesoderm of forming segments, suggesting an involvement in the segment formation process. A potentially ancient role of the NK cluster genes in segment formation, unsuspected from vertebrate and fruitfly studies so far, now deserves to be investigated in other bilaterian species, especially non-insect arthropods and onychophorans.
Prediction and characterisation of a highly conserved, remote and cAMP responsive enhancer that regulates Msx1 gene expression in cardiac neural crest and outflow tract.
Miller Kerry Ann,Davidson Scott,Liaros Angela,Barrow John,Lear Marissa,Heine Danielle,Hoppler Stefan,MacKenzie Alasdair
Double knockouts of the Msx1 and Msx2 genes in the mouse result in severe cardiac outflow tract malformations similar to those frequently found in newborn infants. Despite the known role of the Msx genes in cardiac formation little is known of the regulatory systems (ligand receptor, signal transduction and protein-DNA interactions) that regulate the tissue-specific expression of the Msx genes in mammals during the formation of the outflow tract. In the present study we have used a combination of multi-species comparative genomics, mouse transgenic analysis and in-situ hybridisation to predict and validate the existence of a remote ultra-conserved enhancer that supports the expression of the Msx1 gene in migrating mouse cardiac neural crest and the outflow tract primordia. Furthermore, culturing of embryonic explants derived from transgenic lines with agonists of the PKC and PKA signal transduction systems demonstrates that this remote enhancer is influenced by PKA but not PKC dependent gene regulatory systems. These studies demonstrate the efficacy of combining comparative genomics and transgenic analyses and provide a platform for the study of the possible roles of Msx gene mis-regulation in the aetiology of congenital heart malformation.
New perspectives on pharyngeal dorsoventral patterning in development and evolution of the vertebrate jaw.
Medeiros Daniel Meulemans,Crump J Gage
Patterning of the vertebrate facial skeleton involves the progressive partitioning of neural-crest-derived skeletal precursors into distinct subpopulations along the anteroposterior (AP) and dorsoventral (DV) axes. Recent evidence suggests that complex interactions between multiple signaling pathways, in particular Endothelin-1 (Edn1), Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP), and Jagged-Notch, are needed to pattern skeletal precursors along the DV axis. Rather than directly determining the morphology of individual skeletal elements, these signals appear to act through several families of transcription factors, including Dlx, Msx, and Hand, to establish dynamic zones of skeletal differentiation. Provocatively, this patterning mechanism is largely conserved from mouse and zebrafish to the jawless vertebrate, lamprey. This implies that the diversification of the vertebrate facial skeleton, including the evolution of the jaw, was driven largely by modifications downstream of a conversed pharyngeal DV patterning program.
Formation of spacing pattern and morphogenesis of chick feather buds is regulated by cytoskeletal structures.
Kim Jae-Young,Cho Sung-Won,Song Wu-Chul,Lee Min-Jung,Cai Jinglei,Ohk Seung-Ho,Song Hee-Kyung,Degan Alexander,Jung Han-Sung
Differentiation; research in biological diversity
Chick feather buds develop sequentially in a hexagonal array. Each feather bud develops with anterior posterior polarity, which is thought to develop in response to signals derived from specialized regions of mesenchymal condensation and epithelial thickening. These developmental processes are performed by cellular mechanisms, such as cell proliferation and migration, which occur during chick feather bud development. In order to understand the mechanisms regulating the formation of mesenchymal condensation and their role in feather bud development, we explanted chick dorsal skin at stage HH29+ with cytochalasin D, which inhibits cytoskeletal formation. We show that the aggregation of mesenchymal cells can be prevented by cytochalasin D treatment in a concentration-dependent manner. Subsequently, cytochalasin D disrupts the spacing pattern and inhibits feather bud axis formation as well. In addition, expression patterns of Bmp-4 and Msx-2, key molecules for early feather bud development, were disturbed by cytochalasin D treatment. Our results fully indicate that both the cytoskeletal structure and cell activity via gene regulation are of fundamental importance in mesenchymal condensation leading to proper morphogenesis of feather bud and spacing pattern formation.
The HOX genes are expressed, in vivo, in human tooth germs: in vitro cAMP exposure of dental pulp cells results in parallel HOX network activation and neuronal differentiation.
D'Antò Vincenzo,Cantile Monica,D'Armiento Maria,Schiavo Giulia,Spagnuolo Gianrico,Terracciano Luigi,Vecchione Raffaela,Cillo Clemente
Journal of cellular biochemistry
Homeobox-containing genes play a crucial role in odontogenesis. After the detection of Dlx and Msx genes in overlapping domains along maxillary and mandibular processes, a homeobox odontogenic code has been proposed to explain the interaction between different homeobox genes during dental lamina patterning. No role has so far been assigned to the Hox gene network in the homeobox odontogenic code due to studies on specific Hox genes and evolutionary considerations. Despite its involvement in early patterning during embryonal development, the HOX gene network, the most repeat-poor regions of the human genome, controls the phenotype identity of adult eukaryotic cells. Here, according to our results, the HOX gene network appears to be active in human tooth germs between 18 and 24 weeks of development. The immunohistochemical localization of specific HOX proteins mostly concerns the epithelial tooth germ compartment. Furthermore, only a few genes of the network are active in embryonal retromolar tissues, as well as in ectomesenchymal dental pulp cells (DPC) grown in vitro from adult human molar. Exposure of DPCs to cAMP induces the expression of from three to nine total HOX genes of the network in parallel with phenotype modifications with traits of neuronal differentiation. Our observations suggest that: (i) by combining its component genes, the HOX gene network determines the phenotype identity of epithelial and ectomesenchymal cells interacting in the generation of human tooth germ; (ii) cAMP treatment activates the HOX network and induces, in parallel, a neuronal-like phenotype in human primary ectomesenchymal dental pulp cells.
Novel human mutation and CRISPR/Cas genome-edited mice reveal the importance of C-terminal domain of MSX1 in tooth and palate development.
Mitsui Silvia Naomi,Yasue Akihiro,Masuda Kiyoshi,Naruto Takuya,Minegishi Yoshiyuki,Oyadomari Seiichi,Noji Sumihare,Imoto Issei,Tanaka Eiji
Several mutations, located mainly in the MSX1 homeodomain, have been identified in non-syndromic tooth agenesis predominantly affecting premolars and third molars. We identified a novel frameshift mutation of the highly conserved C-terminal domain of MSX1, known as Msx homology domain 6 (MH6), in a Japanese family with non-syndromic tooth agenesis. To investigate the importance of MH6 in tooth development, Msx1 was targeted in mice with CRISPR/Cas system. Although heterozygous MH6 disruption did not alter craniofacial development, homozygous mice exhibited agenesis of lower incisors with or without cleft palate at E16.5. In addition, agenesis of the upper third molars and the lower second and third molars were observed in 4-week-old mutant mice. Although the upper second molars were present, they were abnormally small. These results suggest that the C-terminal domain of MSX1 is important for tooth and palate development, and demonstrate that that CRISPR/Cas system can be used as a tool to assess causality of human disorders in vivo and to study the importance of conserved domains in genes.
Msx1 expression regulation by its own antisense RNA: consequence on tooth development and bone regeneration.
Babajko Sylvie,Petit Stéphane,Fernandes Isabelle,Méary Fleur,LeBihan Johanne,Pibouin Laurence,Berdal Ariane
Cells, tissues, organs
Msx homeogenes play an important role in epithelial-mesenchymal interactions leading development. Msx1 is relevant for dental and craniofacial morphogenesis, as suggested by phenotypes of Msx1 mutations in human and Msx1 KO mice. During adulthood, Msx1 is still expressed in the skeleton where its role is largely unknown. Our group showed that the Msx1 gene is submitted to bidirectional transcription generating a long noncoding antisense (AS) RNA. During tooth development, Msx1 sense (S) and AS RNAs showed specific patterns of expression. Thus, the aim of the present study was to analyze the relation between Msx1 S and AS RNAs. In vivo mapping in adult mice showed that both Msx1 RNAs were detected in tested tissues such as bone. In vitro, Msx1 AS RNA decreased endogenous Msx1 S expression and modified Msx1 protein cell distribution. Regulations of Dlx5 and Bmp4 expression involving Msx1 S and AS RNAs showed that Msx1 AS RNA could modulate Msx1 function. The study of Msx1 S and AS RNA status is interesting in the case of tooth agenesis and bone loss to see if a disturbance of this balance could be associated with a disturbance of bone homeostasis. In that sense, our current results suggest a clear involvement of Msx1 in alveolar bone.
Msx1 is required for dorsal diencephalon patterning.
Bach Antoine,Lallemand Yvan,Nicola Marie-Anne,Ramos Casto,Mathis Luc,Maufras Mathilde,Robert Benoît
Development (Cambridge, England)
The dorsal midline of the neural tube has recently emerged as a major signaling center for dorsoventral patterning. Msx genes are expressed at the dorsal midline, although their function at this site remains unknown. Using Msx1(nlacZ) mutant mice, we show that the normal expression domain of Msx1 is interrupted in the pretectum of mutant embryos. Morphological and gene expression data further indicate that a functional midline is not maintained along the whole prosomere 1 in Msx1 mutant mice. This results in the downregulation of genes expressed laterally to the midline in prosomere 1, confirming the importance of the midline as a signaling center. Wnt1 is essential for dorsoventral patterning of the neural tube. In the Msx1 mutant, Wnt1 is downregulated before the midline disappears, suggesting that its expression depends on Msx1. Furthermore, electroporation in the chick embryo demonstrates that Msx1 can induce Wnt1 expression in the diencephalon neuroepithelium and in the lateral ectoderm. In double Msx1/Msx2 mutants, Wnt1 expression is completely abolished at the dorsal midline of the diencephalon and rostral mesencephalon. This indicates that Msx genes may regulate Wnt1 expression at the dorsal midline of the neural tube. Based on these results, we propose a model in which Msx genes are intermediary between Bmp and Wnt at this site.
Inactivation of Msx1 and Msx2 in neural crest reveals an unexpected role in suppressing heterotopic bone formation in the head.
Roybal Paul G,Wu Nancy L,Sun Jingjing,Ting Man-chun,Schafer Christopher A,Maxson Robert E
In an effort to understand the morphogenetic forces that shape the bones of the skull, we inactivated Msx1 and Msx2 conditionally in neural crest. We show that Wnt1-Cre inactivation of up to three Msx1/2 alleles results in a progressively larger defect in the neural crest-derived frontal bone. Unexpectedly, in embryos lacking all four Msx1/2 alleles, the large defect is filled in with mispatterned bone consisting of ectopic islands of bone between the reduced frontal bones, just anterior to the parietal bones. The bone is derived from neural crest, not mesoderm, and, from DiI cell marking experiments, originates in a normally non-osteogenic layer of cells through which the rudiment elongates apically. Associated with the heterotopic osteogenesis is an upregulation of Bmp signaling in this cell layer. Prevention of this upregulation by implantation of noggin-soaked beads in head explants also prevented heterotopic bone formation. These results suggest that Msx genes have a dual role in calvarial development: They are required for the differentiation and proliferation of osteogenic cells within rudiments, and they are also required to suppress an osteogenic program in a cell layer within which the rudiments grow. We suggest that the inactivation of this repressive activity may be one cause of Wormian bones, ectopic bones that are a feature of a variety of pathological conditions in which calvarial bone development is compromised.
Transcriptional regulation of the retinoic acid receptor in the dorsal midline epidermis in the Ciona intestinalis embryo.
