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Developmental Biology

Mulner-Lorillon Odile, Chassé Héloïse, Morales Julia, Bellé Robert, Cormier Patrick
Using sea urchin embryos, we demonstrate that the MEK/MAPK/ERK cascade is essential for the proper progression of the cell cycle. Activation of a limited fraction of MAPK/ERK is required between S-phase and M-phase. Neither DNA replication nor CDK1 activation are impacted by the inhibition of this small active MAPK/ERK fraction. Nonetheless, the chromatin and spindle organisations are profoundly altered. Early morphological disorders induced by the absence of MAPK/ERK activation are correlated with an important inhibition of global protein synthesis and modification in the cyclin B accumulation profile...
November 29, 2016: Developmental Biology
Gun-Sik Cho, Dong-Seok Park, Sun-Cheol Choi, Jin-Kwan Han
During early embryogenesis, FGF signals regulate the antero-posterior (AP) patterning of the neural plate by promoting posterior cell fates. In particular, BMP signal-mediated attenuation of FGF pathway plays a critical role in the determination of the anterior neural region. Here we show that Tbx2, a T-box transcriptional repressor regulates anterior neural specification by suppressing FGF8 signaling pathway in Xenopus embryo. Tbx2 is expressed in the anterior edge of the neural plate in early neurulae. Overexpression and knockdown of Tbx2 induce expansion and reduction in the expression of anterior neural markers, respectively...
November 29, 2016: Developmental Biology
Irving Tc Ling, Lucie Rochard, Eric C Liao
Formation of the mandible requires progressive morphologic change, proliferation, differentiation and organization of chondrocytes preceding osteogenesis. The Wnt signaling pathway is involved in regulating bone development and maintenance. Chondrocytes that are fated to become bone require Wnt to polarize and orientate appropriately to initiate the endochondral ossification program. Although the canonical Wnt signaling has been well studied in the context of bone development, the effects of non-canonical Wnt signaling in regulating the timing of cartilage maturation and subsequent bone formation in shaping ventral craniofacial structure is not fully understood...
November 28, 2016: Developmental Biology
Yohei Nitta, Daisuke Yamazaki, Atsushi Sugie, Makoto Hiroi, Tetsuya Tabata
Axonal branching is one of the key processes within the enormous complexity of the nervous system to enable a single neuron to send information to multiple targets. However, the molecular mechanisms that control branch formation are poorly understood. In particular, previous studies have rarely addressed the mechanisms underlying axonal bifurcation, in which axons form new branches via splitting of the growth cone. We demonstrate that DISCO Interacting Protein 2 (DIP2) is required for precise axonal bifurcation in Drosophila mushroom body (MB) neurons by suppressing ectopic bifurcation and regulating the guidance of sister axons...
November 28, 2016: Developmental Biology
Stephanie J Munger, Michael J Davis, Alexander M Simon
Lymphatic valves (LVs) are cusped luminal structures that permit the movement of lymph in only one direction and are therefore critical for proper lymphatic vessel function. Congenital valve aplasia or agenesis can, in some cases, be a direct cause of lymphatic disease. Knowledge about the molecular mechanisms operating during the development and maintenance of LVs may thus aid in the establishment of novel therapeutic approaches to treat lymphatic disorders. In this study, we examined the role of Connexin43 (Cx43), a gap junction protein expressed in lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs), during valve development...
November 26, 2016: Developmental Biology
Sunita Warrier, Samer Nuwayhid, Julia A Sabatino, Kelsey F Sugrue, Irene E Zohn
Somitogenesis and subsequent axial skeletal development is regulated by the interaction of pathways that determine the periodicity of somite formation, rostrocaudal somite polarity and segment identity. Here we use a hypomorphic mutant mouse line to demonstrate that Supt20 (Suppressor of Ty20) is required for development of the axial skeleton. Supt20 hypomorphs display fusions of the ribs and vertebrae at lower thoracic levels along with anterior homeotic transformation of L1 to T14. These defects are preceded by reduction of the rostral somite and posterior shifts in Hox gene expression...
November 25, 2016: Developmental Biology
Oleg Simakov, Takeshi Kawashima
Metazoan evolution encompasses a vast evolutionary time scale spanning over 600 million years. Our ability to infer ancestral metazoan characters, both morphological and functional, is limited by our understanding of the nature and evolutionary dynamics of the underlying regulatory networks. Increasing coverage of metazoan genomes enables us to identify the evolutionary changes of the relevant genomic characters such as the loss or gain of coding sequences, gene duplications, micro- and macro-synteny, and non-coding element evolution in different lineages...
