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Developmental Biology

Jennifer C Kasemeier-Kulesa, Paul M Kulesa
The embryonic microenvironment is an important source of signals that promote multipotent cells to adopt a specific fate and direct cells along distinct migratory pathways. Yet, the ability of the embryonic microenvironment to retain multipotent progenitors or reprogram de-differentiated cells is less clear. Mistakes in cell differentiation or migration often result in developmental defects and tumorigenesis, including aggressive cancers that share many characteristics with embryonic progenitor cells. This is a striking feature of the vertebrate neural crest, a multipotent and highly migratory cell population first identified by Wilhelm His (His, 1868) with the potential to metamorphose into aggressive melanoma cancer...
April 13, 2018: Developmental Biology
Shrivani Sriskanthadevan-Pirahas, Joshua Lee, Savraj S Grewal
The Ras small G-protein is a conserved regulator of cell and tissue growth during animal development. Studies in Drosophila have shown how Ras can stimulate a Raf-MEK-ERK signaling pathway to control cell growth and proliferation in response to epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulation. This work has also defined several transcription factors that can function as downstream growth effectors of EGF/Ras/ERK pathway by stimulating mRNA transcription. Here we report on stimulation of RNA polymerase I (Pol I)-mediated ribosomal RNA (rRNA) synthesis as a growth effector of Ras/ERK signalling in Drosophila...
April 13, 2018: Developmental Biology
Lizzy Ward, Angel S W Pang, Susan E Evans, Claudio D Stern
The vertebral column is segmented, comprising an alternating series of vertebrae and intervertebral discs along the head-tail axis. The vertebrae and outer portion (annulus fibrosus) of the disc are derived from the sclerotome part of the somites, whereas the inner nucleus pulposus of the disc is derived from the notochord. Here we investigate the role of the notochord in vertebral patterning through a series of microsurgical experiments in chick embryos. Ablation of the notochord causes loss of segmentation of vertebrae and discs...
April 11, 2018: Developmental Biology
Jisheng Hu, Yingchao Shi, Meng Xia, Zhongying Liu, Ruirui Zhang, Hongmei Luo, Tongcun Zhang, Zhongzhou Yang, Baiyin Yuan
Outflow tract (OFT) anomalies account for about 30% of human congenital heart defects detected at birth. The second heart field (SHF) progenitors contribute to OFT and right ventricle (RV) development, but the process largely remains unknown. WDR1 (WD-repeat domain 1) is a major co-factor of actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin that actively disassembles ADF/cofilin-bound actin filaments. Its function in embryonic heart development has been unknown. Using Wdr1 floxed mice and Nkx2.5-Cre, we deleted Wdr1 in embryonic heart (Wdr1F/F ;Nkx2...
April 11, 2018: Developmental Biology
Katherine W Rogers, Patrick Müller
The secreted TGF-β superfamily signals Nodal and BMP coordinate the patterning of vertebrate embryos. Nodal specifies endoderm and mesoderm during germ layer formation, and BMP specifies ventral fates and patterns the dorsal/ventral axis. Five major models have been proposed to explain how the correct distributions of Nodal and BMP are achieved within tissues to orchestrate embryogenesis: source/sink, transcriptional determination, relay, self-regulation, and shuttling. Here, we discuss recent experiments probing these signal dispersal models, focusing on early zebrafish development...
April 10, 2018: Developmental Biology
Hélène Hinaux, Katharina Bachem, Margherita Battistara, Matteo Rossi, Yaqun Xin, Rita Jaenichen, Yann Le Poul, Laurent Arnoult, Johanna M Kobler, Ilona Grunwald Kadow, Lisa Rodermund, Benjamin Prud'homme, Nicolas Gompel
Pigmentation is a diverse and ecologically relevant trait in insects. Pigment formation has been studied extensively at the genetic and biochemical levels. The temporality of pigment formation during animal development, however, is more elusive. Here, we examine this temporality, focusing on yellow, a gene involved in the formation of black melanin. We generated a protein-tagged yellow allele in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, which allowed us to precisely describe Yellow expression pattern at the tissue and cellular levels throughout development...
April 7, 2018: Developmental Biology
Amanda K Powers, Tyler E Boggs, Joshua B Gross
Developmental patterning is a complex biological phenomenon, involving integrated cellular and molecular signaling across diverse tissues. In Astyanax cavefish, the lateral line sensory system is dramatically expanded in a region of the cranium marked by significant bone abnormalities. This system provides the opportunity to understand how facial bone patterning can become altered through sensory system changes. Here we investigate a classic postulation that mechanosensory receptor neuromasts seed intramembranous facial bones in aquatic vertebrates...