Koyano Ryosuke,Ishida Satomi,Fujiwara Shigeki
Development, growth & differentiation
Retinoic acid regulates the spatial pattern of gene expression mainly in the epidermis in the protochordate ascidian, Ciona intestinalis. Our previous study characterized the enhancer element responsible for the activation of the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) in the dorsal midline epidermis (DME). In the present study, detailed analysis identified two small sequence elements required for the transcriptional activation in the DME. Deletion of either one of these sequences resulted in suppression of the DME enhancer, suggesting that both sites are necessary. The nucleotide sequences of these two sites were similar to the consensus recognition sequences for the Msx and Sox transcription factors, respectively. These transcription factors are expressed in the DME lineage blastomeres (b7.9 and b7.10 blastomere pairs of bilaterally symmetrical embryos of this species) at the 64-cell stage. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed that recombinant Msxb and SoxB1 proteins specifically bound to these sequences. These results suggest that Msxb and SoxB1 synergistically activate the enhancer in the DME.
AP-2α and AP-2β cooperatively orchestrate homeobox gene expression during branchial arch patterning.
Van Otterloo Eric,Li Hong,Jones Kenneth L,Williams Trevor
Development (Cambridge, England)
The evolution of a hinged moveable jaw with variable morphology is considered a major factor behind the successful expansion of the vertebrates. DLX homeobox transcription factors are crucial for establishing the positional code that patterns the mandible, maxilla and intervening hinge domain, but how the genes encoding these proteins are regulated remains unclear. Herein, we demonstrate that the concerted action of the AP-2α and AP-2β transcription factors within the mouse neural crest is essential for jaw patterning. In the absence of these two proteins, the hinge domain is lost and there are alterations in the size and patterning of the jaws correlating with dysregulation of homeobox gene expression, with reduced levels of Emx, Msx and Dlx paralogs accompanied by an expansion of expression. Moreover, detailed analysis of morphological features and gene expression changes indicate significant overlap with various compound Dlx gene mutants. Together, these findings reveal that the AP-2 genes have a major function in mammalian neural crest development, influencing patterning of the craniofacial skeleton via the DLX code, an effect that has implications for vertebrate facial evolution, as well as for human craniofacial disorders.
The genesis of avian neural crest cells: a classic embryonic induction.
Selleck M A,Bronner-Fraser M
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Neural crest cells arise from the ectoderm and are first recognizable as discrete cells in the chicken embryo when they emerge from the neural tube. Despite the classical view that neural crest precursors are a distinct population lying between epidermis and neuroepithelium, our results demonstrate that they are not a segregated population. Cell lineage analyses have demonstrated that individual precursor cells within the neural folds can give rise to epidermal, neural crest, and neural tube derivatives. Interactions between the neural plate and epidermis can generate neural crest cells, since juxtaposition of these tissues at early stages results in the formation of neural crest cells at the interface. Inductive interactions between the epidermis and neural plate can also result in "dorsalization" of the neural plate, as assayed by the expression of the Wnt transcripts characteristic of the dorsal neural tube. The competence of the neural plate changes with time, however, such that interaction of early neural plate with epidermis generates only neural crest cells, whereas interaction of slightly older neural plate with epidermis generates neural crest cells and Wnt-expressing cells. At cranial levels, neuroepithelial cells can regulate to generate neural crest cells when the endogenous neural folds are removed, probably via interaction of the remaining neural tube with the epidermis. Taken together, these experiments demonstrate that: (i) progenitor cells in the neural folds are multipotent, having the ability to form multiple ectodermal derivatives, including epidermal, neural crest, and neural tube cells; (ii) the neural crest is an induced population that arises by interactions between the neural plate and the epidermis; and (iii) the competence of the neural plate to respond to inductive interactions changes as a function of embryonic age.
Epidermal dysplasia and abnormal hair follicles in transgenic mice overexpressing homeobox gene MSX-2.
Jiang T X,Liu Y H,Widelitz R B,Kundu R K,Maxson R E,Chuong C M
The Journal of investigative dermatology
The homeobox gene Msx-2 is expressed specifically in sites of skin appendage formation. To explore its part in skin morphogenesis, we produced transgenic mice expressing Msx-2 under the control of the cytomegalovirus promoter. The skin of these transgenic mice was flaky, exhibiting desquamation and shorter hairs. Histologic analysis showed thickened epidermis with hyperproliferation, which was restricted to the basal layer. Hyperkeratosis was also evident. A wide zone of suprabasal cells were misaligned and coexpressed keratins 14 and 10. There was reduced expression of integrin beta 1 and DCC in the basal layer. Hair follicles were misaligned with a shrunken matrix region. The dermis showed increased cellularity and empty vacuoles. We suggest that Msx-2 is involved in the growth control of skin and skin appendages.
Ectopic application of recombinant BMP-2 and BMP-4 can change patterning of developing chick facial primordia.
Barlow A J,Francis-West P H
Development (Cambridge, England)
The facial primordia initially consist of buds of undifferentiated mesenchyme, which give rise to a variety of tissues including cartilage, muscle and nerve. These must be arranged in a precise spatial order for correct function. The signals that control facial outgrowth and patterning are largely unknown. The bone morphogenetic proteins Bmp-2 and Bmp-4 are expressed in discrete regions at the distal tips of the early facial primordia suggesting possible roles for BMP-2 and BMP-4 during chick facial development. We show that expression of Bmp-4 and Bmp-2 is correlated with the expression of Msx-1 and Msx-2 and that ectopic application of BMP-2 and BMP-4 can activate Msx-1 and Msx-2 gene expression in the developing facial primordia. We correlate this activation of gene expression with changes in skeletal development. For example, activation of Msx-1 gene expression across the distal tip of the mandibular primordium is associated with an extension of Fgf-4 expression in the epithelium and bifurcation of Meckel's cartilage. In the maxillary primordium, extension of the normal domain of Msx-1 gene expression is correlated with extended epithelial expression of shh and bifurcation of the palatine bone. We also show that application of BMP-2 can increase cell proliferation of the mandibular primordia. Our data suggest that BMP-2 and BMP-4 are part of a signalling cascade that controls outgrowth and patterning of the facial primordia.
BMP controls proximodistal outgrowth, via induction of the apical ectodermal ridge, and dorsoventral patterning in the vertebrate limb.
Pizette S,Abate-Shen C,Niswander L
Development (Cambridge, England)
Dorsoventral (DV) patterning of the vertebrate limb requires the function of the transcription factor Engrailed 1 (EN1) in the ventral ectoderm. EN1 restricts, to the dorsal half of the limb, the expression of the two genes known to specify dorsal pattern. Limb growth along the proximodistal (PD) axis is controlled by the apical ectodermal ridge (AER), a specialized epithelium that forms at the distal junction between dorsal and ventral ectoderm. Using retroviral-mediated misexpression of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist Noggin or an activated form of the BMP receptor in the chick limb, we demonstrate that BMP plays a key role in both DV patterning and AER induction. Thus, the DV and PD axes are linked by a common signal. Loss and gain of BMP function experiments show that BMP signaling is both necessary and sufficient to regulate EN1 expression, and consequently DV patterning. Our results also indicate that BMPs are required during induction of the AER. Manipulation of BMP signaling results in either disruptions in the endogenous AER, leading to absent or severely truncated limbs or the formation of ectopic AERs that can direct outgrowth. Moreover, BMP controls the expression of the MSX transcription factors, and our results suggest that MSX acts downstream of BMP in AER induction. We propose that the BMP signal bifurcates at the level of EN1 and MSX to mediate differentially DV patterning and AER induction, respectively.
Experimental analysis of the control of expression of the homeobox-gene Msx-1 in the developing limb and face.
Brown J M,Wedden S E,Millburn G H,Robson L G,Hill R E,Davidson D R,Tickle C
Development (Cambridge, England)
Mouse mesenchyme was grafted into chick embryos to investigate the control of mesenchymal expression of Msx-1 in the developing limb and face. In situ hybridization, using species-specific probes, allows a comparison between Msx-1 expression in the graft and the host tissue. The results show that Msx-1 expression in both limb-to-limb and face-to-face grafts corresponds closely with the level of Msx-1 expression in the surrounding chick mesenchyme. Cells in grafts that end up within the host domain of Msx-1 express the gene irrespective of whether they were from normally expressing, or non-expressing, regions. Therefore Msx-1 expression in both the developing limb and the developing face appears to be position-dependent. Mesenchyme from each of the three major facial primordia behaved in the same way when grafted to the chick maxillary primordium. Reciprocal grafts between face and limb gave a different result: Msx-1 expression was activated when facial mesenchyme was grafted to the limb but not when limb mesenchyme was grafted to the face. This suggests either that there are quantitative or qualitative differences in two local signalling systems or that additional factors determine the responsiveness of the mesenchyme cells.
Regulation of Msx-1, Msx-2, Bmp-2 and Bmp-4 during foetal and postnatal mammary gland development.
Phippard D J,Weber-Hall S J,Sharpe P T,Naylor M S,Jayatalake H,Maas R,Woo I,Roberts-Clark D,Francis-West P H,Liu Y H,Maxson R,Hill R E,Dale T C
Development (Cambridge, England)
Expression of the Msx-1 and Msx-2 homeobox genes have been shown to be coordinately regulated with the Bmp-2 and Bmp-4 ligands in a variety of developing tissues. Here we report that transcripts from all four genes are developmentally regulated during both foetal and postnatal mammary gland development. The location and time-course of the Bmp and Msx expression point to a role for Msx and Bmp gene products in the control of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. Expression of Msx-2, but not Msx-1, Bmp-2 or Bmp-4 was decreased following ovariectomy, while expression of the human Msx-2 homologue was regulated by 17beta-oestradiol in the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. The regulation of Msx-2 expression by oestrogen raises the possibility that hormonal regulation of mammary development is mediated through the control of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions.
Biomineralization, life-time of odontogenic cells and differential expression of the two homeobox genes MSX-1 and DLX-2 in transgenic mice.
Lézot F,Thomas B,Hotton D,Forest N,Orestes-Cardoso S,Robert B,Sharpe P,Berdal A
Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
Msx and Dlx homeobox genes encode for transcription factors that control early morphogenesis. More specifically, Msx-1, Msx-2, and Dlx-2 homeobox genes contribute to the initial patterning of the dentition. The present study is devoted to the potential role of those homeobox genes during the late formation of mineralized tissues, using the rodent incisor as an experimental system. The continuously erupting mandibular incisor allows (1) the coinvestigation of the whole sequences of amelogenesis and dentinogenesis, aligned along the main dental axis in a single sample in situ and (2) the differential characterization of transcripts generated by epithelial and ectomesenchymal odontogenic cells. Northern blot experiments on microdissected cells showed the continuing expression of Msx-2 and Dlx-2 in the later stages of dental biomineralization, differentially in epithelial and ectomesenchymal compartments. Transgenic mice produced with LacZ reporter constructs for Dlx-2 and Msx-1 were used to detect different components of the gene expression patterns with the sensitive beta-galactosidase histoenzymology. The results show a prominent epithelial involvement of Dlx-2, with stage-specific variations in the cells involved in enamel formation. Quantitative analyses identified specific modulations of Dlx-2 expression in ameloblasts depending on the anatomical sites of the incisor, showing more specifically an inverse linear relationship between the Dlx-2 promoter activity level and enamel thickness. This investigation extends the role of homeoproteins to postmitotic stages, which would control secretory cell activity, in a site-specific manner as shown here for Dlx-2.
BMP signaling in the human fetal ovary is developmentally regulated and promotes primordial germ cell apoptosis.
