Two essential aspects of mammalian development are the progressive specialization of cells toward different lineages, and the maintenance of progenitor cells that will give rise to the differentiated components of each tissue and also contribute new cells as older cells die or become injured. The transition from totipotentiality to pluripotentiality, to multipotentiality, to monopotentiality, and then to differentiation is a continuous process during development. The ontological relationship between these different stages is not well understood. We report for the first time an ontological survey of expression of 45 putative “stemness” and “pluripotency” genes in rhesus monkey oocytes and preimplantation stage embryos, and comparison to the expression in the inner cell mass, trophoblast stem cells, and a rhesus monkey (ORMES6) embryonic stem cell line. Our results reveal that some of these genes are not highly expressed in all totipotent or pluripotent cell types. Some are predominantly maternal mRNAs present in oocytes and embryos before transcriptional activation, and diminishing before the blastocyst stage. Others are well expressed in morulae or early blastocysts, but are poorly expressed in later blastocysts or ICMs. Also, some of the genes employed to induce pluripotent stem cells from somatic cells (iPS genes) appear unlikely to play major roles as stemness or pluripotency genes in normal embryos.
stem cell; cell lineage; embryo; trophoblast
Morphological and functional changes during ameloblast and odontoblast differentiation suggest that enamel and dentin formation is under circadian control. Circadian rhythms are endogenous self-sustained oscillations with periods of 24 hours that control diverse physiological and metabolic processes. Mammalian clock genes play a key role in synchronizing circadian functions in many organs. However, close to nothing is known on clock genes expression during tooth development. In this work, we investigated the expression of four clock genes during tooth development. Our results showed that circadian clock genes Bmal1, clock, per1, and per2 mRNAs were detected in teeth by RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry showed that clock protein expression was first detected in teeth at the bell stage (E17), being expressed in EOE and dental papilla cells. At post-natal day four (PN4), all four clock proteins continued to be expressed in teeth but with different intensities, being strongly expressed within the nucleus of ameloblasts and odontoblasts and down-regulated in dental pulp cells. Interestingly, at PN21 incisor, expression of clock proteins was down-regulated in odontoblasts of the crown-analogue side but expression was persisting in root-analogue side odontoblasts. In contrast, both crown and root odontoblasts were strongly stained for all four clock proteins in first molars at PN21. Within the periodontal ligament (PDL) space, epithelial rests of Malassez (ERM) showed the strongest expression among other PDL cells. Our data suggests that clock genes might be involved in the regulation of ameloblast and odontoblast functions, such as enamel and dentin protein secretion and matrix mineralization.
Clock genes; Tooth development; Bmal1; Clock; Per1; Per2; expression pattern; immunohistochemistry
Nonmuscle myosin II (myosin hereafter) has well-established roles in generating contractile force on actin filaments during morphogenetic processes in all metazoans. Myosin activation is regulated by phosphorylation of the myosin regulatory light chain (MRCL, encoded by spaghetti squash or sqh in Drosophila) first on Ser21 and subsequently on Thr20. These phosphorylation events are positively controlled by a variety of kinases including myosin light chain kinase, Rho kinase, citron kinase, and AMP kinase and are negatively regulated by myosin phosphatase. The activation of myosin is thus highly regulated and likely developmentally controlled. In order to monitor the activity of myosin during development, we have generated antibodies against the monophosphorylated (Sqh1P) and diphosphorylated (Sqh2P) forms of Sqh. We first show that the antibodies are highly specific. We then used these antibodies to monitor myosin activation in wild type Drosophila tissues. Interestingly, Sqh1P and Sqh2P show distinct patterns of expression in embryos. Sqh1P is expressed nearly ubiquitously and outlines cells consistent with a junctional localization, whereas Sqh2P is strongly expressed on the apical surfaces and in filopodia of tissues undergoing extensive cell shape change or cell movements including the invaginating fore- and hindgut, the invaginating tracheal system, the dorsal pouch and the dorsal most row of epidermal (DME) cells during dorsal closure. In imaginal discs, Sqh1P predominantly localizes in the adherens junction, whereas Sqh2P locates to the apical domain. These antibodies thus have the potential to be very useful in monitoring myosin activation for functional studies of morphogenesis in Drosophila.
