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Current Topics in Developmental Biology

Eveline S Litscher, Paul M Wassarman
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Emily E Killingbeck, Willie J Swanson
All animal oocytes are surrounded by a glycoproteinaceous egg coat, a specialized extracellular matrix that serves both structural and species-specific roles during fertilization. Egg coat glycoproteins polymerize into the extracellular matrix of the egg coat using a conserved protein-protein interaction module-the zona pellucida (ZP) domain-common to both vertebrates and invertebrates, suggesting that the basic structural features of egg coats have been conserved across hundreds of millions of years of evolution...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Marcel Bokhove, Luca Jovine
The egg coat, an extracellular matrix made up of glycoprotein filaments, plays a key role in animal fertilization by acting as a gatekeeper for sperm. Egg coat components polymerize using a common zona pellucida (ZP) "domain" module that consists of two related immunoglobulin-like domains, called ZP-N and ZP-C. The ZP module has also been recognized in a large number of other secreted proteins with different biological functions, whose mutations are linked to severe human diseases. During the last decade, tremendous progress has been made toward understanding the atomic architecture of the ZP module and the structural basis of its polymerization...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Josephine C Adams
The extracellular matrix (ECM) has central roles in tissue integrity and remodeling throughout the life span of animals. While collagens are the most abundant structural components of ECM in most tissues, tissue-specific molecular complexity is contributed by ECM glycoproteins. The matricellular glycoproteins are categorized primarily according to functional criteria and represented predominantly by the thrombospondin, tenascin, SPARC/osteonectin, and CCN families. These proteins do not self-assemble into ECM fibrils; nevertheless, they shape ECM properties through interactions with structural ECM proteins, growth factors, and cells...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Satish K Gupta
Human zona pellucida (ZP) matrix, a delicate network of thin interconnected filaments, is primarily composed of four glycoproteins, namely, ZP1, ZP2, ZP3, and ZP4. All four zona proteins share common structural elements such as signal peptide, "ZP domain," consensus furin cleavage site, transmembrane-like domain, and short cytoplasmic tail. In addition, ZP1 and ZP4 also have "Trefoil domain." Recombinant/native human zona proteins have been used to investigate their binding characteristics to the capacitated and/or acrosome-reacted spermatozoa...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Stephen Frankenberg, Marilyn B Renfree
Mammals evolved from oviparous reptiles that laid eggs in a dry, terrestrial environment, thus requiring large amounts of yolk to support development and tough, outer coats to protect them. Eutherian mammals such as humans and mice exhibit an "extreme" form of viviparity in which yolk and conceptus coats have become largely redundant. However, the "other" mammals-monotremes and marsupials-have retained and modified some features of reptilian development that provide valuable insights into the evolution of viviparity in mammals...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Paul M Wassarman, Eveline S Litscher
All mammalian eggs are surrounded by a highly specialized extracellular matrix (ECM), called the zona pellucida (ZP), that functions before, during, and after fertilization. Unlike somatic cell ECM the mouse ZP is composed of three different proteins, ZP1-3, that are synthesized and secreted by growing oocytes and assembled into long interconnected fibrils. ECM or vitelline envelope (VE) that surrounds fish, reptilian, amphibian, and avian eggs also consists of a limited number of proteins all closely related to ZP1-3...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Shunsuke Nishio, Hiroki Okumura, Tsukasa Matsuda
Birds are oviparous vertebrates in terrestrial animals. Birds' eggs accumulate mass of egg yolk during the egg development and are accordingly much larger than the eggs of viviparous vertebrates. Despite such difference in size and contents, the birds' eggs are surrounded with the egg-coat morphologically and compositionally resembling the mammalian egg-coat, zona pellucida. On the other hand, there are some differences in part between the two egg-coats, though relationships of such structural differences to any biological roles specific for the extracellular matrix of birds' eggs are not fully understood...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Eveline S Litscher, Paul M Wassarman
All fish eggs are surrounded by an envelope, called the zona pellucida (ZP), that plays various roles during oogenesis, egg deposition, fertilization, and embryogenesis. The fish egg ZP consists of only a few proteins that are homologs of mammalian ZP proteins ZP1, ZP3, and ZP4. Unlike the situation in mammals, in fishes there are often multiple copies of ZP genes, perhaps a consequence of ancient polyploidization, gene amplification, and mutation. Like mammalian ZP proteins, fish egg ZP1-like proteins exhibit conserved organization with distinct domains and motifs, but unlike mammalian ZP1 and ZP4 have a glutamine (Q)- and/or proline (P)-rich stretch as an N-terminal extension...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Bette J Dzamba, Douglas W DeSimone
Extracellular matrices (ECMs) are structurally and compositionally diverse networks of collagenous and noncollagenous glycoproteins, glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans, and associated molecules that together comprise the metazoan matrisome. Proper deposition and assembly of ECM is of profound importance to cell proliferation, survival, and differentiation, and the morphogenesis of tissues and organ systems that define sequential steps in the development of all animals. Importantly, it is now clear that the instructive influence of a particular ECM at various points in development reflects more than a simple summing of component parts; cellular responses also reflect the dynamic assembly and changing topology of embryonic ECM, which in turn affect its biomechanical properties...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Richard J Goodyear, Guy P Richardson
