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Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development

Shuangbo Kong, Guixian Liang, Zhaowei Tu, Dunjin Chen, Haibin Wang, Jinhua Lu
Placental development is a complex and highly controlled process during which trophoblast stem cells differentiate to various trophoblast subtypes. The early embryonic death of systemic gene knockout models hampers the investigation of these genes that might play important roles during placentation. A trophoblast specific Cre mouse model would be of great help for dissecting out the potential roles of these genes during placental development. For this purpose, we generate a transgenic mouse with the Cre recombinase inserted into the endogenous locus of Elf5 gene that is expressed specifically in placental trophoblast cells...
March 13, 2018: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Mei Xu, Xiaoling Xie, Xuhui Dong, Guoqing Liang, Lin Gan
LHX3, a LIM-homeodomain transcription factor, is broadly expressed in the developing pituitary, spinal cord, medulla, retina and inner ear, and plays essential roles during embryonic development. Mice with homozygous Lhx3 null mutation exhibit failure in the formation of pituitary gland and die perinatally. To facilitate the functional study of Lhx3 in mice, we engineered and characterized two novel Lhx3 mouse strains: Lhx3GFP reporter knock-in and Lhx3loxP conditional knockout mice. Co-immunolabeling of LHX3 and GFP shows that the expression pattern of the knock-in GFP reporter recapitulates that of endogenous LHX3 in cochlea, vestibule, retina, and spinal cord...
March 6, 2018: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Tomoko Matsuzaki, Huan Wang, Yukio Imamura, Shunya Kondo, Shuichiro Ogawa, Makoto Noda
Reck encodes a membrane-anchored glycoprotein implicated in the regulation of extracellular metalloproteinases, Notch-signaling, and Wnt7-signaling and shown to play critical roles in embryogenesis and tumor suppression. Precise mechanisms of its actions in vivo, however, remain largely unknown. By homologous recombination, we generated a new Reck allele, ReckCreERT2 (MGI symbol: Reck<tm3.1(cre/ERT2)Noda>). This allele is defective in terms of Reck function but expected to induce loxP-mediated recombination in the cells committed to express Reck...
March 6, 2018: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Lexy M Kindt, Alicia R Coughlin, Tianna R Perosino, Haley Ersfeld, Marshall Hampton, Jennifer O Liang
Anencephaly is a fatal human neural tube defect (NTD) in which the anterior neural tube remains open. Zebrafish embryos with reduced Nodal signaling display an open anterior neural tube phenotype that is analogous to anencephaly. Previous work from our laboratory suggests that Nodal signaling acts through induction of the head mesendoderm and mesoderm. Head mesendoderm/mesoderm then, through an unknown mechanism, promotes formation of the polarized epithelium which is capable of undergoing the movements required for closure...
February 27, 2018: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Dominique Alfandari, Lisa A Taneyhill
ADAM metalloproteases have been shown to play critical roles during development. In this review, we will describe functional evidence that implicates ADAM proteins during the genesis, migration and differentiation of neural crest cells. We will restrict our analysis to the transmembrane ADAMs as other reviews have addressed the role of extracellular metalloproteases (Christian et al. [2013] Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 48:544-560). This review will describe advances that have been obtained mainly through the use of two vertebrate model systems, the frog, and avian embryos...
February 24, 2018: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Alexander Kuzin, Svetlana Smith, Thomas Brody, Ward F Odenwald
Evolutionary analysis of cis-regulatory DNA reveals that enhancers consist of clusters of conserved sequence blocks (CSBs) that are made up of both unique and repeated sequence elements. Our goal has been to address aspects of Drosophila neuroblast (NB) enhancer structure, including the basis for their spatial and temporal regulation and the functional significance of their individual CSBs. A search for temporally restricted CNS NB enhancers identified one within the transcription factor grainyhead (grh) gene locus...
February 8, 2018: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Xia Liu, Satoru Hayano, Haichun Pan, Maiko Inagaki, Jun Ninomiya-Tsuji, Hongchen Sun, Yuji Mishina
BMP signaling plays a critical role in craniofacial development. Augmentation of BMPR1A signaling through neural crest-specific expression of constitutively active Bmpr1a (caBmpr1a) results in craniofacial deformities in mice. To investigate whether deletion of Tak1 may rescue the craniofacial deformities caused by enhanced Smad-dependent signaling through caBMPR1A, we generated embryos to activate transcription of caBmpr1a transgene and ablate Tak1 in neural crest derivatives at the same time. We found that deformities of the double mutant mice showed more severe than those with each single mutation, including median facial cleft and cleft palate...