Drosophila; myosin; myosin regulatory light chain; spaghetti squash; dorsal closure; morphogenesis
Dysregulation of the transcription factor CRTC1 by a t(11;19) chromosomal rearrangement mediates the formation of mucoepidermoid salivary gland carcinoma (MEC). Although the Crtc1 promoter is consistently active in fusion-positive MEC and low levels of Crtc1 transcripts have been reported in normal adult salivary glands, the distribution of CRTC1 protein in the normal salivary gland is not known. The aim of this study was to determine if CRTC1, like many known oncogenes, is expressed during early submandibular salivary gland (SMG) development and re-expressed in an experimental tumor model. Our results indicate that CRTC1 protein is expressed in SMG epithelia during early stages of morphogenesis, disappears with differentiation, and reappears in initial tumor-like pathology. This stage-dependent expression pattern suggests that CRTC1 may play a role during embryonic SMG branching morphogenesis but not for pro-acinar/acinar differentiation, supporting a precursor cell origin for MEC tumorigenesis. Moreover, the coincident expression of CRTC1 protein and cell proliferation markers in tumor-like histopathology suggests that CRTC1-mediated cell proliferation may contribute, in part, to initial tumor formation.
CREB coactivator; CRTC1; salivary glands; development; tumorigenesis; cell proliferation; mucoepidermoid carcinoma
The lens of the eye is a transparent structure responsible for focusing light onto the retina. It is composed of two morphologically different cell types, epithelial cells found on the anterior surface and the fiber cells that are continuously formed by the differentiation of epithelial cells at the lens equator. The differentiation of an epithelial precursor cell into a fiber cell is associated with a dramatic increase in membrane protein synthesis. How the terminally differentiating fiber cells cope with the increased demand on the endoplasmic reticulum for this membrane protein synthesis is not known. In the present study, we have found evidence of Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) activation during normal lens development and differentiation in the mouse. The ER-resident chaperones, immunoglobulin heavy chain binding protein (BiP) and protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), were expressed at high levels in the newly forming fiber cells of embryonic lenses. These fiber cells also expressed the UPR-associated molecules; XBP1, ATF6, phospho-PERK and ATF4 during embryogenesis. Moreover, spliced XBP1, cleaved ATF6, and phospho-eIF2 were detected in embryonic mouse lenses suggesting that UPR pathways are active in this tissue. These results propose a role for UPR activation in lens fiber cell differentiation during embryogenesis.
The critical contribution of the Notch signaling pathway to vascular morphogenesis has been underscored by loss-of-function studies in mouse and zebrafish. Nonetheless, a comprehensive understanding as to how this signaling system influences the formation of blood vessels at the cellular and molecular level is far from reached. Here, we provide a detailed analysis of the distribution of active Notch1 in relation to its DSL (Delta, Serrate, Lag2) ligands, Jagged1, Delta-like1, and Delta-like4, during progressive stages of vascular morphogenesis and maturation. Important differences in the cellular distribution of Notch ligands were found. Jagged1 (Jag1) was detected in “stalk cells” of the leading vasculature and at arterial branch points, a site where Delta-like4 (Dll4) was clearly absent. Dll4 was the only ligand expressed in “tip cells” at the end of the growing vascular sprouts. It was also present in stalk cells, capillaries, arterial endothelium, and in mural cells of mature arteries in a homogenous manner. Delta-like1 (Dll1) was observed in both arteries and veins of the developing network, but was also excluded from mature arterial branch points. These findings support alternative and distinct roles for Notch ligands during the angiogenic process.