Childs Andrew J,Kinnell Hazel L,Collins Craig S,Hogg Kirsten,Bayne Rosemary A L,Green Samira J,McNeilly Alan S,Anderson Richard A
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)
Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the embryonic precursors of gametes in the adult organism, and their development, differentiation, and survival are regulated by a combination of growth factors collectively known as the germ cell niche. Although many candidate niche components have been identified through studies on mouse PGCs, the growth factor composition of the human PGC niche has not been studied extensively. Here we report a detailed analysis of the expression of components of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling apparatus in the human fetal ovary, from postmigratory PGC proliferation to the onset of primordial follicle formation. We find developmentally regulated and reciprocal patterns of expression of BMP2 and BMP4 and identify germ cells to be the exclusive targets of ovarian BMP signaling. By establishing long-term cultures of human fetal ovaries in which PGCs are retained within their physiological niche, we find that BMP4 negatively regulates postmigratory PGC numbers in the human fetal ovary by promoting PGC apoptosis. Finally, we report expression of both muscle segment homeobox (MSX)1 and MSX2 in the human fetal ovary and reveal a selective upregulation of MSX2 expression in human fetal ovary in response to BMP4, suggesting this gene may act as a downstream effector of BMP-induced apoptosis in the ovary, as in other systems. These data reveal for the first time growth factor regulation of human PGC development in a physiologically relevant context and have significant implications for the development of cultures systems for the in vitro maturation of germ cells, and their derivation from pluripotent stem cells.
Conserved and novel roles for the Gsh2 transcription factor in primary neurogenesis.
Winterbottom Emily F,Illes Jean C,Faas Laura,Isaacs Harry V
Development (Cambridge, England)
The Gsx genes encode members of the ParaHox family of homeodomain transcription factors, which are expressed in the developing central nervous system in members of all major groups of bilaterians. The Gsx genes in Xenopus show similar patterns of expression to their mammalian homologues during late development. However, they are also expressed from early neurula stages in an intermediate region of the open neural plate where primary interneurons form. The Gsx homologue in the protostome Drosophila is expressed in a corresponding intermediate region of the embryonic neuroectoderm, and is essential for the correct specification of the neuroblasts that arise from it, suggesting that Gsx genes may have played a role in intermediate neural specification in the last common bilaterian ancestor. Here, we show that manipulation of Gsx function disrupts the differentiation of primary interneurons. We demonstrate that, despite their similar expression patterns, the uni-directional system of interactions between homeodomain transcription factors from the Msx, Nkx and Gsx families in the Drosophila neuroectoderm is not conserved between their homologues in the Xenopus open neural plate. Finally, we report the identification of Dbx1 as a direct target of Gsh2-mediated transcriptional repression, and show that a series of cross-repressive interactions, reminiscent of those that exist in the amniote neural tube, act between Gsx, Dbx and Nkx transcription factors to pattern the medial aspect of the central nervous system at open neural plate stages in Xenopus.
Regulation of Msx genes by a Bmp gradient is essential for neural crest specification.
Tribulo Celeste,Aybar Manuel J,Nguyen Vu H,Mullins Mary C,Mayor Roberto
Development (Cambridge, England)
There is evidence in Xenopus and zebrafish embryos that the neural crest/neural folds are specified at the border of the neural plate by a precise threshold concentration of a Bmp gradient. In order to understand the molecular mechanism by which a gradient of Bmp is able to specify the neural crest, we analyzed how the expression of Bmp targets, the Msx genes, is regulated and the role that Msx genes has in neural crest specification. As Msx genes are directly downstream of Bmp, we analyzed Msx gene expression after experimental modification in the level of Bmp activity by grafting a bead soaked with noggin into Xenopus embryos, by expressing in the ectoderm a dominant-negative Bmp4 or Bmp receptor in Xenopus and zebrafish embryos, and also through Bmp pathway component mutants in the zebrafish. All the results show that a reduction in the level of Bmp activity leads to an increase in the expression of Msx genes in the neural plate border. Interestingly, by reaching different levels of Bmp activity in animal cap ectoderm, we show that a specific concentration of Bmp induces msx1 expression to a level similar to that required to induce neural crest. Our results indicate that an intermediate level of Bmp activity specifies the expression of Msx genes in the neural fold region. In addition, we have analyzed the role that msx1 plays on neural crest specification. As msx1 has a role in dorsoventral pattering, we have carried out conditional gain- and loss-of-function experiments using different msx1 constructs fused to a glucocorticoid receptor element to avoid an early effect of this factor. We show that msx1 expression is able to induce all other early neural crest markers tested (snail, slug, foxd3) at the time of neural crest specification. Furthermore, the expression of a dominant negative of Msx genes leads to the inhibition of all the neural crest markers analyzed. It has been previously shown that snail is one of the earliest genes acting in the neural crest genetic cascade. In order to study the hierarchical relationship between msx1 and snail/slug we performed several rescue experiments using dominant negatives for these genes. The rescuing activity by snail and slug on neural crest development of the msx1 dominant negative, together with the inability of msx1 to rescue the dominant negatives of slug and snail strongly argue that msx1 is upstream of snail and slug in the genetic cascade that specifies the neural crest in the ectoderm. We propose a model where a gradient of Bmp activity specifies the expression of Msx genes in the neural folds, and that this expression is essential for the early specification of the neural crest.
Overlapping and differential localization of Bmp-2, Bmp-4, Msx-2 and apoptosis in the endocardial cushion and adjacent tissues of the developing mouse heart.
Abdelwahid E,Rice D,Pelliniemi L J,Jokinen E
Cell and tissue research
The bone morphogenetic proteins BMP-2 and BMP-4 and the homeobox gene MSX-2 are required for normal development of many embryonic tissues. To elucidate their possible roles during the remodeling of the tubular heart into a fully septated four-chambered heart, we have localized the mRNA of Bmp-2, Bmp-4, Msx-2 and apoptotic cells in the developing mouse heart from embryonic day (E)11 to E17. mRNA was localized by in situ hybridization, and apoptotic cells by TUNEL (TDT-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling) as well as by transmission electron microscopy. By analyzing adjacent serial sections, we demonstrated that the expression of Msx-2 and Bmp-2 strikingly overlapped in the atrioventricular canal myocardium, in the atrioventricular junctional myocardium, and in the maturing myocardium of the atrioventricular valves. Bmp-4 was expressed in the outflow tract myocardium and in the endocardial cushion of the outflow tract ridges from E12 to E14. Msx-2 appeared in the mesenchyme of the atrioventricular endocardial cushion from E11 to E14, while Bmp-2 and Bmp-4 were detected between E11 and E14. Apoptotic cells were also detected in the mesenchyme of the endocardial cushion between E12 and E14. Our results suggest that BMP-2 and MSX-2 are tightly linked to the formation of the atrioventricular junction and valves and that BMP-4 is involved in the development of the outflow tract myocardium and of the endocardial cushion. In addition, BMP-2, BMP-4 and MSX-2 and apoptosis seem to be associated with differentiation of the endocardial cushion.
Uterine inactivation of muscle segment homeobox (Msx) genes alters epithelial cell junction proteins during embryo implantation.
Sun Xiaofei,Park Craig B,Deng Wenbo,Potter S Steven,Dey Sudhansu K
FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Embryo implantation requires that the uterus differentiate into the receptive state. Failure to attain uterine receptivity will impede blastocyst attachment and result in a compromised pregnancy. The molecular mechanism by which the uterus transitions from the prereceptive to the receptive stage is complex, involving an intricate interplay of various molecules. We recently found that mice with uterine deletion ofMsxgenes (Msx1(d/d)/Msx2(d/d)) are infertile because of implantation failure associated with heightened apicobasal polarity of luminal epithelial cells during the receptive period. However, information on Msx's roles in regulating epithelial polarity remains limited. To gain further insight, we analyzed cell-type-specific gene expression by RNA sequencing of separated luminal epithelial and stromal cells by laser capture microdissection fromMsx1(d/d)/Msx2(d/d)and floxed mouse uteri on d 4 of pseudopregnancy. We found that claudin-1, a tight junction protein, and small proline-rich (Sprr2) protein, a major component of cornified envelopes in keratinized epidermis, were substantially up-regulated inMsx1(d/d)/Msx2(d/d)uterine epithelia. These factors also exhibited unique epithelial expression patterns at the implantation chamber (crypt) inMsx1(f/f)/Msx2(f/f)females; the patterns were lost inMsx1(d/d)/Msx2(d/d)epithelia on d 5, suggesting important roles during implantation. The results suggest thatMsxgenes play important roles during uterine receptivity including modulation of epithelial junctional activity.-Sun, X., Park, C. B., Deng, W., Potter, S. S., Dey, S. K. Uterine inactivation of muscle segment homeobox (Msx) genes alters epithelial cell junction proteins during embryo implantation.
Developmental regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone gene expression by the MSX and DLX homeodomain protein families.
Givens Marjory L,Rave-Harel Naama,Goonewardena Vinodha D,Kurotani Reiko,Berdy Sara E,Swan Christo H,Rubenstein John L R,Robert Benoit,Mellon Pamela L
The Journal of biological chemistry
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is the central regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, controlling sexual maturation and fertility in diverse species from fish to humans. GnRH gene expression is limited to a discrete population of neurons that migrate through the nasal region into the hypothalamus during embryonic development. The GnRH regulatory region contains four conserved homeodomain binding sites (ATTA) that are essential for basal promoter activity and cell-specific expression of the GnRH gene. MSX and DLX are members of the Antennapedia class of non-Hox homeodomain transcription factors that regulate gene expression and influence development of the craniofacial structures and anterior forebrain. Here, we report that expression patterns of the Msx and Dlx families of homeodomain transcription factors largely coincide with the migratory route of GnRH neurons and co-express with GnRH in neurons during embryonic development. In addition, MSX and DLX family members bind directly to the ATTA consensus sequences and regulate transcriptional activity of the GnRH promoter. Finally, mice lacking MSX1 or DLX1 and 2 show altered numbers of GnRH-expressing cells in regions where these factors likely function. These findings strongly support a role for MSX and DLX in contributing to spatiotemporal regulation of GnRH transcription during development.
Msx1 and Dlx5 function synergistically to regulate frontal bone development.
Chung Il-Hyuk,Han Jun,Iwata Junichi,Chai Yang
Genesis (New York, N.Y. : 2000)
The Msx and Dlx families of homeobox proteins are important regulators for embryogenesis. Loss of Msx1 in mice results in multiple developmental defects including craniofacial malformations. Although Dlx5 is widely expressed during embryonic development, targeted null mutation of Dlx5 mainly affects the development of craniofacial bones. Msx1 and Dlx5 show overlapping expression patterns during frontal bone development. To investigate the functional significance of Msx1/Dlx5 interaction in regulating frontal bone development, we generated Msx1 and Dlx5 double null mutant mice. In Msx1(-/-) ;Dlx5(-/-) mice, the frontal bones defect was more severe than that of either Msx1(-/-) or Dlx5(-/-) mice. This aggravated frontal bone defect suggests that Msx1 and Dlx5 function synergistically to regulate osteogenesis. This synergistic effect of Msx1 and Dlx5 on the frontal bone represents a tissue specific mode of interaction of the Msx and Dlx genes. Furthermore, Dlx5 requires Msx1 for its expression in the context of frontal bone development. Our study shows that Msx1/Dlx5 interaction is crucial for osteogenic induction during frontal bone development.
Msx homeobox genes critically regulate embryo implantation by controlling paracrine signaling between uterine stroma and epithelium.