April 6, 2018: Developmental Biology
Elisabeth Dupin, Giordano W Calloni, Juliana M Coelho-Aguiar, Nicole M Le Douarin
In the neural primordium of vertebrate embryos, the neural crest (NC) displays a unique character: the capacity of its component cells to leave the neural primordium, migrate along definite (and, for long, not identified) routes in the developing embryo and invade virtually all tissues and organs, while producing a large array of differentiated cell types. The most striking diversity of the NC derivatives is found in its cephalic domain that produces, not only melanocytes and peripheral nerves and ganglia, but also various mesenchymal derivatives (connective tissues, bones, cartilages…) which, in other parts of the body, are mesoderm-derived...
March 31, 2018: Developmental Biology
Callum Dark, Jihane Homman-Ludiye, Robert J Bryson-Richardson
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood. It is primarily characterised by high levels of activity, inattention, and impulsivity, and has strong negative impacts on academic functioning. Children with ADHD show a reduction in volume, and hypoactivity, in a range of brain regions. The underlying mechanisms behind these phenotypes are unknown, however, variants in several genes with known roles in neurodevelopment are associated with ADHD. In this review we discuss how these ADHD associated genes contribute to neurodevelopment, and how variants in these genes could give rise to the neurological phenotypes seen in ADHD...
March 30, 2018: Developmental Biology
Jason S Williams, Jessica Y Hsu, Christy Cortez Rossi, Kristin Bruk Artinger
Melanocytes derive from neural crest cells, which are a highly migratory population of cells that play an important role in pigmentation of the skin and epidermal appendages. In most vertebrates, melanocyte precursor cells migrate solely along the dorsolateral pathway to populate the skin. However, zebrafish melanocyte precursors also migrate along the ventromedial pathway, in route to the yolk, where they interact with other neural crest derivative populations. Here, we demonstrate the requirement for zebrafish paralogs pcdh10a and pcdh10b in zebrafish melanocyte precursor migration...
March 28, 2018: Developmental Biology
Hernando Martínez Vergara, Julio Ramirez, Trista Rosing, Ceazar Nave, Rebecca Blandino, Daniel Saw, Parag Saraf, Gabriel Piexoto, Coohleen Coombes, Melissa Adams, Carmen R Domingo
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are highly conserved small non-coding RNA molecules that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression in multicellular organisms. Within the set of muscle-specific miRNAs, miR-206 expression is largely restricted to skeletal muscle and is found exclusively within the bony fish lineage. Although many studies have implicated miR-206 in muscle maintenance and disease, its role in skeletal muscle development remains largely unknown. Here, we examine the role of miR-206 during Xenopus laevis somitogenesis...
March 26, 2018: Developmental Biology
Bliss Magella, Robert Mahoney, Mike Adam, S Steven Potter
Hox genes can function as key drivers of segment identity, with Hox mutations in Drosophila often resulting in dramatic homeotic transformations. In addition, however, they can serve other essential functions. In mammals, the study of Hox gene roles in development is complicated by the presence of four Hox clusters with a total of 39 genes showing extensive functional overlap. In this study, in order to better understand shared core Hox functions, we examined kidney development in mice with frameshift mutations of multiple Abd-B type Hox genes...
March 26, 2018: Developmental Biology
Bingfang Xu, Sérgio A A Santos, Barry T Hinton
Wolffian duct morphogenesis must be highly coordinated with its specialized function of providing an optimal microenvironment for sperm maturation. Without normal Wolffian duct morphogenesis, male infertility will result. Our previous study showed that mediolateral and radial intercalation of epithelial and mesenchymal cells respectively, were major drivers of ductal elongation and were regulated by protein tyrosine kinase 7 (PTK7), a member of the planar cell polarity (PCP) non-canonical Wnt pathway. To understand the mechanism by which PTK7 regulates cell rearrangement/intercalation, we investigated the integrity of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the activity of intracellular cytoskeleton mediators following loss of Ptk7...