arteries; blood vessels; capillaries; delta-like1; delta-like4; endothelial; jagged1; vascular remodeling; vasculature; veins
Minor fibrillar collagens are recognized as the organizers and nucleators during collagen fibrillogenesis but likely serve additional functions. The minor fibrillar collagens include collagens type V and type XI. Mutations of collagen type V and XI can cause Ehlers Danlos, Stickler’s, and Marshall’s syndromes in human. We have characterized the spatiotemporal expression patterns of Col11a1, Col11a2, Col5a1 as well as Col5a3 in zebrafish embryos by in situ hybridization. Col5a1 is expressed in developing somites, neural crest, the head mesenchyme, developing cranial cartilage, pharyngeal arches and vertebrae. Col5a3 is detected in the notochord, mesenchyme cells in the eyes and lens. Both Col11a1 and Col11a2 have similar expression patterns, including notochord, otic vesicle, and developing cranial cartilages. Zebrafish may therefore serve as a valuable vertebrate model system for the study of diseases associated with collagens type V and XI mutations.
minor fibrillar collagens; zebrafish; development; in situ hybridization; Danio rerio
Expression of astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) is elevated in multiple human cancers including brain tumors, neuroblastomas, melanomas, breast cancers, non-small cell lung cancers, liver cancers, prostate cancers, and esophageal cancers. This gene plays crucial roles in tumor cell growth, invasion, angiogenesis and progression to metastasis. In addition, over-expression of AEG-1 protects primary and transformed cells from apoptosis-inducing signals by activating PI3K-Akt signaling pathways. These results suggest that AEG-1 is intimately involved in tumorigenesis and may serve as a potential therapeutic target for various human cancers. However, the normal physiological functions of AEG-1 require clarification. We presently analyzed the expression pattern of AEG-1 during mouse development. AEG-1 was expressed in mid-to-hindbrain, fronto-nasal processes, limbs, and pharyngeal arches in the early developmental period from E8.5 to E9.5. In addition, at stages of E12.5-E18.5 AEG-1 was localized in the brain, and olfactory and skeletal systems suggesting a role in neurogenesis, as well as in skin, including hair follicles, and in the liver, which are organ sites in which AEG-1 has been implicated in tumor development and progression. AEG-1 co-localized with Ki-67, indicating a role in cell proliferation, as previously revealed in tumorigenesis. Taken together, these results suggest that AEG-1 may play a prominent role during normal mouse development in the context of cell proliferation as well as differentiation, and that temporal regulation of AEG-1 expression may be required during specific stages and in specific tissues during development.
AEG-1; development; mouse embryo; cell proliferation; cancer
The genome of C. elegans encodes more than 280 nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs) in contrast to the 48 NHRs in humans and 18 NHRs in Drosophila. The majority of the C. elegans NHRs are categorized as supplementary nuclear receptors (supnrs) that evolved by successive duplications of a single ancestral gene. The evolutionary pressures that lead to the expansion of NHRs in nematodes, as well as the function of the majority of supnrs, are not known. Here, we have studied the expression of seven genes organized in a cluster on chromosome V: nhr-206, nhr-208, nhr-207, nhr-209, nhr-154, nhr-153 and nhr-136. Reverse transcription – quantitative PCR and analyses using transgenic lines carrying GFP fusion genes with their putative promoters revealed that all seven genes of this cluster are expressed and five have partially overlapping expression patterns including in the pharynx, intestine, certain neurons, the anal sphincter muscle, and male specific cells. Four genes in this cluster are conserved between C. elegans and C. briggsae whereas three genes are present only in C. elegans, the apparent result of a relatively recent expansion. Interestingly, we find that a subset of the conserved and non-conserved genes in this cluster respond transcriptionally to fasting in tissue-specific patterns. Our results reveal the diversification of the temporal, spatial, and metabolic gene expression patterns coupled with evolutionary drift within supnr family members.