February 7, 2018: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Chaya Kalcheim
Within the dynamic context of a developing embryo, the multicellular patterns formed are extraordinarily precise. Through cell-cell communication, neighboring progenitors coordinate their activities, sequentially generating distinct tissues. The development of the dorsal neural tube remarkably illustrates this principle. It first generates neural crest (NC) cells, precursors of most of the peripheral nervous system, and then becomes the roof plate (RP) of the central nervous system. While the molecular network regulating emigration of NC progenitors has been extensively studied, the mechanisms by which dorsal neural tube precursors transit from an initial NC fate to a definitive RP identity remain widely open to investigation...
January 25, 2018: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Xiaoli Wu, Wenjun Liu, Hao Ding
PDGF-C, a member of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family, plays important roles in the development of craniofacial structures, the neural system, the vascular system and tumors. PDGF-C could also be required for the regulation of certain types of stem or progenitor cells as suggested by its expression in the regions where these cells are located. To further characterize the role of PDGF-C in development, we generated a Pdgf-cCreERT2 mouse strain, in which a tamoxifen-inducible Cre (CreERT2) cDNA was specifically targeted into the Pdgf-c genomic locus and controlled by the endogenous Pdgf-c regulatory elements...
January 18, 2018: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Aditi Dubey, Rebecca E Rose, Drew R Jones, Jean-Pierre Saint-Jeannet
Retinoic acid (RA) is a vital morphogen for early patterning and organogenesis in the developing embryo. RA is a diffusible, lipophilic molecule that signals via nuclear RA receptor heterodimeric units that regulate gene expression by interacting with RA response elements in promoters of a significant number of genes. For precise RA signaling, a robust gradient of the morphogen is required. The developing embryo contains regions that produce RA, and specific intracellular concentrations of RA are created through local degradation mediated by Cyp26 enzymes...
January 13, 2018: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Liu Yang, Albert O Gee, Anna Zielinska-Kwiatkowska, Howard A Chansky
ESET protein (also known as SETDB1) catalyzes methylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3-K9). In addition to the full-length transcript, mouse ESET gene also gives rise to alternative spicing variants encoding truncated proteins capable of retaining interaction with other epigenetic enzymes. To completely eliminate full-length ESET and its splicing variants, we have generated a conditional ESET allele with exon 4 flanked by two loxP sites for Cre-mediated DNA deletion and downstream frame-shift mutation of the entire coding region...
December 28, 2017: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Clarissa C Pasiliao, Sevan Hopyan
Cell ingression is an out-of-plane type of cell intercalation that is essential for the formation of multiple embryonic structures including the limbs. In particular, cell ingression underlies epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of lateral plate cells to initiate limb bud growth, delamination of neural crest cells to generate peripheral nerve sheaths, and emigration of myoblasts from somites to assemble muscles. Individual cells that ingress undergo apical constriction to generate bottle shaped cells, diminish adhesion to their epithelial cell neighbors, and generate protrusive blebs that likely facilitate their ingression into a subepithelial tissue layer...
December 27, 2017: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Anthony P Barrasso, Xuefei Tong, Ross A Poché
Mitochondria are incredibly dynamic organelles that undergo continuous fission and fusion events to control morphology, which profoundly impacts cell physiology including cell cycle progression (Mitra, 2013; Mitra et al., 2009). This is highlighted by the fact that most major human neurodegenerative diseases are due to specific disruptions in mitochondrial fission or fusion machinery and null alleles of these genes result in embryonic lethality (Chan, 2006; Chen et al., 2017; Flippo and Strack, 2017). To gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of such disorders, tools for the in vivo assessment of mitochondrial dynamics are required...
December 15, 2017: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Tong Wen, Qin Yin, Luyi Yu, Guoqing Hu, Jinhua Liu, Wei Zhang, Liang Huang, Huabo Su, Menghong Wang, Jiliang Zhou
The Hippo- yes-associated protein (YAP) pathway is essential for controlling organ size and tumorigenesis. Previous studies have demonstrated that the primary outcome of YAP signaling in the nucleus is achieved by interaction with the transcription factor TEA domain transcription factor (TEAD1). The YAP/TEAD1 complex binds to DNA element and regulates the expression of genes involved in cell growth. However, constitutive knockout of TEAD1 leads to early embryonic lethality in mice. Thus, generation of a floxed TEAD1 mouse becomes crucial for further understanding mid- to late-gestation and post-natal role of TEAD1...