November 24, 2016: Developmental Biology
Tyler Square, David Jandzik, Marek Romášek, Robert Cerny, Daniel Medeiros
The apparent evolvability of the vertebrate head skeleton has allowed a diverse array of shapes, sizes, and compositions of the head in order to better adapt species to their environments. This encompasses feeding, breathing, sensing, and communicating: the head skeleton somehow participated in the evolution of all these critical processes for the last 500 million years. Through evolution, present head diversity was made possible via developmental modifications to the first head skeletal genetic program. Understanding the development of the vertebrate common ancestor's head skeleton is thus an important step in identifying how different lineages have respectively achieved their many innovations in the head...
November 21, 2016: Developmental Biology
Federico Gaiti, Andrew D Calcino, Miloš Tanurdžić, Bernard M Degnan
Animals rely on genomic regulatory systems to direct the dynamic spatiotemporal and cell-type specific gene expression that is essential for the development and maintenance of a multicellular lifestyle. Although it is widely appreciated that these systems ultimately evolved from genomic regulatory mechanisms present in single-celled stem metazoans, it remains unclear how this occurred. Here, we focus on the contribution of the non-coding portion of the genome to the evolution of animal gene regulation, specifically on recent insights from non-bilaterian metazoan lineages, and unicellular and colonial holozoan sister taxa...
November 20, 2016: Developmental Biology
Charles A Ettensohn, Debleena Dey
In the sea urchin embryo, primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) adhere to one another and fuse via filopodia, forming cable-like structures within which skeletal rods are deposited. Although this process was first described more than a century ago, molecules that participate in PMC adhesion and fusion have not been identified. Here we show that KirrelL, a PMC-specific, Ig domain-containing transmembrane protein, is essential for PMC fusion, probably by mediating filopodial adhesions that are a pre-requisite for subsequent membrane fusion...
November 17, 2016: Developmental Biology
Takuya Minokawa
Skeletogenic mesenchyme cells in echinoids are suitable for studying developmental mechanisms, and have been used extensively. Most of these studies have been performed on species in the order Camarodonta, which are modern echinoids (subclass Euechinoidea) and are considered "model" echinoid species. In contrast, species belonging to other orders are studied less frequently, especially investigations of their molecular developmental biology such as gene regulatory networks. Recent studies on mesenchyme development in non-camarodont species suggest that these species are potential sources of comparative information to elucidate the mechanisms underlying skeletogenic mesenchyme development...
November 14, 2016: Developmental Biology
Ningning Hou, Yuxi Yang, Ian C Scott, Xin Lou
Chondrogenesis in the developing skeleton requires transformation of chondrocytes from a simple mesenchymal condensation to cells with a highly enriched extracellular matrix (ECM). This transition is in part accomplished by alterations in the chondrocyte protein transport machinery to cope with both the increased amount and large size of ECM components. In a zebrafish mutagenesis screen to identify genes essential for cartilage development, we uncovered a mutant that disrupts the gene encoding Sec1 family domain containing 1 (scfd1)...
November 13, 2016: Developmental Biology
Kathryn C Allaway, Robert Machold
Striatal cholinergic interneurons and basal forebrain cholinergic projection neurons, which together comprise the forebrain cholinergic system, regulate attention, memory, reward pathways, and motor activity through the neuromodulation of multiple brain circuits. The importance of these neurons in the etiology of neurocognitive disorders has been well documented, but our understanding of their specification during embryogenesis is still incomplete. All forebrain cholinergic projection neurons and interneurons appear to share a common developmental origin in the embryonic ventral telencephalon, a region that also gives rise to GABAergic projection neurons and interneurons...
November 12, 2016: Developmental Biology
Eric T Domyan, Michael D Shapiro
Intensive artificial selection over thousands of years has produced hundreds of varieties of domestic pigeon. As Charles Darwin observed, the morphological differences among breeds can rise to the magnitude of variation typically observed among different species. Nevertheless, different pigeon varieties are interfertile, thereby enabling forward genetic and genomic approaches to identify genes that underlie derived traits. Building on classical genetic studies of pigeon variation, recent molecular investigations find a spectrum of coding and regulatory alleles controlling derived traits, including plumage color, feather growth polarity, and limb identity...