Caenorhabditis elegans; Caenorhabditis briggsae; nuclear hormone receptor; gene expression; fasting
The Norrie disease gene (Ndp) codes for a secreted protein, Norrin, that activates canonical Wnt signaling by binding to its receptor, Frizzled-4. This signaling system is required for normal vascular development in the retina and for vascular survival in the cochlea. In mammals, the pattern of Ndp expression beyond the retina is poorly defined due to the low abundance of Norrin mRNA and protein. Here we characterize Ndp expression during mouse development by studying a knock-in mouse that carries the coding sequence of human placental alkaline phosphatase (AP) inserted at the Ndp locus (NdpAP). In the CNS, NdpAP expression is apparent by E10.5 and is dynamic and complex. The anatomically delimited regions of NdpAP expression observed prenatally in the CNS are replaced postnatally by widespread expression in astrocytes in the forebrain and midbrain, Bergman glia in the cerebellum, and Müller glia in the retina. In the developing and adult cochlea, NdpAP expression is closely associated with two densely vascularized regions, the stria vascularis and a capillary plexus between the organ of Corti and the spiral ganglion. These observations suggest the possibility that Norrin may have developmental and/or homeostatic functions beyond the retina and cochlea.
Norrin; Norrie disease; Frizzled-4; mouse; brain development; vascular development
Accurate measurements of transcript abundance are a prerequisite to understand gene activity in development. Using the NanoString nCounter, an RNA counting device, we measured the prevalence of 172 transcription factors and signaling molecules in early sea urchin development. These measurements show high fidelity over more than five orders of magnitude down to a few transcripts per embryo. Most of the genes included are locally restricted in their spatial expression, and contribute to the divergent regulatory states of cells in the developing embryo. In order to obtain high-resolution expression, profiles from fertilization to late gastrulation samples were collected at hourly intervals. The measured time courses agree well with, and substantially extend, prior relative abundance measurements obtained by quantitative PCR. High temporal resolution permits sequences of successively activated genes to be precisely delineated providing an ancillary tool for assembling maps of gene regulatory networks. The data are available via an interactive website for quick plotting of selected time courses.
Transcription factor; Gene expression time course; mRNA prevalence measurement; Embryogenesis
Wnt signaling is essential for tooth formation. Dact proteins modulate Wnt signaling by binding to the intracellular protein Dishevelled (Dvl). Comparison of all known mouse Dact genes, Dact1-3, from the morphological initiation of mandibular first molar development after the onset of the root formation using sectional in situ hybridization showed distinct, complementary and overlapping expression patterns for the studied genes. While Dact2 expression was restricted to the dental epithelium including the enamel knot signaling centers and tooth specific preameloblasts, Dact1 and Dact3 showed developmentally regulated expression in the dental mesenchyme. Both mRNAs were first detected in the presumptive dental mesenchyme. After being downregulated from the condensed dental mesenchyme of the bud stage tooth germ, Dact1 was upregulated in the dental follicle masenchyme at the cap stage and subsequently also in the dental papilla at the bell stage where the expression persisted to the postnatal stages. In contrast, Dact3 transcripts persisted throughout the dental mesenchymal tissue components including the tooth-specific cells, preodontoblasts before transcripts were largely downregulated from the tooth germ postnatally. Collectively these results suggest that Dact1 and -3 may contribute to early tooth formation by modulation of Wnt signaling pathways in the mesenchyme, including preodontoblasts, whereas Dact2 may play important signal-modulating roles in the adjacent epithelial cells including the enamel knot signaling centers and preameloblasts. Future loss-of-function studies will help elucidate whether any of these functions are redundant, particularly for Dact1 and Dact3.
