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Developmental Biology

Nagif Alata Jimenez, Sergio A Torres Pérez, Estefanía Sánchez-Vásquez, Juan I Fernandino, Pablo H Strobl-Mazzulla
Folate deficiency has been known to contribute to neural tube and neural crest defects, but why these tissues are particularly affected, and which are the molecular mechanisms involved in those abnormalities are important human health questions that remain unanswered. Here we study the function of two of the main folate transporters, FolR1 and Rfc1, which are robustly expressed in these tissues. Folate is the precursor of S-adenosylmethionine, which is the main donor for DNA, protein and RNA methylation. Our results show that knockdown of FolR1 and/or Rfc1 reduced the abundance of histone H3 lysine and DNA methylation, two epigenetic modifications that play an important role during neural and neural crest development...
August 9, 2018: Developmental Biology
Lyndsay A Wylie, Kevin P Mouillesseaux, Diana C Chong, Victoria L Bautch
The BMP pathway regulates developmental processes including angiogenesis, yet its signaling outputs are complex and context-dependent. Recently, we showed that SMAD6, an intracellular BMP inhibitor expressed in endothelial cells, decreases vessel sprouting and branching both in vitro and in zebrafish. Genetic deletion of SMAD6 in mice results in poorly characterized cardiovascular defects and lethality. Here, we analyzed the effects of SMAD6 loss on vascular function during murine development. SMAD6 was expressed in a subset of blood vessels throughout development, primarily in arteries, while expression outside of the vasculature was largely confined to developing cardiac valves with no obvious embryonic phenotype...
August 9, 2018: Developmental Biology
Helen Rankin Willsey, Peter Walentek, Cameron R T Exner, Yuxiao Xu, Andrew B Lane, Richard M Harland, Rebecca Heald, Niovi Santama
Microtubule remodeling is critical for cellular and developmental processes underlying morphogenetic changes and for the formation of many subcellular structures. Katanins are conserved microtubule severing enzymes that are essential for spindle assembly, ciliogenesis, cell division, and cellular motility. We have recently shown that a related protein, Katanin-like 2 (KATNAL2), is similarly required for cytokinesis, cell cycle progression, and ciliogenesis in cultured mouse cells. However, its developmental expression pattern, localization, and in vivo role during organogenesis have yet to be characterized...
August 7, 2018: Developmental Biology
Antonia Wiegering, Ulrich Rüther, Christoph Gerhardt
RPGRIP1L is an evolutionary highly conserved gene encoding a protein that localises at the transition zone of primary cilia. Mutations in RPGRIP1L result in ciliopathies, severe human diseases caused by dysfunctional cilia. Patients with mutations in this gene often suffer from an impaired development of not only one but various organs. To elucidate the function of Rpgrip1l in human development and the mechanisms underlying ciliopathies, different model organisms are used. In this review article, we summarise the findings of these investigations comprising novel functions of Rpgrip1l and the most promising therapeutic approaches...
July 31, 2018: Developmental Biology
Bruno Della Gaspera, Albert Chesneau, Laure Weill, Frédéric Charbonnier, Christophe Chanoine
In anamniotes, somite compartimentalization in the lateral somitic domain leads simultaneously to myotome and dermomyotome formation. In the myotome, Xenopus Sox5 is co-expressed with Myod1 in the course of myogenic differentiation. Here, we studied the function of Sox5 using a Myod1-induced myogenic transcription assay in pluripotent cells of animal caps. We found that Sox5 enhances myogenic transcription of muscle markers Des, Actc1, Ckm and MyhE3. The use of chimeric transactivating or transrepressive Sox5 proteins indicates that Sox5 acts as a transrepressor and indirectly stimulates myogenic transcription except for the slow muscle-specific genes Myh7L, Myh7S, Myl2 and Tnnc1...
July 30, 2018: Developmental Biology
Megan Rothstein, Debadrita Bhattacharya, Marcos Simoes-Costa
The neural crest is a migratory cell population that contributes to multiple tissues and organs during vertebrate embryonic development. It is remarkable in its ability to differentiate into an array of different cell types, including melanocytes, cartilage, bone, smooth muscle, and peripheral nerves. Although neural crest cells are formed along the entire anterior-posterior axis of the developing embryo, they can be divided into distinct subpopulations based on their axial level of origin. These groups of cells, which include the cranial, vagal, trunk, and sacral neural crest, display varied migratory patterns and contribute to multiple derivatives...