Nallasamy Shanmugasundaram,Li Quanxi,Bagchi Milan K,Bagchi Indrani C
The mammalian Msx homeobox genes, Msx1 and Msx2, encode transcription factors that control organogenesis and tissue interactions during embryonic development. We observed overlapping expression of these factors in uterine epithelial and stromal compartments of pregnant mice prior to embryo implantation. Conditional ablation of both Msx1 and Msx2 in the uterus resulted in female infertility due to a failure in implantation. In these mutant mice (Msx1/2(d/d)), the uterine epithelium exhibited persistent proliferative activity and failed to attach to the embryos. Gene expression profiling of uterine epithelium and stroma of Msx1/2(d/d) mice revealed an elevated expression of several members of the Wnt gene family in the preimplantation uterus. Increased canonical Wnt signaling in the stromal cells activated β-catenin, stimulating the production of a subset of fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) in these cells. The secreted FGFs acted in a paracrine manner via the FGF receptors in the epithelium to promote epithelial proliferation, thereby preventing differentiation of this tissue and creating a non-receptive uterus refractory to implantation. Collectively, these findings delineate a unique signaling network, involving Msx1/2, Wnts, and FGFs, which operate in the uterus at the time of implantation to control the mesenchymal-epithelial dialogue critical for successful establishment of pregnancy.
Muscle Segment Homeobox Genes Direct Embryonic Diapause by Limiting Inflammation in the Uterus.
Cha Jeeyeon,Burnum-Johnson Kristin E,Bartos Amanda,Li Yingju,Baker Erin S,Tilton Susan C,Webb-Robertson Bobbie-Jo M,Piehowski Paul D,Monroe Matthew E,Jegga Anil G,Murata Shigeo,Hirota Yasushi,Dey Sudhansu K
The Journal of biological chemistry
Embryonic diapause is a reproductive strategy widespread in the animal kingdom. This phenomenon is defined by a temporary arrest in blastocyst growth and metabolic activity within a quiescent uterus without implantation until the environmental and maternal milieu become favorable for pregnancy to progress. We found that uterine Msx expression persists during diapause across species; their inactivation in the mouse uterus results in termination of diapause with the development of implantation-like responses ("pseudoimplantation") that ultimately succumbed to resorption. To understand the cause of this failure, we compared proteome profiles between floxed and Msx-deleted uteri. In deleted uteri, several functional networks, including transcription/translation, ubiquitin-proteasome, inflammation, and endoplasmic reticulum stress, were dysregulated. Computational modeling predicted intersection of these pathways on an enhanced inflammatory signature. Further studies showed that this signature was reflected in increased phosphorylated IκB levels and nuclear NFκB in deleted uteri. This was associated with enhanced proteasome activity and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Interestingly, treatment with anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid (dexamethasone) reduced the inflammatory signature with improvement of the diapause phenotype. These findings highlight an unexpected role of uterine Msx in limiting aberrant inflammatory responses to maintain embryonic diapause.
A role for Msx genes in mammalian embryonic diapause.
Cha J,Fenelon J C,Murphy B D,Shaw G,Renfree M B,Dey S K
Mammalian embryonic diapause is a reproductive phenomenon defined by the reversible arrest in blastocyst development and metabolic activity within the uterus which synchronously becomes quiescent to implantation. This natural strategy, evident in over 130 species across eight orders, can temporally uncouple conception from delivery until conditions are favorable for the survival of the mother and newborn. While the maternal endocrine milieu has been shown to be important for this process, the local molecular mechanisms by which the uterus and embryo achieve quiescence, maintain blastocyst survival and then resumes blastocyst activation with subsequent implantation in response to endocrine cues remains unclear. Here we review the first evidence that the proximal molecular control of embryonic diapause is conserved in three unrelated mammalian species which employ different endocrine programs to initiate diapause. In particular, uterine expression of muscle segment homeobox () genes or persists during diapause, followed by downregulation with blastocyst reactivation and implantation. Mice with conditional inactivation of and in the uterus fail to achieve diapause and reactivation. Remarkably, the mink and tammar wallaby share this pattern of or expression as in mice during delay - it persists during diapause and is rapidly downregulated upon implantation. Therefore, these findings were the first to provide evidence that there are common conserved molecular regulators in the uterus of unrelated mammals during embryonic diapause.
Vertebrate limb development: moving from classical morphogen gradients to an integrated 4-dimensional patterning system.
Bénazet Jean-Denis,Zeller Rolf
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
A wealth of classical embryological manipulation experiments taking mainly advantage of the chicken limb buds identified the apical ectodermal ridge (AER) and the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) as the respective ectodermal and mesenchymal key signaling centers coordinating proximodistal (PD) and anteroposterior (AP) limb axis development. These experiments inspired Wolpert's French flag model, which is a classic among morphogen gradient models. Subsequent molecular and genetic analysis in the mouse identified retinoic acid as proximal signal, and fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and sonic hedgehog (SHH) as the essential instructive signals produced by AER and ZPA, respectively. Recent studies provide good evidence that progenitors are specified early with respect to their PD and AP fates and that morpho-regulatory signaling is also required for subsequent proliferative expansion of the specified progenitor pools. The determination of particular fates seems to occur rather late and depends on additional signals such as bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), which indicates that cells integrate signaling inputs over time and space. The coordinate regulation of PD and AP axis patterning is controlled by an epithelial-mesenchymal feedback signaling system, in which transcriptional regulation of the BMP antagonist Gremlin1 integrates inputs from the BMP, SHH, and FGF pathways. Vertebrate limb-bud development is controlled by a 4-dimensional (4D) patterning system integrating positive and negative regulatory feedback loops, rather than thresholds set by morphogen gradients.
Vertebrate segmentation: from cyclic gene networks to scoliosis.
One of the most striking features of the human vertebral column is its periodic organization along the anterior-posterior axis. This pattern is established when segments of vertebrates, called somites, bud off at a defined pace from the anterior tip of the embryo's presomitic mesoderm (PSM). To trigger this rhythmic production of somites, three major signaling pathways--Notch, Wnt/β-catenin, and fibroblast growth factor (FGF)--integrate into a molecular network that generates a traveling wave of gene expression along the embryonic axis, called the "segmentation clock." Recent systems approaches have begun identifying specific signaling circuits within the network that set the pace of the oscillations, synchronize gene expression cycles in neighboring cells, and contribute to the robustness and bilateral symmetry of somite formation. These findings establish a new model for vertebrate segmentation and provide a conceptual framework to explain human diseases of the spine, such as congenital scoliosis.
Signaling mechanisms controlling cell fate and embryonic patterning.
Perrimon Norbert,Pitsouli Chrysoula,Shilo Ben-Zion
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
During development, signaling pathways specify cell fates by activating transcriptional programs in response to extracellular signals. Extensive studies in the past 30 years have revealed that surprisingly few pathways exist to regulate developmental programs and that dysregulation of these can lead to human diseases, including cancer. Although these pathways use distinct signaling components and signaling strategies, a number of common themes have emerged regarding their organization and regulation in time and space. Examples from Drosophila, such as Notch, Hedgehog, Wingless/WNT, BMP (bone morphogenetic proteins), EGF (epidermal growth factor), and FGF (fibroblast growth factor) signaling, illustrate their abilities to act either at a short range or over a long distance, and in some instances to generate morphogen gradients that pattern fields of cells in a concentration-dependent manner. They also show how feedback loops and transcriptional cascades are part of the logic of developmental regulation.
Intercellular interactions, position, and polarity in establishing blastocyst cell lineages and embryonic axes.
Stephenson Robert O,Rossant Janet,Tam Patrick P L
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
The formation of the three lineages of the mouse blastocyst provides a powerful model system to study interactions among cell behavior, cell signaling, and lineage development. Hippo signaling differences between the inner and outer cells of the early cleavage stages, combined with establishment of a stably polarized outer epithelium, lead to the establishment of the inner cell mass and the trophectoderm, whereas FGF signaling differences among the individual cells of the ICM lead to gradual separation and segregation of the epiblast and primitive endoderm lineages. Events in the late blastocyst lead to the formation of a special subset of cells from the primitive endoderm that are key sources for the signals that establish the subsequent body axis. The slow pace of mouse early development, the ability to culture embryos over this time period, the increasing availability of live cell imaging tools, and the ability to modify gene expression at will are providing increasing insights into the cell biology of early cell fate decisions.
Signaling gradients during paraxial mesoderm development.
Aulehla Alexander,Pourquié Olivier
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
The sequential formation of somites along the anterior-posterior axis is under control of multiple signaling gradients involving the Wnt, FGF, and retinoic acid (RA) pathways. These pathways show graded distribution of signaling activity within the paraxial mesoderm of vertebrate embryos. Although Wnt and FGF signaling show highest activity in the posterior, unsegmented paraxial mesoderm (presomitic mesoderm [PSM]), RA signaling establishes a countergradient with the highest activity in the somites. The generation of these graded activities relies both on classical source-sink mechanisms (for RA signaling) and on an RNA decay mechanism (for FGF signaling). Numerous studies reveal the tight interconnection among Wnt, FGF, and RA signaling in controlling paraxial mesoderm differentiation and in defining the somite-forming unit. In particular, the relationship to a molecular oscillator acting in somite precursors in the PSM-called the segmentation clock-has been recently addressed. These studies indicate that high levels of Wnt and FGF signaling are required for the segmentation clock activity. Furthermore, we discuss how these signaling gradients act in a dose-dependent manner in the progenitors of the paraxial mesoderm, partly by regulating cell movements during gastrulation. Finally, links between the process of axial specification of vertebral segments and Hox gene expression are discussed.
Molecular mechanisms of fibroblast growth factor signaling in physiology and pathology.
Belov Artur A,Mohammadi Moosa
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) signal in a paracrine or endocrine fashion to mediate a myriad of biological activities, ranging from issuing developmental cues, maintaining tissue homeostasis, and regulating metabolic processes. FGFs carry out their diverse functions by binding and dimerizing FGF receptors (FGFRs) in a heparan sulfate (HS) cofactor- or Klotho coreceptor-assisted manner. The accumulated wealth of structural and biophysical data in the past decade has transformed our understanding of the mechanism of FGF signaling in human health and development, and has provided novel concepts in receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling. Among these contributions are the elucidation of HS-assisted receptor dimerization, delineation of the molecular determinants of ligand-receptor specificity, tyrosine kinase regulation, receptor cis-autoinhibition, and tyrosine trans-autophosphorylation. These structural studies have also revealed how disease-associated mutations highjack the physiological mechanisms of FGFR regulation to contribute to human diseases. In this paper, we will discuss the structurally and biophysically derived mechanisms of FGF signaling, and how the insights gained may guide the development of therapies for treatment of a diverse array of human diseases.
Signaling and Gene Regulatory Networks in Mammalian Lens Development.
Cvekl Ales,Zhang Xin
Trends in genetics : TIG
Ocular lens development represents an advantageous system in which to study regulatory mechanisms governing cell fate decisions, extracellular signaling, cell and tissue organization, and the underlying gene regulatory networks. Spatiotemporally regulated domains of BMP, FGF, and other signaling molecules in late gastrula-early neurula stage embryos generate the border region between the neural plate and non-neural ectoderm from which multiple cell types, including lens progenitor cells, emerge and undergo initial tissue formation. Extracellular signaling and DNA-binding transcription factors govern lens and optic cup morphogenesis. Pax6, c-Maf, Hsf4, Prox1, Sox1, and a few additional factors regulate the expression of the lens structural proteins, the crystallins. Extensive crosstalk between a diverse array of signaling pathways controls the complexity and order of lens morphogenetic processes and lens transparency.
Careless talk costs lives: fibroblast growth factor receptor signalling and the consequences of pathway malfunction.