The development of the inner ear involves complex processes of morphological changes, patterning and cell fate specification that are under strict molecular control. SOX2 and SOX9 are SOX family transcription factors that are involved in the regulation of one or more of these processes. Previous findings have shown early expression of SOX9 in the otic placode and vesicle at E8.5–E9.5. Here we describe in detail, the expression pattern of SOX9 in the developing mouse inner ear beyond the otocyst stage and compare it with that of SOX2 from E9.5 to E18.5 using double fluorescence immunohistochemistry. We found that SOX9 was widely expressed in the otic epithelium, periotic mesenchyme and cartilaginous otic capsule. SOX2 persistently marked the prosensory and sensory epithelia. During the development of the sensory epithelia, SOX2 was initially expressed in all prosensory regions and later in both the supporting and hair cells up to E15.5, when its expression in hair cells gradually diminished. SOX9 expression overlapped with that of SOX2 in the prosensory and sensory region until E14.5 when its expression was restricted to supporting cells. This initial overlap but subsequent differential expression of SOX2 and SOX9 in the sensory epithelia, suggest that SOX2 and SOX9 may have distinct roles in molecular pathways that direct cells towards different cell fates.
SOX2; SOX9; Inner ear; Otocyst; Hair cells; Sensory epithelia; Spiral ganglion
Autism susceptibility candidate 2 (Auts2) is a gene associated with autism and mental retardation, whose function is unknown. Expression of Auts2 mRNA and protein were studied in the developing mouse brain by in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and western blotting. Auts2 mRNA was highly expressed in the developing cerebral cortex and cerebellum, regions often affected by neuropathological changes in autism, and a few other brain regions. On embryonic day (E) 12, Auts2 mRNA was expressed in the cortical preplate, where it colocalized with Tbr1, a transcription factor specific for postmitotic projection neurons. From E16 to postnatal day 21, Auts2 was expressed most abundantly in frontal cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum, including Purkinje cells and deep nuclei. High levels of Auts2 were also detected in developing dorsal thalamus, olfactory bulb, inferior colliculus and substantia nigra. Auts2 protein showed similar regional expression patterns as the mRNA. At the cellular level, Auts2 protein was localized in the nuclei of neurons and some neuronal progenitors.
Auts2; Gene Expression; Patterning; Neurodevelopment; Autism
To understand the etiology of congenital hearing loss, a comprehensive understanding of the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying normal ear development is required. We are identifying genes involved in otogenesis, with the longer term goal of studying their mechanisms of action, leading to inner ear induction and patterning. Using Agilent microarrays, we compared the differential expression of a test domain (which consisted of the pre-otic placodal ectoderm with the adjacent hindbrain ectoderm and the underlying mesendodermal tissues) with a rostral control domain (which included tissue that is competent, but not specified, to express inner ear markers in explant assays). We identified 1,261 transcripts differentially expressed between the two domains at a 2-fold or greater change: 463 were upregulated and 798 were downregulated in the test domain. We validated the differential expression of several signaling molecules and transcription factors identified in this array using in situ hybridization. Furthermore, the expression patterns of the validated group of genes from the test domain were explored in detail to determine how the timing of their expression relates to specific events of otic induction and development. In conclusion, we identified a number of novel candidate genes for otic placode induction.
Otic induction; inner ear; Wnt; Fgf; Notch; Hox; otic placode; microarray; gene expression screen
The lysyl hydroxylase (LH) family of enzymes has important roles in the biosynthesis of collagen. In this paper we present the first description of Drosophila LH3 (dPlod), the only lysyl hydroxylase encoded in the fly genome. We have characterised in detail the developmental expression patterns of dPlod RNA and protein during embryogenesis. Consistent with its predicted function as a collagen-modifying enzyme, we find that dPlod is highly expressed in type-IV collagen-producing cells, particularly the haemocytes and fat body. Examination of dPlod subcellular localisation reveals that it is an endoplasmic reticulum resident protein, that partially overlaps with intracellular type-IV collagen. Furthermore, we show that dPlod is required for type-IV collagen secretion from haemocytes and fat body, and thus establish that LH3 enzyme function is conserved across widely separated animal phyla. Our findings, and the new tools we describe, establish the fly as an attractive model in which to study this important collagen biosynthesis enzyme.