July 30, 2018: Developmental Biology
Marie Ménard, Clélia Costechareyre, Juliana M Coelho-Aguiar, Loraine Jarrosson-Wuilleme, Nicolas Rama, Jonathan Blachier, Karine Kindbeiter, Muriel Bozon, Jorge R Cabrera, Elisabeth Dupin, Nicole Le Douarin, Patrick Mehlen, Servane Tauszig-Delamasure
The development of the sensory nervous system is the result of fine-tuned waves of neurogenesis and apoptosis which control the appropriate number of precursors and newly generated neurons and orient them toward a specific lineage. Neurotrophins and their tyrosine-kinase receptors (RTK) orchestrate this process. They have long been in the scope of the neurotrophic theory which established that a neuron is committed to die unless a trophic factor generated by its target provides it with a survival signal. The neural death has thus always been described as a "default" program, survival being the major player to control the number of cells...
July 30, 2018: Developmental Biology
Nejla Yosef, Tegy J Vadakkan, June-Hee Park, Ross A Poché, Jean-Leon Thomas, Mary E Dickinson
Macrophages are well characterized as immune cells. However, in recent years, a multitude of non-immune functions have emerged many of which play essential roles in a variety of developmental processes (Wynn et al., 2013; DeFalco et al., 2014). In adult animals, macrophages are derived from circulating monocytes originating in the bone marrow, but much of the tissue-resident population arise from erythro-myeloid progenitors (EMPs) in the extra-embryonic yolk sac, appearing around the same time as primitive erythroblasts (Schulz et al...
July 30, 2018: Developmental Biology
Elizabeth A Newman, Dan Wu, Makoto Mark Taketo, Jiangyang Zhang, Seth Blackshaw
The hypothalamus is a small, but anatomically and functionally complex, region of the brain whose development is poorly understood. In this study, we have explored its development by studying the canonical Wnt signalling pathway, generating gain and loss of function mutations of beta-catenin (Ctnnb1) in both hypothalamic and prethalamic neuroepithelium. Deletion of Ctnnb1 resulted in an anteriorized and hypoplastic hypothalamus. Posterior structures were lost or reduced, and anterior structures were expanded...
July 28, 2018: Developmental Biology
Shiori Yamada, Yuka Tanaka, Kaoru S Imai, Motohiko Saigou, Takeshi A Onuma, Hiroki Nishida
Tadpole larvae of the ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi, show morphological left-right asymmetry in the brain structures and the orientation of tail bending within the vitelline membrane. Neurula embryos rotate along the anterior-posterior axis in a counterclockwise direction, and then this rotation stops when the left side of the embryo is oriented downwards. Contact of the left-side epidermis with the vitelline membrane promotes nodal gene expression in the left-side epidermis. This is a novel mechanism in which rotation of whole embryos provides the initial cue for breaking left-right symmetry...
July 27, 2018: Developmental Biology
Angelica M Kowalchuk, Kate A Maurer, Farnaz Shoja-Taheri, Nadean L Brown
During embryonic retinal development, the bHLH factor Neurog2 regulates the temporal progression of neurogenesis, but no role has been assigned for this gene in the postnatal retina. Using Neurog2 conditional mutants, we found that Neurog2 is necessary for the development of an early, embryonic cohort of rod photoreceptors, but also required by both a subset of cone bipolar subtypes, and rod bipolars. Using transcriptomics, we identified a subset of downregulated genes in P2 Neurog2 mutants, which act during rod differentiation, outer segment morphogenesis or visual processing...
July 24, 2018: Developmental Biology
Nicole M Le Douarin, Elisabeth Dupin
The neural crest has been the main object of my investigations during my career in science, up to now. It is a fascinating topic for an embryologist because of its two unique characteristics: its large degree of multipotency and the fact that its development involves a phase during which its component cells migrate all over the embryo and settle in elected sites where they differentiate into a large variety of cell types. Thus, neural crest development raises several specific questions that are at the same time, of general interest: what are the mechanisms controlling the migratory behavior of the cells that detach from the neural plate borders? What are the migration routes taken by the neural crest cells and the environmental factors that make these cells stop in elected sites where they differentiate into a definite series of cell types? When I started to be interested in the neural crest, in the late 1960s, this embryonic structure was the subject of investigations of only a small number of developmental biologists...
July 23, 2018: Developmental Biology
Benjamin Naumann, Christoph Englert
Annual killifishes are members of the Aplocheiloidea and live in ephemeral habitats that desiccate regularly during the dry season and refill during the rainy season. Populations of these fishes survive the dry season by producing drought-resistant diapausing eggs that are buried in the substrate. When the pool refills during the rainy season the juveniles hatch, grow rapidly and reproduce until the pool desiccates again during the next dry season. The association with such unpredictable habitats has led to the evolution to a variety of developmental adaptations such as a dispersed/reaggregation phase of the deep blastomeres, three possible diapause stages, extreme tolerance to high salinity and anoxia, an efficient DNA repair system and an extremely short life span...