Carter Edward P,Fearon Abbie E,Grose Richard P
Trends in cell biology
Since its discovery 40 years ago, fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor (FGFR) signalling has been found to regulate fundamental cellular behaviours in a wide range of cell types. FGFRs regulate development, homeostasis, and repair and are implicated in many disorders and diseases; and indeed, there is extensive potential for severe consequences, be they developmental, homeostatic, or oncogenic, should FGF-FGFR signalling go awry, so careful control of the pathway is critically important. In this review, we discuss the recent developments in the FGF field, highlighting how FGFR signalling works in normal cells, how it can go wrong, how frequently it is compromised, and how it is being targeted therapeutically.
Fibroblast growth factor signaling in skeletal development and disease.
Ornitz David M,Marie Pierre J
Genes & development
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling pathways are essential regulators of vertebrate skeletal development. FGF signaling regulates development of the limb bud and formation of the mesenchymal condensation and has key roles in regulating chondrogenesis, osteogenesis, and bone and mineral homeostasis. This review updates our review on FGFs in skeletal development published in Genes & Development in 2002, examines progress made on understanding the functions of the FGF signaling pathway during critical stages of skeletogenesis, and explores the mechanisms by which mutations in FGF signaling molecules cause skeletal malformations in humans. Links between FGF signaling pathways and other interacting pathways that are critical for skeletal development and could be exploited to treat genetic diseases and repair bone are also explored.
Genetic insights into the mechanisms of Fgf signaling.
Brewer J Richard,Mazot Pierre,Soriano Philippe
Genes & development
The fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) family of ligands and receptor tyrosine kinases is required throughout embryonic and postnatal development and also regulates multiple homeostatic functions in the adult. Aberrant Fgf signaling causes many congenital disorders and underlies multiple forms of cancer. Understanding the mechanisms that govern Fgf signaling is therefore important to appreciate many aspects of Fgf biology and disease. Here we review the mechanisms of Fgf signaling by focusing on genetic strategies that enable in vivo analysis. These studies support an important role for Erk1/2 as a mediator of Fgf signaling in many biological processes but have also provided strong evidence for additional signaling pathways in transmitting Fgf signaling in vivo.
Sonic hedgehog is not required for polarising activity in the Doublefoot mutant mouse limb bud.
Hayes C,Brown J M,Lyon M F,Morriss-Kay G M
Development (Cambridge, England)
The mouse mutant Doublefoot (Dbf) shows preaxial polydactyly of all four limbs. We have analysed limb development in this mutant with respect to morphogenesis, gene expression patterns and ectopic polarising activity. The results reveal a gain-of-function mutation at a locus that mediates pattern formation in the developing limb. Shh expression is identical with that of wild-type embryos, i.e. there is no ectopic expression. However, mesenchyme from the anterior aspects of Dbf/+ mutant limb buds, when transplanted to the anterior side of chick wing buds, induces duplication of the distal skeletal elements. Mid-distal mesenchymal transplants from early, but not later, Dbf/+ limb buds are also able to induce duplication. This demonstration of polarising activity in the absence of Shh expression identifies the gene at the Dbf locus as a new genetic component of the Shh signalling pathway, which (at least in its mutated form) is able to activate signal transduction independently of Shh. The mutant gene product is sufficient to fulfil the signalling properties of Shh including upregulation of the direct Shh target genes Ptc and Gli, and induction of the downstream target genes Bmp2, Fgf4 and Hoxd13. The expression domains of all these genes extend from their normal posterior domains into the anterior part of the limb bud without being focused on a discrete ectopic site. These observations dissociate polarising activity from Shh gene expression in the Dbf/+ limb bud. We suggest that the product of the normal Dbf gene is a key active constituent of the polarising region, possibly acting in the extracellular compartment.
Genetic control of branching morphogenesis.
Metzger R J,Krasnow M A
Science (New York, N.Y.)
The genetic programs that direct formation of the treelike branching structures of two animal organs have begun to be elucidated. In both the developing Drosophila tracheal (respiratory) system and mammalian lung, a fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling pathway is reiteratively used to pattern successive rounds of branching. The initial pattern of signaling appears to be established by early, more global embryonic patterning systems. The FGF pathway is then modified at each stage of branching by genetic feedback controls and other signals to give distinct branching outcomes. The reiterative use of a signaling pathway by both insects and mammals suggests a general scheme for patterning branching morphogenesis.
Building limb morphology through integration of signalling modules.
Duboc Veronique,Logan Malcolm Po
Current opinion in genetics & development
Growth and patterning of the vertebrate limb relies on signals produced by three discrete signalling centres: the Apical Ectodermal Ridge (AER), the Zone of Polarising Activity (ZPA) and the dorsal ectoderm. The molecular identities of these signals and their associated downstream pathways have begun to be uncovered. In this review, we focus on recent work that has highlighted the importance of cross-talk between these signalling centres and how mesenchymal progenitors integrate multiple signalling inputs. We also discuss recent evidence suggesting how modulations of key signalling pathways have been used to generate the morphological diversity seen between different vertebrate limb appendages.
Shaping sound in space: the regulation of inner ear patterning.
Groves Andrew K,Fekete Donna M
Development (Cambridge, England)
The inner ear is one of the most morphologically elaborate tissues in vertebrates, containing a group of mechanosensitive sensory organs that mediate hearing and balance. These organs are arranged precisely in space and contain intricately patterned sensory epithelia. Here, we review recent studies of inner ear development and patterning which reveal that multiple stages of ear development - ranging from its early induction from the embryonic ectoderm to the establishment of the three cardinal axes and the fine-grained arrangement of sensory cells - are orchestrated by gradients of signaling molecules.
Genetic analysis: Wnt and other pathways in nonsyndromic tooth agenesis.
Yu Miao,Wong Sing-Wai,Han Dong,Cai Tao
Tooth agenesis (TA) is one of the most common developmental anomalies that affects the number of teeth. An extensive analysis of publicly accessible databases revealed 15 causative genes responsible for nonsyndromic TA, along with their signaling pathways in Wnt/β-catenin, TGF-β/BMP, and Eda/Edar/NF-κB. However, genotype-phenotype correlation analysis showed that most of the causal genes are also responsible for syndromic TA or other conditions. In a total of 198 different mutations of the 15 genes responsible for nonsyndromic TA, 182 mutations (91.9%) are derived from seven genes (AXIN2, EDA, LRP6, MSX1, PAX9, WNT10A, and WNT10B) compared with the remaining 16 mutations (8.1%) identified in the remaining eight genes (BMP4, DKK1, EDAR, EDARADD, GREM2, KREMEN1, LTBP3, and SMOC2). Furthermore, specificity analysis in terms of the ratio of nonsyndromic TA mutations versus syndromic mutations in each of the aforementioned seven genes showed a 98.2% specificity rate in PAX9, 58.9% in WNT10A, 56.6% in MSX1, 41.2% in WNT10B, 31.4% in LRP6, 23.8% in AXIN2%, and 8.4% in EDA. These findings underscore an important role of the Wnt and Wnt-associated pathways in the genetic etiology of this heterozygous disease and shed new lights on the discovery of novel molecular mechanisms associated with tooth agenesis.
BMP signalling in skeletal development, disease and repair.
Salazar Valerie S,Gamer Laura W,Rosen Vicki
Nature reviews. Endocrinology
Since the identification in 1988 of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) as a potent inducer of bone and cartilage formation, BMP superfamily signalling has become one of the most heavily investigated topics in vertebrate skeletal biology. Whereas a large part of this research has focused on the roles of BMP2, BMP4 and BMP7 in the formation and repair of endochondral bone, a large number of BMP superfamily molecules have now been implicated in almost all aspects of bone, cartilage and joint biology. As modulating BMP signalling is currently a major therapeutic target, our rapidly expanding knowledge of how BMP superfamily signalling affects most tissue types of the skeletal system creates enormous potential to translate basic research findings into successful clinical therapies that improve bone mass or quality, ameliorate diseases of skeletal overgrowth, and repair damage to bone and joints. This Review examines the genetic evidence implicating BMP superfamily signalling in vertebrate bone and joint development, discusses a selection of human skeletal disorders associated with altered BMP signalling and summarizes the status of modulating the BMP pathway as a therapeutic target for skeletal trauma and disease.
Molecular biology and genetics of embryonic eyelid development.
Rubinstein Tal J,Weber Adam C,Traboulsi Elias I
The embryology of the eyelid is a complex process that includes interactions between the surface ectoderm and mesenchymal tissues. In the mouse and human, the eyelids form and fuse before birth; they open prenatally in the human and postnatally in the mouse. In the mouse, cell migration is stimulated by different growth factors such as FGF10, TGF-α, Activin B, and HB-EGF. These growth factors modulate downstream BMP4 signaling, the ERK cascade, and JNK/c-JUN. Several mechanisms, such as the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, may inhibit and regulate eyelid fusion. Eyelid opening, on the other hand, is driven by the BMP/Smad signaling system. Several human genetic disorders result from dysregulation of the above molecular pathways.
Deletion of Osr2 Partially Rescues Tooth Development in Runx2 Mutant Mice.
Kwon H J E,Park E K,Jia S,Liu H,Lan Y,Jiang R
Journal of dental research
Tooth organogenesis depends on genetically programmed sequential and reciprocal inductive interactions between the dental epithelium and neural crest-derived mesenchyme. Previous studies showed that the Msx1 and Runx2 transcription factors are required for activation of odontogenic signals, including Bmp4 and Fgf3, in the early tooth mesenchyme to drive tooth morphogenesis through the bud-to-cap transition and that Runx2 acts downstream of Msx1 to activate Fgf3 expression. Recent studies identified Osr2 as a repressor of tooth development and showed that inactivation of Osr2 rescued molar tooth morphogenesis in the Msx1(-/-) mutant mice as well as in mice with neural crest-specific inactivation of Bmp4. Here we show that Runx2 expression is expanded in the tooth bud mesenchyme in Osr2(-/-) mutant mouse embryos and is partially restored in the tooth mesenchyme in Msx1(-/-)Osr2(-/-) mutants in comparison with Msx1(-/-) and wild-type embryos. Whereas mandibular molar development arrested at the bud stage and maxillary molar development arrested at the bud-to-cap transition in Runx2(-/-) mutant mice, both mandibular and maxillary molar tooth germs progressed to the early bell stage, with rescued expression of Msx1 and Bmp4 in the dental papilla as well as expression of Bmp4, p21, and Shh in the primary enamel knot in the Osr2(-/-)Runx2(-/-) compound mutants. In contrast to the Msx1(-/-)Osr2(-/-) compound mutants, which exhibit nearly normal first molar morphogenesis, the Osr2(-/-)Runx2(-/-) compound mutant embryos failed to activate the expression of Fgf3 and Fgf10 in the dental papilla and exhibited significant deficit in cell proliferation in both the dental epithelium and mesenchyme in comparison with the control embryos. These data indicate that Runx2 synergizes with Msx1 to drive tooth morphogenesis through the bud-to-cap transition and that Runx2 controls continued tooth growth and morphogenesis beyond the cap stage through activation of Fgf3 and Fgf10 expression in the dental papilla.
Roles of Bmp4 during tooth morphogenesis and sequential tooth formation.