Drosophila; dPlod; Plod; Collagen; Lysyl hydroxylase; LH3
Mrf4 (Myf6) is a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) myogenic regulatory transcription factor (MRF) family which also contains Myod, Myf5 and myogenin. Mrf4 is implicated in commitment of amniote cells to skeletal myogenesis and is also abundantly expressed in many adult muscle fibres. The specific role of Mrf4 is unclear both because mrf4 null mice are viable, suggesting redundancy with other MRFs, and because of genetic interactions at the complex mrf4/myf5 locus. We report the cloning and expression of an mrf4 gene from zebrafish, Danio rerio, which shows conservation of linkage to myf5. Mrf4 mRNA accumulates in a subset of terminally differentiated muscle fibres in parallel with myosin protein in the trunk and fin. Although most, possibly all, trunk muscle expresses mrf4, the level of mRNA is dynamically regulated. No expression is detected in muscle precursor cell populations prior to myosin accumulation. Moreover, mrf4 expression is not detected in head muscles, at least at early stages. As fish mature, mrf4 expression is pronounced in slow muscle fibres.
mrf4; muscle; zebrafish; muscle pioneers; muscle fibre; fin; myod; myogenin; mylz2; gene expression, craniofacial
Glial cells are responsible for a wide range of functions in the nervous system of vertebrates. The myelinated nervous systems of extant elasmobranchs have the longest independent history of all gnathostomes. Much is known about the development of glia in other jawed vertebrates, but research in elasmobranchs is just beginning to reveal the mechanisms guiding neurodevelopment. This study examines the development of glial cells in the bamboo shark, Chiloscyllium punctatum, by identifying the expression pattern of several classic glial and myelin proteins. We show for the first time that glial development in the bamboo shark (Ch. punctamum) embryo follows closely the one observed in other vertebrates and that neural development seems to proceed at a faster rate in the PNS than in the CNS. In addition, we observed more myelinated tracts in the PNS than in the CNS, and as early as stage 32, suggesting that the ontogeny of myelin in sharks is closer to osteichthyans than agnathans.
shark; glia; GFAP; myelin; glia development
In this study, we tested the hypothesis that prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase -1 and -2 (PGHS-1 and PGHS-2) are expressed throughout the latter half of gestation in ovine fetal brain and pituitary. Hypothalamus, pituitary, hippocampus, brainstem, cortex and cerebellum were collected from fetal sheep at 80, 100, 120, 130, 145 days of gestational age (DGA), 1 and 7 days postpartum lambs, and from adult ewes (n=4–5 per group). mRNA and protein were isolated from each region, and expression of Prostaglandin Synthase -1 (PGHS-1) and -2 (PGHS-2) were evaluated using real-time RT-PCR and western blot. PGHS-1 and -2 were detected in every brain region at every age tested. Both enzymes were measured in highest abundance in hippocampus and cerebral cortex, and lowest in brainstem and pituitary. PGHS-1 and -2 mRNA’s were upregulated in hypothalamus and pituitary after 100 DGA. The hippocampus exhibited decreases in PGHS-1 and increases in PGHS-2 mRNA after 80 DGA. Brainstem PGHS-1 and -2 and cortex PGHS-2 exhibited robust increases in mRNA postpartum, while cerebellar PGHS-1 and -2 mRNA’s were upregulated at 120 DGA. Tissue concentrations of PGE2 correlated with PGHS-2 mRNA, but not to other variables. We conclude that the regulation of expression of these enzymes is region-specific, suggesting that the activity of these enzymes is likely to be critical for brain development in the late-gestation ovine fetus.
parturition; prostanoid; neuroendocrinology; fetus; HPA axis; brain
We describe the identification and characterization of Trim43a, Trim43b, and Trim43c genes, whose expression are restricted to preimplantation stages and peak at the 8-cell to morula stage. We identified a 5 kb DNA fragment that covers upstream region of Trim43a as a putative promoter, which can drive the expression of mStrawberry fluorescent protein in a manner similar to endogenous Trim43 genes. Trim43 genes will be useful stage-specific markers for the study of preimplantation embryos.
