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Journal of Developmental Biology

Margery G Smelkinson
The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays an essential role in the growth, development, and homeostatis of many tissues in vertebrates and invertebrates. Much of what is known about Hh signaling is in the context of embryonic development and tumor formation. However, a growing body of evidence is emerging indicating that Hh signaling is also involved in postnatal processes such as tissue repair and adult immune responses. To that extent, Hh signaling has also been shown to be a target for some pathogens that presumably utilize the pathway to control the local infected environment...
December 2017: Journal of Developmental Biology
Jayne Aiken, Georgia Buscaglia, Emily A Bates, Jeffrey K Moore
Microtubules are dynamic cytoskeletal polymers that mediate numerous, essential functions such as axon and dendrite growth and neuron migration throughout brain development. In recent years, sequencing has revealed dominant mutations that disrupt the tubulin protein building blocks of microtubules. These tubulin mutations lead to a spectrum of devastating brain malformations, complex neurological and physical phenotypes, and even fatality. The most common tubulin gene mutated is the α-tubulin gene TUBA1A, which is the most prevalent α-tubulin gene expressed in post-mitotic neurons...
September 2017: Journal of Developmental Biology
Tanushree Pandit, Stacey K Ogden
The Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway is active during embryonic development in metazoans, and provides instructional cues necessary for proper tissue patterning. The pathway signal transducing component, Smoothened (Smo), is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that has been demonstrated to signal through at least two effector routes. The first is a G protein-independent canonical route that signals to Gli transcriptional effectors to establish transcriptional programs specifying cell fate during early embryonic development...
2017: Journal of Developmental Biology
Odessa R Yabut, Hui Xuan Ng, Gloria Fernandez, Keejung Yoon, Jeremy Kuhn, Samuel J Pleasure
Neural progenitors in the embryonic neocortex must be tightly regulated in order to generate the correct number and projection neuron subtypes necessary for the formation of functional neocortical circuits. In this study, we show that the intracellular protein Suppressor of Fused (Sufu) regulates the proliferation of intermediate progenitor (IP) cells at later stages of corticogenesis to affect the number of Cux1+ upper layer neurons in the postnatal neocortex. This correlates with abnormal levels of the repressor form of Gli3 (Gli3R) and the ectopic expression of Patched 1 (Ptch1), a Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) target gene...
December 2016: Journal of Developmental Biology
Simon A Ramsbottom, Mary E Pownall
The hedgehog (Hh) signalling pathway is conserved throughout metazoans and plays an important regulatory role in both embryonic development and adult homeostasis. Many levels of regulation exist that control the release, reception, and interpretation of the hedgehog signal. The fatty nature of the Shh ligand means that it tends to associate tightly with the cell membrane, and yet it is known to act as a morphogen that diffuses to elicit pattern formation. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) play a major role in the regulation of Hh distribution outside the cell...
July 20, 2016: Journal of Developmental Biology
Alessandro Barbarulo, Ching-In Lau, Konstantinos Mengrelis, Susan Ross, Anisha Solanki, José Ignacio Saldaña, Tessa Crompton
T cells develop in the thymus, which provides an essential environment for T cell fate specification, and for the differentiation of multipotent progenitor cells into major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted, non-autoreactive T cells. Here we review the role of the Hedgehog signalling pathway in T cell development, thymic epithelial cell (TEC) development, and thymocyte-TEC cross-talk in the embryonic mouse thymus during the last week of gestation.
July 16, 2016: Journal of Developmental Biology
Arya Zandvakili, Brian Gebelein
Metazoans encode clusters of paralogous Hox genes that are critical for proper development of the body plan. However, there are a number of unresolved issues regarding how paralogous Hox factors achieve specificity to control distinct cell fates. First, how do Hox paralogs, which have very similar DNA binding preferences in vitro, drive different transcriptional programs in vivo? Second, the number of potential Hox binding sites within the genome is vast compared to the number of sites bound. Hence, what determines where in the genome Hox factors bind? Third, what determines whether a Hox factor will activate or repress a specific target gene? Here, we review the current evidence that is beginning to shed light onto these questions...