Jia Shihai,Zhou Jing,Gao Yang,Baek Jin-A,Martin James F,Lan Yu,Jiang Rulang
Development (Cambridge, England)
Previous studies have suggested that Bmp4 is a key Msx1-dependent mesenchymal odontogenic signal for driving tooth morphogenesis through the bud-to-cap transition. Whereas all tooth germs were arrested at the bud stage in Msx1(-/-) mice, we show that depleting functional Bmp4 mRNAs in the tooth mesenchyme, through neural crest-specific gene inactivation in Bmp4(f/f);Wnt1Cre mice, caused mandibular molar developmental arrest at the bud stage but allowed maxillary molars and incisors to develop to mineralized teeth. We found that expression of Osr2, which encodes a zinc finger protein that antagonizes Msx1-mediated activation of odontogenic mesenchyme, was significantly upregulated in the molar tooth mesenchyme in Bmp4(f/f);Wnt1Cre embryos. Msx1 heterozygosity enhanced maxillary molar developmental defects whereas Osr2 heterozygosity partially rescued mandibular first molar morphogenesis in Bmp4(f/f);Wnt1Cre mice. Moreover, in contrast to complete lack of supernumerary tooth initiation in Msx1(-/-)Osr2(-/-) mice, Osr2(-/-)Bmp4(f/f);Wnt1Cre compound mutant mice exhibited formation and subsequent arrest of supernumerary tooth germs that correlated with downregulation of Msx1 expression in the tooth mesenchyme. In addition, we found that the Wnt inhibitors Dkk2 and Wif1 were much more abundantly expressed in the mandibular than maxillary molar mesenchyme in wild-type embryos and that Dkk2 expression was significantly upregulated in the molar mesenchyme in Bmp4(f/f);Wnt1Cre embryos, which correlated with the dramatic differences in maxillary and mandibular molar phenotypes in Bmp4(f/f);Wnt1Cre mice. Together, these data indicate that Bmp4 signaling suppresses tooth developmental inhibitors in the tooth mesenchyme, including Dkk2 and Osr2, and synergizes with Msx1 to activate mesenchymal odontogenic potential for tooth morphogenesis and sequential tooth formation.
Roles for Bmp4 and CaM1 in shaping the jaw: evo-devo and beyond.
Parsons Kevin J,Albertson R Craig
Annual review of genetics
The craniofacial skeleton, including jaws and beaks, figures prominently in discussions of adaptive divergence. Craniofacial abnormalities also occur in a number of human syndromes, making the development and genetic basis of craniofacial morphology an area of great interest to a wide spectra of biological and medical disciplines. Recent experiments have implicated key roles for Bmp4 and CaM1 in determining the size and shape of craniofacial traits. These factors offer potent new molecular inroads into the processes, mechanisms, and pathways that underlie craniofacial development and the morphogenesis of shape. Here we review this evidence and discuss its use as the basis for a number of new research avenues.
Haploinsufficiency of BMP4 gene may be the underlying cause of Frías syndrome.
Martínez-Fernández María Luisa,Bermejo-Sánchez Eva,Fernández Belén,MacDonald Alexandra,Fernández-Toral Joaquín,Martínez-Frías María Luisa
American journal of medical genetics. Part A
In 2005, we reported on a family as having Frías syndrome (OMIM: 609640), with four affected members displaying a pattern of congenital defects nearly identical to those observed in a mother and son described by Frias [Frías et al. (1975). Birth Defects Orig Artic Ser 11:30-33]. These defects included growth deficiency, facial anomalies, and hand and foot alterations. We had the opportunity to study this family again due to the birth of another affected girl, who presented with similar facial characteristics to those of her elder half-sister and the rest of affected relatives, which consisted of mild exophthalmia, bilateral palpebral ptosis, downslanting palpebral fissures, and hypertelorism. We performed array-CGH, which identified an identical interstitial deletion of chromosome 14q22.1-q22.3 in the mother and two daughters. The deletion is 4.06 Mb in length and includes the BMP4 gene, a member of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family of secreted proteins. A review of the literature showed that deletions or mutations of this gene underlie congenital defects affecting brain, eye, teeth, and digit development. Although the clinical manifestations of the current family correlate with the defects observed in patients having either 14q22-q23 deletions or mutations of BMP4, they show a milder phenotype. In order to understand the clinical variability, we evaluated the already known functional characteristics of the BMP gene members. This gene family plays an important role during early embryogenesis, and the complex synergistic functions and redundancies of the BMPs led us to conclude that haploinsufficiency of BMP4 is likely to be responsible for the clinical expression of Frías syndrome.
Evolution of the Human Nervous System Function, Structure, and Development.
Sousa André M M,Meyer Kyle A,Santpere Gabriel,Gulden Forrest O,Sestan Nenad
The nervous system-in particular, the brain and its cognitive abilities-is among humans' most distinctive and impressive attributes. How the nervous system has changed in the human lineage and how it differs from that of closely related primates is not well understood. Here, we consider recent comparative analyses of extant species that are uncovering new evidence for evolutionary changes in the size and the number of neurons in the human nervous system, as well as the cellular and molecular reorganization of its neural circuits. We also discuss the developmental mechanisms and underlying genetic and molecular changes that generate these structural and functional differences. As relevant new information and tools materialize at an unprecedented pace, the field is now ripe for systematic and functionally relevant studies of the development and evolution of human nervous system specializations.
Embryonic timing, axial stem cells, chromatin dynamics, and the Hox clock.
Deschamps Jacqueline,Duboule Denis
Genes & development
Collinear regulation of genes in space and time has been an outstanding question ever since the initial work of Ed Lewis in 1978. Here we discuss recent advances in our understanding of this phenomenon in relation to novel concepts associated with large-scale regulation and chromatin structure during the development of both axial and limb patterns. We further discuss how this sequential transcriptional activation marks embryonic stem cell-like axial progenitors in mammals and, consequently, how a temporal genetic system is further translated into spatial coordinates via the fate of these progenitors. In this context, we argue the benefit and necessity of implementing this unique mechanism as well as the difficulty in evolving an alternative strategy to deliver this critical positional information.
Reassessing the Role of Hox Genes during Vertebrate Development and Evolution.
Trends in genetics : TIG
Since their discovery Hox genes have been at the core of the established models explaining the development and evolution of the vertebrate body plan as well as its paired appendages. Recent work brought new light to their role in the patterning processes along the main body axis. These studies show that Hox genes do not control the basic layout of the vertebrate body plan but carry out region-specific patterning instructions loaded on the derivatives of axial progenitors by Hox-independent processes. Furthermore, the finding that Hox clusters are embedded in functional chromatin domains, which critically impacts their expression, has significantly altered our understanding of the mechanisms of Hox gene regulation. This new conceptual framework has broadened our understanding of both limb development and the evolution of vertebrate paired appendages.
Limb development: a paradigm of gene regulation.
Petit Florence,Sears Karen E,Ahituv Nadav
Nature reviews. Genetics
The limb is a commonly used model system for developmental biology. Given the need for precise control of complex signalling pathways to achieve proper patterning, the limb is also becoming a model system for gene regulation studies. Recent developments in genomic technologies have enabled the genome-wide identification of regulatory elements that control limb development, yielding insights into the determination of limb morphology and forelimb versus hindlimb identity. The modulation of regulatory interactions - for example, through the modification of regulatory sequences or chromatin architecture - can lead to morphological evolution, acquired regeneration capacity or limb malformations in diverse species, including humans.
Mechanisms of 3D cell migration.
Yamada Kenneth M,Sixt Michael
Nature reviews. Molecular cell biology
Cell migration is essential for physiological processes as diverse as development, immune defence and wound healing. It is also a hallmark of cancer malignancy. Thousands of publications have elucidated detailed molecular and biophysical mechanisms of cultured cells migrating on flat, 2D substrates of glass and plastic. However, much less is known about how cells successfully navigate the complex 3D environments of living tissues. In these more complex, native environments, cells use multiple modes of migration, including mesenchymal, amoeboid, lobopodial and collective, and these are governed by the local extracellular microenvironment, specific modalities of Rho GTPase signalling and non-muscle myosin contractility. Migration through 3D environments is challenging because it requires the cell to squeeze through complex or dense extracellular structures. Doing so requires specific cellular adaptations to mechanical features of the extracellular matrix (ECM) or its remodelling. In addition, besides navigating through diverse ECM environments and overcoming extracellular barriers, cells often interact with neighbouring cells and tissues through physical and signalling interactions. Accordingly, cells need to call on an impressively wide diversity of mechanisms to meet these challenges. This Review examines how cells use both classical and novel mechanisms of locomotion as they traverse challenging 3D matrices and cellular environments. It focuses on principles rather than details of migratory mechanisms and draws comparisons between 1D, 2D and 3D migration.
Human HOX gene disorders.
Quinonez Shane C,Innis Jeffrey W
Molecular genetics and metabolism
The Hox genes are an evolutionarily conserved family of genes, which encode a class of important transcription factors that function in numerous developmental processes. Following their initial discovery, a substantial amount of information has been gained regarding the roles Hox genes play in various physiologic and pathologic processes. These processes range from a central role in anterior-posterior patterning of the developing embryo to roles in oncogenesis that are yet to be fully elucidated. In vertebrates there are a total of 39 Hox genes divided into 4 separate clusters. Of these, mutations in 10 Hox genes have been found to cause human disorders with significant variation in their inheritance patterns, penetrance, expressivity and mechanism of pathogenesis. This review aims to describe the various phenotypes caused by germline mutation in these 10 Hox genes that cause a human phenotype, with specific emphasis paid to the genotypic and phenotypic differences between allelic disorders. As clinical whole exome and genome sequencing is increasingly utilized in the future, we predict that additional Hox gene mutations will likely be identified to cause distinct human phenotypes. As the known human phenotypes closely resemble gene-specific murine models, we also review the homozygous loss-of-function mouse phenotypes for the 29 Hox genes without a known human disease. This review will aid clinicians in identifying and caring for patients affected with a known Hox gene disorder and help recognize the potential for novel mutations in patients with phenotypes informed by mouse knockout studies.
Homeobox genes in normal and malignant cells.
Cillo C,Cantile M,Faiella A,Boncinelli E
Journal of cellular physiology
Homeobox genes are transcription factors primarily involved in embryonic development. Several homeobox gene families have so far been identified: Hox, EMX, PAX, MSX as well as many isolated divergent homeobox genes. Among these, Hox genes are most intriguing for having a regulatory network structure organization. Recent indications suggest the involvement of homeobox genes in (i) crucial adult eukariotic cell functions and (ii) human diseases, spanning from diabetes to cancer. In this review we will discuss the mechanisms through which homeobox genes act, and will propose a model for the function of the Hox gene network as decoding system for achieving specific genetic programs. New technologies for whole-genome RNA expression will be crucial to evaluate the clinical relevance of homeobox genes in structural and metabolic diseases.
A narrative review of the roles of muscle segment homeobox transcription factor family in cancer.
Liu Chao,Huang Mengxi,Han Chao,Li Huiyu,Wang Jing,Huang Yadi,Chen Yanyan,Zhu Jialong,Fu Gongbo,Yu Hanqing,Lei Zengjie,Chu Xiaoyuan
Annals of translational medicine
Deregulation of many homeobox genes has been observed in various cancers and has caused functional implications in the tumor progression. In this review, we will focus on the roles of the human muscle segment homeobox (MSX) transcription factor family in the process of tumorigenesis. The MSX transcription factors, through complex downstream regulation mechanisms, are promoters or inhibitors of diverse cancers by participating in cell proliferation, cell invasion, cell metastasis, cell apoptosis, cell differentiation, drug resistance of tumors, maintenance of tumor stemness, and tumor angiogenesis. Moreover, their upstream regulatory mechanisms in cancers may include: gene mutation and chromosome aberration; DNA methylation and chromatin modification; regulation by non-coding RNAs; regulation by other transcription factors and post-translational modification. These mechanisms may provide a better understanding of why MSX transcription factors are abnormally expressed in tumors. Notably, intermolecular interactions and post-translational modification can regulate the transcriptional activity of MSX transcription factors. It is also crucial to know what affects the transcriptional activity of MSX transcription factors in tumors for possible interventions in them in the future. This systematic summary of the regulatory patterns of the MSX transcription factor family may help to further understand the mechanisms involved in transcriptional regulation and also provide new therapeutic approaches for tumor progression.