The tectorial membrane is an extracellular matrix that lies over the apical surface of the auditory epithelia in the inner ears of reptiles, birds, and mammals. Recent studies have shown it is composed of a small set of proteins, some of which are only produced at high levels in the ear and many of which are the products of genes that, when mutated, cause nonsyndromic forms of human hereditary deafness. Quite how the proteins of the tectorial membrane are assembled within the lumen of the inner ear to form a structure that is precisely regulated in its size and physical properties along the length of a tonotopically organized hearing organ is a question that remains to be fully answered...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Robert P Mecham, Francesco Ramirez
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a highly heterogeneous mixture of macromolecules capable of self-assembling into tissue-specific suprastructures that constitute the architectural elements supporting organ function. Contrary to the traditional view of being a static scaffold that supports tissue integrity along with cell adhesion and migration, the ECM is an inherently dynamic system that specifies cellular function and defines the limits and patterns of tissue organization. Throughout evolution, the composition and organization of the ECM have changed to accommodate basic and new tissue functions, both in terms of providing structural support and integrating multivalent signals to cells...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Rei Sekiguchi, Kenneth M Yamada
The basement membrane is a thin but dense, sheet-like specialized type of extracellular matrix that has remarkably diverse functions tailored to individual tissues and organs. Tightly controlled spatial and temporal changes in its composition and structure contribute to the diversity of basement membrane functions. These different basement membranes undergo dynamic transformations throughout animal life, most notably during development. Numerous developmental mechanisms are regulated or mediated by basement membranes, often by a combination of molecular and mechanical processes...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
David F Holmes, Yinhui Lu, Tobias Starborg, Karl E Kadler
Collagen fibrils are the major mechanical component in the extracellular matrix of a broad range of multicellular animals from echinoderms to vertebrates where they provide a stable framework for tissues. They form the key tension-resisting element of a complex fiber-composite system that has a tissue-specific hierarchical structure linked to mechanical demands. Remarkably, these tissues are self-maintaining and avoid fatigue failure over the lifetime of the animal. Collagen fibrils can assemble spontaneously from purified solutions of collagen molecules...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Jonathon M Muncie, Valerie M Weaver
The extracellular matrix is a complex network of hydrated macromolecular proteins and sugars that, in concert with bound soluble factors, comprise the acellular stromal microenvironment of tissues. Rather than merely providing structural information to cells, the extracellular matrix plays an instructive role in development and is critical for the maintenance of tissue homeostasis. In this chapter, we review the composition of the extracellular matrix and summarize data illustrating its importance in embryogenesis, tissue-specific development, and stem cell differentiation...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Ali H Brivanlou
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Juliana Brown, Giorgia Quadrato, Paola Arlotta
The study of the cellular and molecular processes of the developing human brain has been hindered by access to suitable models of living human brain tissue. Recently developed 3D cell culture models offer the promise of studying fundamental brain processes in the context of human genetic background and species-specific developmental mechanisms. Here, we review the current state of 3D human brain organoid models and consider their potential to enable investigation of complex aspects of human brain development and the underpinning of human neurological disease...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Marc Astick, Pierre Vanderhaeghen
Understanding the development of the human brain in relation with evolution is an important frontier field in developmental biology. In particular, investigating the mechanisms underlying the greatly increased relative size and complexity of the cerebral cortex, the seat of our enhanced cognitive abilities, remains a fascinating yet largely unsolved question. Though many advances in our understanding have been gained from the study of animal models, as well as human genetics and embryology, large gaps remain in our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that control human cortical development...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Naoko Irie, Anastasiya Sybirna, M Azim Surani
Fusion of sperm and egg generates a totipotent zygote that develops into a whole organism. Accordingly, the "immortal" germline transmits genetic and epigenetic information to subsequent generations with consequences for human health and disease. In mammals, primordial germ cells (PGCs) originate from peri-gastrulation embryos. While early human embryos are inaccessible for research, in vitro model systems using pluripotent stem cells have provided critical insights into human PGC specification, which differs from that in mice...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Maja B K Petersen, Carla A C Gonçalves, Yung Hae Kim, Anne Grapin-Botton
Here, we review how human pluripotent stem cell models of pancreas development have emerged and became an important tool to study human development and disease. Initially developed toward the production of β cells for diabetes therapy, the protocols have been refined based on knowledge of pancreas development in model organisms. While the cells produced are closer and closer to the end goal of a functional β cell, these models have also been used to carry out functional experiments addressing gene function and expression as well as regulatory and epigenetic landscape changes during human pancreas development...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
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