July 21, 2018: Developmental Biology
Luis Espinasa, Jenna Robinson, Monika Espinasa
Cave-adapted organisms are often characterized by a reduction in pigmentation, eyesight, and enhanced mechanosensory functions. Previous studies have described the genetic basis for a depigmented phenotype in multiple independent populations of the Blind Mexican Tetra, Astyanax mexicanus; the reduction in melanin content (brown; Mc1r). At least seven wild populations express the brown phenotype. In three populations, there are two different coding sequence alterations affecting Mc1r and the remaining four populations show the accumulation of sequence mutations affecting the 5' regulatory region...
July 19, 2018: Developmental Biology
Nadia Eusebio, Lígia Tavares, Paulo S Pereira
Complex networks of signaling pathways maintain the correct balance between positive and negative growth signals, ensuring that tissues achieve proper sizes and differentiation pattern during development. In Drosophila, Dpp, a member of the TGFβ family, plays two main roles during larval eye development. In the early eye primordium, Dpp promotes growth and cell survival, but later on, it switches its function to induce a developmentally-regulated cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase and neuronal photoreceptor differentiation...
July 19, 2018: Developmental Biology
Xiaoyun Ren, Noémie Hamilton, Ferenc Müller, Yoshiyuki Yamamoto
Astyanax mexicanus consists of two different populations: a sighted surface-dwelling form (surface fish) and a blind cave-dwelling form (cavefish). In the cavefish, embryonic expression of sonic hedgehog a (shha) in the prechordal plate is expanded towards the anterior midline, which has been shown to contribute to cavefish specific traits such as eye degeneration, enhanced feeding apparatus, and specialized brain anatomy. However, it is not clear how this expanded expression is achieved and which signaling pathways are involved...
July 19, 2018: Developmental Biology
Li Ma, Allen G Strickler, Amy Parkhurst, Masato Yoshizawa, Janet Shi, William R Jeffery
The role of maternal factors in the evolution of development is poorly understood. Here we describe the use of reciprocal hybridization between the surface dwelling (surface fish, SF) and cave dwelling (cavefish, CF) morphs of the teleost Astyanax mexicanus to investigate the roles of maternal genetic effects in cavefish development. Reciprocal hybridization, a procedure in which F1 hybrids are generated by fertilizing SF eggs with CF sperm (SF × CF hybrids) and CF eggs with SF sperm (CF × SF hybrids), revealed that the CF degenerative eye phenotype showed maternal genetic effects...
July 19, 2018: Developmental Biology
Hannah S Seidel, Tilmira A Smith, Jessica K Evans, Jarred Q Stamper, Thomas G Mast, Judith Kimble
Knowing how stem cells and their progeny are positioned within their tissues is essential for understanding their regulation. One paradigm for stem cell regulation is the C. elegans germline, which is maintained by a pool of germline stem cells in the distal gonad, in a region known as the 'progenitor zone'. The C. elegans germline is widely used as a stem cell model, but the cellular architecture of the progenitor zone has been unclear. Here we characterize this architecture by creating virtual 3D models of the progenitor zone in both sexes...
July 19, 2018: Developmental Biology
Yogesh Goyal, Trudi Schüpbach, Stanislav Y Shvartsman
Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) control a wide range of developmental processes, from the first stages of embryogenesis to postnatal growth and neurocognitive development in the adult. A significant share of our knowledge about RTKs comes from genetic screens in model organisms, which provided numerous examples demonstrating how specific cell fates and morphologies are abolished when RTK activation is either abrogated or significantly reduced. Aberrant activation of such pathways has also been recognized in many forms of cancer...
July 17, 2018: Developmental Biology
Andrei Molotkov, Philippe Soriano
FGF signaling is known to play a critical role in the specification of primitive endoderm (PrE) and epiblast (Epi) from the inner cell mass (ICM) during mouse preimplantation development, but how FGFs synergize with other growth factor signaling pathways is unknown. Because PDGFRα signaling has also been implicated in the PrE, we investigated the coordinate functions of PDGFRα together with FGFR1 or FGFR2 in PrE development. PrE development was abrogated in Pdgfra; Fgfr1 compound mutants, or significantly reduced in Pdgfra; Fgfr2 or PdgfraPI3K ; Fgfr2 compound mutants...
July 17, 2018: Developmental Biology
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