Molecular regulation of atrioventricular valvuloseptal morphogenesis.
Eisenberg L M,Markwald R R
The majority of congenital heart defects arise from abnormal development of valvuloseptal tissue. The primordia of the valve leaflets and membranous septa of the heart are the cardiac cushions. Remodeling of the cushions is associated with a transitional extracellular matrix that includes sulfated proteoglycans and the microfibrillar proteins fibulin and fibrillin. Cushion formation is restricted to the AV canal and ventricular outflow tract regions of the primary heart tube. The proper placement of the cushions may be the result of the development of the primary heart tube as a segmented organ, as well as the subsequent looping of the heart. Segmentation of the heart tube may be demonstrated by the alternating molecular expression pattern along the longitudinal axis. In support of this hypothesis is the restricted expression of BMP-4 and msx-2 to the AV canal and ventricular outflow tract. The importance of looping for cushion positioning may imply that the iv and inv genes and retinoic acid are important for the proper patterning of the heart. The cells of the cushions evolve from endocardial cells that undergo an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation. This developmental event is regulated by the myocardium and is probably due to the production of protein complexes, present within the cardiac jelly of the cushion-forming regions, that consist of fibronectin and the ES proteins. Both the cushion mesenchyme and its endocardial cell antecedents express JB3, an ECM protein. JB3 expression is also featured within the heart-forming fields of the primary mesoderm, from which the endocardial progenitors of the cushion cells originate.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Neural crest apoptosis and the establishment of craniofacial pattern: an honorable death.
Graham A,Koentges G,Lumsden A
Molecular and cellular neurosciences
During development of the vertebrate head neural crest cells emigrate from the hindbrain and populate the branchial arches, giving rise to distinct skeletal elements and muscle connective tissues in each arch. The production of neural crest from the hindbrain is discontinuous and crest cells destined for different arches, carrying different positional cues, are separated by regions of apoptosis centered on rhombomeres (r) 3 and r5. This cell death program is under the interactive control of the neighboring hindbrain segments. Both r3 and r5 produce large numbers of crest cells when freed from their flanking rhombomere, but when conjoined with their neighbor the cell death program is restored. Two key components of this program are Bmp 4 and msx-2, both of which are expressed in the apoptotic foci of r3 and r5 and which are also regulated by neighbor interactions. Importantly, the addition of recombinant Bmp 4 to isolated cultures of r3 and r5 induces the expression of Bmp 4 and msx-2 and restores the cell death program. This early neural crest segregation is maintained during development and it has profound effects upon the final craniofacial pattern. Even though crest cells from different axial origins will contribute to compound skeletal elements, these distinct populations do not intermingle. Furthermore head muscle connective tissues are exclusively anchored to skeletal domains arising from neural crest from the same axial level. Thus the discontinuous production of neural crest sculpts the crest into nonmixing streams and consequently ensures the fidelity of patterning.
Unicuspid aortic valve, hand anomalies: a heart-hand syndrome.
Nanda Sudip,Longo Santo,Arastu Mohammad I
The American journal of the medical sciences
Embryonic heart and limb development are closely related with >100 known inherited disorders affecting both. Common limb defects include duplication, deficiencies, and hypoplasia. Ventricular septal defects and atrial septal defects are the commonest associated cardiac conditions. A positive association exists between heart defects and limb disorders when these disorders are analyzed separately. Closer associations exist between heart defects and upper limb defects compared with lower limb defects. The majority of limb defects occur in the more distal parts of the affected limb. Genes expressed in both the heart and limb development include TGF-beta, BMP4, Msx transcription factor, HAND gene, retinoic acid receptor, and sonic hedgehog gene. Radial ray-heart syndromes are better described than ulnar ray-hand syndromes. There is significant variability of malformations. Partial phenocopies that are not genetically linked are well documented. An appreciation of ulnar anomalies should always provoke an evaluation of the heart for potential abnormalities. Although heart-hand syndromes are rare, valvular abnormalities and aortic aneurysms can lead to significant complications unless identified in time. The presence of radial or ulnar ray anomalies merit a detailed cardiac examination and a low threshold for cardiac imaging.
Msx-1 and Msx-2 in mammary gland development.
Satoh Kennichi,Ginsburg Erika,Vonderhaar Barbara K
Journal of mammary gland biology and neoplasia
Homeobox genes do not generally function alone to determine cell fate and morphogenesis. Rather it is the distinct combination of various members of the homeobox family of genes and their spatiotemporal patterns of expression that determine cell identity and function. Functional redundancy often makes it difficult to clearly discern the role of any one given homeobox gene. The roles that Msx1 and Msx2 play in branching morphogenesis of the mammary gland are only now becoming more evident. Many signaling pathways and transcription factors are implicated in how these homeobox genes correctly determine the morphological development of the gland. Overexpression of Msx1 and Msx2 may also be involved in tumorigenesis. Additional studies are needed to elucidate the roles of these genes in both breast development and cancer.
Dorsoventral patterning of the brain: a comparative approach.
Urbach Rolf,Technau Gerhard M
Advances in experimental medicine and biology
Development of the central nervous system (CNS) involves the transformation of a two-dimensional epithelial sheet of uniform ectodermal cells, the neuroectoderm, into a highly complex three-dimensional structure consisting of a huge variety of different neural cell types. Characteristic numbers of each cell type become arranged in reproducible spatial patterns, which is a prerequisite for the establishment of specific functional contacts. Specification of cell fate and regional patterning critical depends on positional information conferred to neural stem cells early in the neuroectoderm. This chapter compares recent findings on mechanisms that control the specification of cell fates along the dorsoventral axis during embryonic development of the CNS in Drosophila andvertebrates. Despite the clear structural differences in the organization of the CNS in arthropods and vertebrates, corresponding domains within the developing brain and truncal nervous system express a conserved set of columnar genes (msh/Msx, ind/Gsh, vnd/Nkx) involved in dorsoventral regionalization. In both Drosophila and mouse the expression of these genes exhibits distinct differences between the cephalic and truncal part of the CNS. Remarkably, not only the expression of columnar genes shows striking parallels between both species, but to some extent also their genetic interactions, suggesting an evolutionary conservation of key regulators ofdorsoventral patterning in the brain in terms of expression and function.
Cadence of procreation: orchestrating embryo-uterine interactions.
Cha Jeeyeon,Dey Sudhansu K
Seminars in cell & developmental biology
Embryo implantation in eutherian mammals is a highly complex process and requires reciprocal communication between different cell types of the embryo at the blastocyst stage and receptive uterus. The events of implantation are dynamic and highly orchestrated over a species-specific period of time with distinctive and overlapping expression of many genes. Delayed implantation in different species has helped elucidate some of the intricacies of implantation timing and different modes of the implantation process. How these events are coordinated in time and space are not clearly understood. We discuss potential regulators of the precise timing of these events with respect to central and local clock mechanisms. This review focuses on the timing and synchronization of early pregnancy events in mouse and consequences of their aberrations at later stages of pregnancy.
Genetic regulatory pathways of split-hand/foot malformation.
Kantaputra Piranit N,Carlson Bruce M
Split-hand/foot malformation (SHFM) is caused by mutations in TP63, DLX5, DLX6, FGF8, FGFR1, WNT10B, and BHLHA9. The clinical features of SHFM caused by mutations of these genes are not distinguishable. This implies that in normal situations these SHFM-associated genes share an underlying regulatory pathway that is involved in the development of the central parts of the hands and feet. The mutations in SHFM-related genes lead to dysregulation of Fgf8 in the central portion of the apical ectodermal ridge (AER) and subsequently lead to misexpression of a number of downstream target genes, failure of stratification of the AER, and thus SHFM. Syndactyly of the remaining digits is most likely the effects of dysregulation of Fgf-Bmp-Msx signaling on apoptotic cell death. Loss of digit identity in SHFM is hypothesized to be the effects of misexpression of HOX genes, abnormal SHH gradient, or the loss of balance between GLI3A and GLI3R. Disruption of canonical and non-canonical Wnt signaling is involved in the pathogenesis of SHFM. Whatever the causative genes of SHFM are, the mutations seem to lead to dysregulation of Fgf8 in AER cells of the central parts of the hands and feet and disruption of Wnt-Bmp-Fgf signaling pathways in AER.
Arterial Calcification in Diabetes Mellitus: Preclinical Models and Translational Implications.
Stabley John N,Towler Dwight A
Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Diabetes mellitus increasingly afflicts our aging and dysmetabolic population. Type 2 diabetes mellitus and the antecedent metabolic syndrome represent the vast majority of the disease burden-increasingly prevalent in children and older adults. However, type 1 diabetes mellitus is also advancing in preadolescent children. As such, a crushing wave of cardiometabolic disease burden now faces our society. Arteriosclerotic calcification is increased in metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and type 1 diabetes mellitus-impairing conduit vessel compliance and function, thereby increasing the risk for dementia, stroke, heart attack, limb ischemia, renal insufficiency, and lower extremity amputation. Preclinical models of these dysmetabolic settings have provided insights into the pathobiology of arterial calcification. Osteochondrogenic morphogens in the BMP-Wnt signaling relay and transcriptional regulatory programs driven by Msx and Runx gene families are entrained to innate immune responses-responses activated by the dysmetabolic state-to direct arterial matrix deposition and mineralization. Recent studies implicate the endothelial-mesenchymal transition in contributing to the phenotypic drift of mineralizing vascular progenitors. In this brief overview, we discuss preclinical disease models that provide mechanistic insights-and point to challenges and opportunities to translate these insights into new therapeutic strategies for our patients afflicted with diabetes mellitus and its arteriosclerotic complications.
Evolution of homeobox genes.
Holland Peter W H
Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Developmental biology
UNLABELLED:Many homeobox genes encode transcription factors with regulatory roles in animal and plant development. Homeobox genes are found in almost all eukaryotes, and have diversified into 11 gene classes and over 100 gene families in animal evolution, and 10 to 14 gene classes in plants. The largest group in animals is the ANTP class which includes the well-known Hox genes, plus other genes implicated in development including ParaHox (Cdx, Xlox, Gsx), Evx, Dlx, En, NK4, NK3, Msx, and Nanog. Genomic data suggest that the ANTP class diversified by extensive tandem duplication to generate a large array of genes, including an NK gene cluster and a hypothetical ProtoHox gene cluster that duplicated to generate Hox and ParaHox genes. Expression and functional data suggest that NK, Hox, and ParaHox gene clusters acquired distinct roles in patterning the mesoderm, nervous system, and gut. The PRD class is also diverse and includes Pax2/5/8, Pax3/7, Pax4/6, Gsc, Hesx, Otx, Otp, and Pitx genes. PRD genes are not generally arranged in ancient genomic clusters, although the Dux, Obox, and Rhox gene clusters arose in mammalian evolution as did several non-clustered PRD genes. Tandem duplication and genome duplication expanded the number of homeobox genes, possibly contributing to the evolution of developmental complexity, but homeobox gene loss must not be ignored. Evolutionary changes to homeobox gene expression have also been documented, including Hox gene expression patterns shifting in concert with segmental diversification in vertebrates and crustaceans, and deletion of a Pitx1 gene enhancer in pelvic-reduced sticklebacks. WIREs Dev Biol 2013, 2:31-45. doi: 10.1002/wdev.78 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. CONFLICT OF INTEREST:The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest.
Development of the neural crest: achieving specificity in regulatory pathways.