June 2016: Journal of Developmental Biology
Helena Khaliullina, Nicola K Love, William A Harris
At a cellular level, nutrients are sensed by the mechanistic Target of Rapamycin (mTOR). The response of cells to hypoxia is regulated via action of the oxygen sensor Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1 (HIF-1). During development, injury and disease, tissues might face conditions of both low nutrient supply and low oxygen, yet it is not clear how cells adapt to both nutrient restriction and hypoxia, or how mTOR and HIF-1 interact in such conditions. Here we explore this question in vivo with respect to cell proliferation using the ciliary marginal zone (CMZ) of Xenopus...
June 2016: Journal of Developmental Biology
Kayla Gross, Ania Wronski, Adam Skibinski, Sarah Phillips, Charlotte Kuperwasser
During the formation of breast cancer, many genes become altered as cells evolve progressively from normal to a pre-malignant to a malignant state of growth. How mutations in genes lead to specific subtypes of human breast cancer is only partially understood. Here we review how initial genetic or epigenetic alterations within mammary epithelial cells (MECs) can alter cell fate decisions and put pre-malignant cells on a path towards cancer development with specific phenotypes. Understanding the early stages of breast cancer initiation and progression and how normal developmental processes are hijacked during transformation has significant implications for improving early detection and prevention of breast cancer...
March 1, 2016: Journal of Developmental Biology
Tristan Aguero, Yi Zhou, Malgorzata Kloc, Patrick Chang, Evelyn Houliston, Mary Lou King
The germ cell lineage in Xenopus is specified by the inheritance of germ plasm that assembles within the mitochondrial cloud or Balbiani body in stage I oocytes. Specific RNAs, such as nanos1, localize to the germ plasm. nanos1 has the essential germline function of blocking somatic gene expression and thus preventing Primordial Germ Cell (PGC) loss and sterility. Hermes/Rbpms protein and nanos RNA co-localize within germinal granules, diagnostic electron dense particles found within the germ plasm. Previous work indicates that nanos accumulates within the germ plasm through a diffusion/entrapment mechanism...
March 2016: Journal of Developmental Biology
Hong-Ming Zhou, Simon J Conway
Congenital hydrocephalus is a common birth-defect whose developmental origins are poorly understood. Pax3-null mutants show defects in myogenesis, neural tube closure, neural crest morphogenesis, and heart development that, consequently, results in embryonic lethality. Here we demonstrate that conditional deletion of the mouse Pax3 transcription factor results in fully-penetrant congenital obstructive hydrocephalus. To identify the role of Pax3 during cranial development, we deleted Pax3 within the neuroepithelium (via Pax7(-Cre) ), in the neural crest (via P0-Cre), and in both the neuroepithelium and the neural crest (via Wnt1-Cre)...
March 2016: Journal of Developmental Biology
Matthew R McCann, Cheryle A Séguin
The intervertebral disc is a complex structure responsible for flexibility, multi-axial motion, and load transmission throughout the spine. Importantly, degeneration of the intervertebral disc is thought to be an initiating factor for back pain. Due to a lack of understanding of the pathways that govern disc degeneration, there are currently no disease-modifying treatments to delay or prevent degenerative disc disease. This review presents an overview of our current understanding of the developmental processes that regulate intervertebral disc formation, with particular emphasis on the role of the notochord and notochord-derived cells in disc homeostasis and how their loss can result in degeneration...
January 21, 2016: Journal of Developmental Biology
Hemanth Akkiraju, Anja Nohe
Articular cartilage (AC) covers the diarthrodial joints and is responsible for the mechanical distribution of loads across the joints. The majority of its structure and function is controlled by chondrocytes that regulate Extracellular Matrix (ECM) turnover and maintain tissue homeostasis. Imbalance in their function leads to degenerative diseases like Osteoarthritis (OA). OA is characterized by cartilage degradation, osteophyte formation and stiffening of joints. Cartilage degeneration is a consequence of chondrocyte hypertrophy along with the expression of proteolytic enzymes...