December 2017: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Chan Jin Park, Guanglin Chen, Yongbum Koo, Po-Ching P Lin, Joseph A Cacioppo, Hailey Prohaska, CheMyong J Ko
Two estrogen receptors, ESR1 and ESR2, are responsible for the classical actions of estrogens in mammalian species. They display different spatiotemporal expression patterns and non-overlapping functions in various tissues and physiological conditions. In this study, a novel knock-in mouse line that expresses codon-improved Cre recombinase (iCre) under regulation of the natural Esr1 promoter (Esr1-iCre) was developed. Functional characterization of iCre expression by crossing them with reporter lines (ROSA26-lacZ or Ai9-RFP) showed that iCre is faithfully expressed in Esr1-lineage cells...
November 8, 2017: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Francisca Leal, Martin J Cohn
The evolution of snakes involved dramatic modifications to the ancestral lizard body plan. Limb loss and elongation of the trunk are hallmarks of snakes, although convergent evolution of limb-reduced and trunk-elongated forms occurred multiple times in snake-like lizards. Advanced snakes are completely limbless, but intermediate and basal snakes have retained rudiments of hindlimbs and pelvic girdles. Moreover, the snake fossil record indicates that complete legs were re-acquired at least once, suggesting that the potential for limb development was retained in some limb-reduced taxa...
November 2, 2017: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Karen Sears, Jennifer A Maier, Alexa Sadier, Daniel Sorensen, Daniel J Urban
Mammals have highly diverse limbs that have contributed to their occupation of almost every niche. Researchers have long been investigating the development of these diverse limbs, with the goals of identifying developmental processes and potential biases that shape mammalian limb diversity. To date, researchers have used techniques ranging from the genomic to the anatomic to investigate the developmental processes shaping the limb morphology of mammals from five orders (Marsupialia, Chiroptera, Rodentia, Cetartiodactyla, and Perissodactyla)...
November 2, 2017: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Hitoshi Kumagai, Tomoaki Matsuura, Yasuhiko Kato, Hajime Watanabe
The viral 2A peptides have recently been used for bicistronic expression in various organisms. In this system, a single mRNA that codes for two proteins flanking the 2A peptide can be translated simultaneously into each protein by ribosomal skipping at this peptide sequence. Here, we tested the function of the Thosea asigna insect virus 2A (T2A) peptide in the branchiopod crustacean Daphnia magna-an emerging model of evolutionary developmental biology. First, we used transgenic Daphnia that expresses a potential bicistronic RNA containing mCherry and histone H2B- green fluorescent protein (GFP) open reading frames upstream and downstream of the T2A sequence, respectively...
October 31, 2017: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Chang-Soo Hong, Jean-Pierre Saint-Jeannet
The transcription factors Pax3 and Zic1 are critical to specify the neural plate border and to promote neural crest formation. In a microarray screen designed to identify genes regulated by Pax3 and Zic1 in Xenopus we isolated Znf703/Nlz1 a transcriptional repressor member of the NET (NocA/Nlz, Elbow, and TLP-1) protein family. At early neurula stage znf703 is expressed in the dorsal ectoderm, spanning the neural plate and neural plate border, with an anterior boundary of expression corresponding to rhombomeres 3 and 4 (r3/r4) in the prospective hindbrain...
October 31, 2017: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
Carlos R Infante, Ashley M Rasys, Douglas B Menke
Among squamate reptiles, dozens of lineages have independently evolved complete or partial limb reduction. This remarkable convergence of limbless and limb-reduced phenotypes provides multiple natural replicates of different ages to explore the evolution and development of the vertebrate limb and the gene regulatory network that controls its formation. The most successful and best known of the limb-reduced squamates are snakes, which evolved a limb-reduced body form more than 100 million years ago. Recent studies have revealed the unexpected finding that many ancient limb enhancers are conserved in the genomes of snakes...
October 27, 2017: Genesis: the Journal of Genetics and Development
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