Raible David W
Current opinion in cell biology
Recent studies have revealed the signaling pathways and downstream effectors involved in the specification of the neural crest. Neural crest cells are generated from a zone at the neurectoderm border in response to Wnt and BMP signals. BMP signals are involved in establishing a competency zone at the border of the neurectoderm, while subsequent Wnt signals specify neural crest cells. Combinations of transcription factors, including pax and msx gene products, act downstream of these pathways to integrate signals and establish the neural crest. Mechanisms are emerging for how specificity is generated from reiterated signals and effectors.
Bone morphogenetic proteins regulate interdigital cell death in the avian embryo.
Merino R,Gañán Y,Macias D,Rodríguez-León J,Hurle J M
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
The embryonic limb bud provides an excellent model for analyzing the mechanisms that regulate programmed cell death during development. At the time of digit formation in the developing autopod, the undifferentiated distal mesodermal cells may undergo or chondrogenic differentiation or apoptosis depending whether they are incorporated into the future digital rays or into the interdigital spaces. Both chondrogenesis or apoptosis are induced by local BMPS. However, whereas the chondrogenic-promoting activity of BMPs appears to be regulated through the BMPR-1b receptor, the mechanism by which the BMPs execute the death program remains unknown. The BMP proapoptotic activity requires the expression of members of the msx family of closely related homeobox-containing genes and is finally mediated by caspase activation, but the nature of the caspase(s) directly responsible for the cell death is also unknown. Finally, other growth factors present in the developing autopod at the stages of digit formation such as members of the FGF and TGF beta families modulate the ability of BMPs to induce cell death or chondrogenesis.
Mechanisms of cell transformation in the embryonic heart.
Huang J X,Potts J D,Vincent E B,Weeks D L,Runyan R B
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
The process of cell transformation in the heart is a complex one. By use of the invasion bioassay, we have been able to identify several critical components of the cell transformation process in the heart. TGF beta 3 can be visualized as a switch in the environment that contributes to the initial process of cell transformation. Our data show that it is a critical switch in the transformation process. Even so, it is apparently only one of the factors involved. Others may include other TGF beta family members, the ES antigens described by Markwald and co-workers and additional unknown substances. Observing the sensitivity of the process to pertussis toxin, there is likely to be a G-protein-linked receptor involved, yet we have not identified a known ligand for this type of receptor. Clearly, there are several different signal transduction processes involved. The existence of multiple pathways is consistent with the idea that the target endothelial cells receive a variety of environmental imputs, the sum of which will produce cell transformation at the correct time and place. Adjacent endothelial cells of the ventricle that do not undergo cell transformation are apparently refractory to one or more of the stimuli. Figure 4 depicts a summary diagram of this invasion process with localization of most of the molecules mentioned in this narrative. As hypothesized here, elements of the transformation process may recapitulate aspects of gastrulation. Since some conservation of mechanism is expected in cells, it is not surprising that cells undergoing phenotypic change might reutilize mechanisms used previously to produce mesenchyme from the blastodisk. Though we have preliminary data to suggest this point, confirmation of the hypothesis by perturbation of genes such as brachyury, msx-1, etc. will be required to establish this point. The advantage of this hypothesis is that it provides, from the work of others in the area of gastrulation, a ready source of molecules and mechanisms that can be tested in the transforming heart. Whereas, perturbation of such mechanisms at gastrulation may be lethal to the embryo, such molecules and mechanisms may be responsible for the high incidence of birth defects in the heart.
Roles for Msx and Dlx homeoproteins in vertebrate development.
Bendall A J,Abate-Shen C
This review provides a comparative analysis of the expression patterns, functions, and biochemical properties of Msx and Dlx homeobox genes. These comprise multi-gene families that are closely related with respect to sequence features as well as expression patterns during vertebrate development. Thus, members of the Msx and Dlx families are expressed in overlapping, but distinct, patterns and display complementary or antagonistic functions, depending upon the context. A common theme shared among Msx and Dlx genes is that they are required during early, middle, and late phases of development where their differential expression mediates patterning, morphogenesis, and histogenesis of tissues in which they are expressed. With respect to their biochemical properties, Msx proteins function as transcriptional repressors, while Dlx proteins are transcriptional activators. Moreover, their ability to oppose each other's transcriptional actions implies a mechanism underlying their complementary or antagonistic functions during development.
Current perspectives of the signaling pathways directing neural crest induction.
Stuhlmiller Timothy J,García-Castro Martín I
Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS
The neural crest is a migratory population of embryonic cells with a tremendous potential to differentiate and contribute to nearly every organ system in the adult body. Over the past two decades, an incredible amount of research has given us a reasonable understanding of how these cells are generated. Neural crest induction involves the combinatorial input of multiple signaling pathways and transcription factors, and is thought to occur in two phases from gastrulation to neurulation. In the first phase, FGF and Wnt signaling induce NC progenitors at the border of the neural plate, activating the expression of members of the Msx, Pax, and Zic families, among others. In the second phase, BMP, Wnt, and Notch signaling maintain these progenitors and bring about the expression of definitive NC markers including Snail2, FoxD3, and Sox9/10. In recent years, additional signaling molecules and modulators of these pathways have been uncovered, creating an increasingly complex regulatory network. In this work, we provide a comprehensive review of the major signaling pathways that participate in neural crest induction, with a focus on recent developments and current perspectives. We provide a simplified model of early neural crest development and stress similarities and differences between four major model organisms: Xenopus, chick, zebrafish, and mouse.
ZMIZ proteins: partners in transcriptional regulation and risk factors for human disease.
Journal of molecular medicine (Berlin, Germany)
Coregulator proteins interact with signal-dependent transcription factors to modify their transcriptional activity. ZMIZ1 and ZMIZ2 (zinc finger MIZ-type containing 1 and 2) are coregulators with nonredundant functions that share unique structural characteristics. Among other interacting domains, they possess a MIZ (Msx-interacting zinc finger) that relates them to members of the protein inhibitor of activated STAT (PIAS) family and provides them the capacity to function as SUMO E3 ligases. The ZMIZ proteins stimulate the activity of various signaling pathways, including the androgen receptor (AR), P53, SMAD3/4, WNT/β-catenin, and NOTCH1 pathways, and interact with the BAF chromatin remodeling complex. Due to their molecular versatility, ZMIZ proteins have pleiotropic effects and thus are important for embryonic development and for human diseases. Both have been widely associated with cancer, and ZMIZ1 has been very frequently identified as a risk allele for several autoimmune conditions and other disorders. Moreover, mutations in the coding region of the ZMIZ1 gene are responsible for a severe syndromic neurodevelopmental disability. Because the actions of coregulators are highly gene-specific, a better knowledge of the associations that exist between the function of the ZMIZ coregulators and human pathologies is expected to potentiate the use of ZMIZ1 and ZMIZ2 as new drug targets for diseases such as hormone-dependent cancers.
Vnd/nkx, ind/gsh, and msh/msx: conserved regulators of dorsoventral neural patterning?
Cornell R A,Ohlen T V
Current opinion in neurobiology
Expression of vnd in ventral, ind in intermediate, and msh in dorsal columns of fly neurectoderm, and of homologous gene families in corresponding domains of vertebrate neurectoderm, suggests that elements of dorsoventral neural patterning have been evolutionarily conserved. However, upstream signaling pathways regulating this columnar gene expression pattern appear to have diverged significantly throughout evolution. In addition, while recent loss-of-function studies in flies and mice indicate that these three genes may have a conserved role in regional specification, there is no obvious conservation of the particular cell fates deriving from corresponding domains. The three-column expression pattern may thus represent a developmental mechanism that is more resistant to evolutionary changes than genetic events upstream or downstream of it.
The role of the msh homeobox gene during Drosophila neurogenesis: implication for the dorsoventral specification of the neuroectoderm.
Isshiki T,Takeichi M,Nose A
Development (Cambridge, England)
Development of the Drosophila central nervous system begins with the delamination of neural and glial precursors, called neuroblasts, from the neuroectoderm. An early and important step in the generation of neural diversity is the specification of individual neuroblasts according to their position. In this study, we describe the genetic analysis of the msh gene which is likely to play a role in this process. The msh/Msx genes are one of the most highly conserved families of homeobox genes. During vertebrate spinal cord development, Msx genes (Msx1-3) are regionally expressed in the dorsal portion of the developing neuroectoderm. Similarly in Drosophila, msh is expressed in two longitudinal bands that correspond to the dorsal half of the neuroectoderm, and subsequently in many dorsal neuroblasts and their progeny. We showed that Drosophila msh loss-of-function mutations led to cell fate alterations of neuroblasts formed in the dorsal aspect of the neuroectoderm, including a possible dorsal-to-ventral fate switch. Conversely, ectopic expression of msh in the entire neuroectoderm severely disrupted the proper development of the midline and ventral neuroblasts. The results provide the first in vivo evidence for the role of the msh/Msx genes in neural development, and support the notion that they may perform phylogenetically conserved functions in the dorsoventral patterning of the neuroectoderm.
Impact of SRY-Box Transcription Factor 11 Gene Polymorphisms on Oral Cancer Risk and Clinicopathologic Characteristics.
Yeh Chia-Ming,Lin Chiao-Wen,Lu Hsueh-Ju,Chuang Chun-Yi,Chou Chia-Hsuan,Yang Shun-Fa,Chen Mu-Kuan
International journal of molecular sciences
Oral cancer is among the most common cancers worldwide and has become a major global health problem because of its relatively high morbidity and mortality rates. The sex-determining region on the Y-chromosome-related high-mobility-group box (SOX) transcription factor 11 (SOX11) plays a key role in human development and differentiation and is frequently increased in various human cancers. However, the clinical significance of SOX11 polymorphisms in oral cancer and their association with oral cancer risk are unclear. In this study, we included 1196 patients with oral cancer and 1200 controls. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was applied to analyze three SOX11 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rs77996007, rs66465560, and rs68114586). Our results shown that SOX11 polymorphisms carriers with betel quid chewing were found to have an 8.38- to 9.23-fold risk to have oral cancer compared to SOX11 wild-type carriers without betel quid chewing. Furthermore, oral cancer patients who carried SOX11 rs77996007 "TC + CC" variants were significantly associated with large tumor size (AOR, 1.324; 95% CI, 1.047-1.674; = 0.019). Moreover, a database analysis using the Cancer Genome Atlas suggested that SOX11 mRNA expression was high during the tumor development process. In conclusion, our results suggest that SOX11 rs77996007 is involved in oral cancer progression and clinical characteristics.
MicroRNAs in oral cancer: Biomarkers with clinical potential.
Yete Subuhi,Saranath Dhananjaya
Oral cancer is the sixteenth most common cancer globally, with a relatively poor five-year survival rate of 50%. Thus it is imperative to understand the biology of oral cancer and examine alternative prognostic and therapeutic targets for oral cancer. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs mediating gene expression at the post-transcriptional level through mRNA degradation or translational repression. miRNAs play an essential role in cancer development and oncogenic cell processes. miRNA deregulation is observed in oral cancer and associated with prognosis. However, the role of miRNAs and their clinical implications in oral cancer is not clear. The current review highlights the miRNA profile of oral cancer and discusses the diagnostic, prognostic and potential therapeutic targets with clinical implications. miRNAs mediate activation or suppression of signalling pathways associated with oral cancer. Hence, a panel of select deregulated miRNAs may indicate clinicopathological features, personalised treatment outcome and provide novel lead profiles of oral cancer. The translational applications of miRNAs may lead to better management and survival of oral cancer patients. The compiled data provides a platform for consideration of miRNA signatures as potential biomarkers for early oral cancer diagnosis, prognosis and as novel molecular therapies.