December 2015: Journal of Developmental Biology
Usman Sagheer, Jingjing Gong, Chuhan Chung
PEDF is a secreted glycoprotein that is widely expressed by multiple organs. Numerous functional contributions have been attributed to PEDF with antiangiogenic, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and neurotrophic properties among the most prominent. The discovery that null mutations in the PEDF gene results in Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type VI, a rare autosomal recessive bone disease characterized by multiple fractures, highlights a critical developmental function for this protein. This ultra-rare orphan disease has provided biological insights into previous studies that noted PEDF's effects on various stem cell populations...
December 2015: Journal of Developmental Biology
Evan B Dewey, Danielle T Taylor, Christopher A Johnston
The ability to dictate cell fate decisions is critical during animal development. Moreover, faithful execution of this process ensures proper tissue homeostasis throughout adulthood, whereas defects in the molecular machinery involved may contribute to disease. Evolutionarily conserved protein complexes control cell fate decisions across diverse tissues. Maintaining proper daughter cell inheritance patterns of these determinants during mitosis is therefore a fundamental step of the cell fate decision-making process...
December 2015: Journal of Developmental Biology
Jiu-Zhen Jin, Jixiang Ding
The effect of strain background on gene function in growth and development has been well documented. However, it has not been extensively reported whether the strain background affects the gene expression pattern. Here, we found that the expression of homeobox gene Meox-2 and FGF receptor 1 gene Fgfr1 during mouse palate development is strain-dependent. On the C57B6 inbred background, Meox-2 is expressed in the palatal outgrowth on Embryonic Day 11.5 (E11.5); the expression shifts posteriorly and is restricted to the back of palate on E14...
March 2015: Journal of Developmental Biology
Anthony Hafez, Ryan Squires, Amber Pedracini, Alark Joshi, Robert E Seegmiller, Julia Thom Oxford
Collagen XI alpha 1 (Col11a1) is an extracellular matrix molecule required for embryonic development with a role in both nucleating the formation of fibrils and regulating the diameter of heterotypic fibrils during collagen fibrillar assembly. Although found in many different tissues throughout the vertebrate body, Col11a1 plays an essential role in endochondral ossification. To further understand the function of Col11a1 in the process of bone formation, we compared skeletal mineralization in wild-type (WT) mice and Col11a1-deficient mice using X-ray microtomography (micro-CT) and histology...
2015: Journal of Developmental Biology
Robert M Kao, Joel G Rurik, Gist H Farr, Xiu Rong Dong, Mark W Majesky, Lisa Maves
Proper control of the temporal onset of cellular differentiation is critical for regulating cell lineage decisions and morphogenesis during development. Pbx homeodomain transcription factors have emerged as important regulators of cellular differentiation. We previously showed, by using antisense morpholino knockdown, that Pbx factors are needed for the timely activation of myocardial differentiation in zebrafish. In order to gain further insight into the roles of Pbx factors in heart development, we show here that zebrafish pbx4 mutant embryos exhibit delayed onset of myocardial differentiation, such as delayed activation of tnnt2a expression in early cardiomyocytes in the anterior lateral plate mesoderm...
2015: Journal of Developmental Biology
Marina Peralta, Juan Manuel González-Rosa, Inês Joao Marques, Nadia Mercader
The epicardium is the mesothelial outer layer of the vertebrate heart. It plays an important role during cardiac development by, among other functions, nourishing the underlying myocardium, contributing to cardiac fibroblasts and giving rise to the coronary vasculature. The epicardium also exerts key functions during injury responses in the adult and contributes to cardiac repair. In this article, we review current knowledge on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying epicardium formation in the zebrafish, a teleost fish, which is rapidly gaining status as an animal model in cardiovascular research, and compare it with the mechanisms described in other vertebrate models...
April 11, 2014: Journal of Developmental Biology
Anke M Smits, Paul R Riley
In the last decade, cell replacement therapy has emerged as a potential approach to treat patients suffering from myocardial infarction (MI). The transplantation or local stimulation of progenitor cells with the ability to form new cardiac tissue provides a novel strategy to overcome the massive loss of myocardium after MI. In this regard the epicardium, the outer layer of the heart, is a tractable local progenitor cell population for therapeutic pursuit. The epicardium has a crucial role in formation of the embryonic heart...
April 10, 2014: Journal of Developmental Biology
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