March 23, 2018: Developmental Biology
Lindsay E Parrie, Jenna Ae Crowell, Glenn C Telling, Richard A Bessen
The cellular prion protein (PrPC ) has been associated with diverse biological processes including cell signaling, neurogenesis, and neuroprotection, but its physiological function(s) remain ambiguous. Here we determine the role of PrPC in adult neurogenesis using the olfactory system model in transgenic mice. Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) within the olfactory sensory epithelium (OSE) undergo neurogenesis, integration, and turnover even into adulthood. The neurogenic processes of proliferation, differentiation/maturation, and axon targeting were evaluated in wild type, PrP-overexpressing, and PrP-null transgenic mice...
March 22, 2018: Developmental Biology
Jeffrey J Kelu, Sarah E Webb, Antony Galione, Andrew L Miller
During the development of the early spinal circuitry in zebrafish, spontaneous Ca2+ transients in the primary motor neurons (PMNs) are reported to transform from being slow and uncorrelated, to being rapid, synchronized and patterned. In this study, we demonstrated that in intact zebrafish, Ca2+ release +via two-pore channel type 2 (TPC2) from acidic stores/endolysosomes is required for the establishment of synchronized activity in the PMNs. Using the SAIGFF213A;UAS:GCaMP7a double-transgenic zebrafish line, Ca2+ transients were visualized in the caudal PMNs (CaPs)...
March 22, 2018: Developmental Biology
Hugo J Parker, Irina Pushel, Robb Krumlauf
The neural crest is a transient population of cells that forms within the developing central nervous system and migrates away to generate a wide range of derivatives throughout the body during vertebrate embryogenesis. These cells are of evolutionary and clinical interest, constituting a key defining trait in the evolution of vertebrates and alterations in their development are implicated in a high proportion of birth defects and craniofacial abnormalities. In the hindbrain and the adjacent cranial neural crest cells (cNCCs), nested domains of Hox gene expression provide a combinatorial'Hox-code' for specifying regional properties in the developing head...
March 20, 2018: Developmental Biology
Eduardo D Gigante, Alyssa Bushey Long, Johanna Ben-Ami, Tamara Caspary
Smoothened (Smo) is the essential transducer of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling, which regulates cell fate and proliferation during embryogenesis. We identified a novel mouse mutant, cabbie (cbb), and found that its cause is a missense mutation in Smo. We showed the Smocbb mutation is insensitive to the Shh agonist SAG, perhaps due to the disruption of SAG binding. We characterized Smocbb for defects in craniofacial and skeletal development, as well as neural tube patterning, and revealed Smocbb affected processes that require the highest levels of Shh activity...
March 20, 2018: Developmental Biology
Matthew T Belus, Madison A Rogers, Alaaeddin Elzubeir, Megan Josey, Steven Rose, Viktoria Andreeva, Pamela C Yelick, Emily A Bates
Mutations that disrupt the inwardly rectifying potassium channel Kir2.1 lead to Andersen-Tawil syndrome that includes periodic paralysis, cardiac arrhythmia, cognitive deficits, craniofacial dysmorphologies and limb defects. The molecular mechanism that underlies the developmental consequences of inhibition of these channels has remained a mystery. We show that while loss of Kir2.1 function does not affect expression of several early facial patterning genes, the domain in which Pou3f3 is expressed in the maxillary arch is reduced...
March 20, 2018: Developmental Biology
Antoine Borensztejn, Alexandra Mascaro, Kristi A Wharton
Apoptosis not only eliminates cells that are damaged or dangerous but also cells whose function during development in patterning or organogenesis is complete. The successful formation of germ cells is essential for the perpetuation of a species. The production of an oocyte often depends on signaling between germline and somatic cells, but also between specialized types of somatic cells. In Drosophila, each developing egg chamber is separated from the next by a single file of interfollicular somatic cells. Little is known about the function of the interfollicular stalk, although its presumed role in separating egg chambers it to ensure that patterning cues from one egg chamber do not impact or disrupt the development of adjacent egg chambers...
March 20, 2018: Developmental Biology
James B Nardi, Charles Mark Bee, Catherine Lee Wallace
During metamorphosis of insect epithelial monolayers, cells die, divide, and rearrange. In Drosophila undifferentiated diploid cells destined to form the adult cuticle of each abdominal segment segregate early in development from the surrounding polyploid larval epithelial cells of that segment as eight groups of diploid histoblast cells. The larval polyploid cells are programmed to die and be replaced by divisions and rearrangements of histoblast cells. By contrast, abdominal epithelial cells of Manduca larvae form a monolayer of cells representing different ploidy levels with no definitive segregation of diploid cells destined to form adult structures...
March 20, 2018: Developmental Biology
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