November 12, 2016: Developmental Biology
Hideaki Iida, Yasuo Ishii, Hisato Kondoh
Embryonic neural retinas of avians produce lenses under spreading culture conditions. This phenomenon has been regarded as a paradigm of transdifferentiation due to the overt change in cell type. Here we elucidated the underlying mechanisms. Retina-to-lens transdifferentiation occurs in spreading cultures, suggesting that it is triggered by altered cell-cell interactions. Thus, we tested the involvement of Notch signaling based on its role in retinal neurogenesis. Starting from E8 retina, a small number of crystallin-expressing lens cells began to develop after 20 days in control spreading cultures...
November 11, 2016: Developmental Biology
Ken-Ichi T Suzuki, Miyuki Suzuki, Mitsuki Shigeta, Joshua D Fortriede, Shuji Takahashi, Shuuji Mawaribuchi, Takashi Yamamoto, Masanori Taira, Akimasa Fukui
Keratin genes belong to the intermediate filament superfamily and their expression is altered following morphological and physiological changes in vertebrate epithelial cells. Keratin genes are divided into two groups, type I and II, and are clustered on vertebrate genomes, including those of Xenopus species. Various keratin genes have been identified and characterized by their unique expression patterns throughout ontogeny in Xenopus laevis; however, compilation of previously reported and newly identified keratin genes in two Xenopus species is required for our further understanding of keratin gene evolution, not only in amphibians but also in all terrestrial vertebrates...
November 11, 2016: Developmental Biology
John J Young, Clifford J Tabin
John W. Saunders, Jr. made seminal discoveries unveiling how chick embryos develop their limbs. He discovered the apical ectodermal ridge (AER), the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA), and the domains of interdigital cell death within the developing limb and determined their function through experimental analysis. These discoveries provided the basis for subsequent molecular understanding of how vertebrate limbs are induced, patterned, and differentiated. These mechanisms are strongly conserved among the vast diversity of tetrapod limbs suggesting that relatively minor changes and tweaks to the molecular cascades are responsible for the diversity observed in nature...
November 10, 2016: Developmental Biology
Bridgette E Drummond, Yue Li, Amanda N Marra, Christina N Cheng, Rebecca A Wingert
The simplified and genetically conserved zebrafish pronephros is an excellent model to examine the cryptic processes of cell fate decisions during the development of nephron segments as well as the origins of associated endocrine cells that comprise the corpuscle of Stannius (CS). Using whole mount in situ hybridization, we found that transcripts of the zebrafish genes t-box 2a (tbx2a) and t-box 2b (tbx2b), which belong to the T-box family of transcription factors, were expressed in the caudal intermediate mesoderm progenitors that give rise to the distal pronephros and CS...
November 10, 2016: Developmental Biology
Caroline Baril, Gwenaëlle Gavory, Gawa Bidla, Helene Knævelsrud, Guy Sauvageau, Marc Therrien
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a complex malignancy with poor prognosis. Several genetic lesions can lead to the disease. One of these corresponds to the NUP98-HOXA9 (NA9) translocation that fuses sequences encoding the N-terminal part of NUP98 to those encoding the DNA-binding domain of HOXA9. Despite several studies, the mechanism underlying NA9 ability to induce leukemia is still unclear. To bridge this gap, we sought to functionally dissect NA9 activity using Drosophila. For this, we generated transgenic NA9 fly lines and expressed the oncoprotein during larval hematopoiesis...
November 9, 2016: Developmental Biology
Jerónimo Roberto Miranda-Rodríguez, Enrique Salas-Vidal, Hilda Lomelí, Mario Zurita, Denhi Schnabel
Zebrafish germ plasm is composed of mRNAs such as vasa and nanos and of proteins such as Bucky ball, all of which localize symmetrically in four aggregates at the distal region of the first two cleavage furrows. The coordination of actin microfilaments, microtubules and kinesin is essential for the correct localization of the germ plasm. Rho-GTPases, through their effectors, coordinate cytoskeletal dynamics. We address the participation of RhoA and its effector ROCK in germ plasm localization during the transition from two- to eight-cell embryos...
November 9, 2016: Developmental Biology
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