mouse preimplantation; gene expression; 8-cell; morula; fluorescent proteins; asymmetric PCR; promoter analysis
Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) signaling is critical for proper animal development. While initially identified in Drosophila, this pathway is also essential for the proper development of vertebrates. Zebrafish mutants, defective in the Wnt/PCP pathway, frequently display defects in convergence and extension gastrulation movements and additional later abnormalities including problems with craniofacial cartilage morphogenesis. Although multiple Frizzled (Fzd) homologues, Wnt receptors, were identified in zebrafish, it is unknown which Fzd plays a role in shaping the early larvae head skeleton. In an effort to determine which Frizzleds are involved in this process, we analyzed the expression of five zebrafish frizzled homologues fzd2, 6, 7a, 7b, and 8a from 2–4 days post fertilization (dpf). During the analyzed developmental time points fzd2 and fzd6 are broadly expressed throughout the head, while the expression of fzd7a, 7b and 8a is much more restricted. Closer examination revealed that fzd7b is expressed in the neural crest and the mesodermal core of the pharyngeal arches and in the chondrocytes of newly stacked craniofacial cartilage elements. However, fzd7a is only expressed in the neural crest of the pharyngeal arches and fzd8a is expressed in the pharyngeal endoderm.
zebrafish; frizzled 2; frizzled 6; frizzled 7a; frizzled 7b; frizzled 8a; cartilage; craniofacial; Wnt; planar cell polarity
In this study we analyzed expression patterns of two δ-protocadherins, protocadherin-9 and protocadherin-17, in the developing zebrafish using in situ hybridization and RT-PCR methods. Both protocadherins were mainly detected in the embryonic central nervous system, but each showed a distinct expression pattern. Protocadherin-9 message (Pcdh9) was expressed after 10 hours post fertilization (hpf). It was found mainly in small clusters of cells in the anteroventral forebrain and ventrolateral hindbrain, and scattered cells throughout the spinal cord of young embryos (24 hpf). Pcdh9 expression in the hindbrain was segmental, reflecting a neuromeric organization, which became more evident at 34 hpf. As development proceeded, Pcdh9 expression increased throughout the brain, while its expression in the spinal cord was greatly reduced. Pcdh9 was also found in the developing retina and statoacoustic ganglion. Protocadherin-17 message (Pcdh17) expression began much earlier (1.5–2 hpf) than Pcdh9. Similar to Pcdh9 expression, Pcdh17 expression was found mainly in the anteroventral forebrain at 24 hpf, but its expression in the hindbrain and spinal cord, confined mainly to lateroventral regions of the hindbrain and anterior spinal cord, was more restricted than Pcdh9. As development proceeded, Pcdh17 expression was increased both in the brain and spinal cord: detected throughout the brain of two- and three-day old embryos, strongly expressed in the retina and in lateral regions of spinal cord in two-day old embryos. Its expression in the retina and spinal cord was reduced in three-day old embryos. Our results showed that expression of these two protocadherins was both spatially and temporally regulated.
development; cell adhesion molecules; brain; retina; spinal cord
The regulatory factor X (RFX) family of transcription factors has been recently implicated in gene regulation during spermatogenesis. However, the relative expression of individual members during this developmental process is not completely characterized, particularly in the case of Rfx4, which has multiple transcript variants in the testis. We used reverse transcriptase-dependent real-time PCR, 5'-RACE cloning, and western blotting to compare transcripts and protein levels for this family in cell populations from the three major phases of spermatogenesis (mitotic, meiotic, and haploid). Transcripts for Rfx1–4 were present at trace to low levels in spermatogonia prepared from 8-day-old mice. Transcripts for both Rfx2 and Rfx4 were elevated in mid-late pachytene spermatocytes; however the dominant Rfx4 transcript present begins at a downstream exon and lacks the DNA binding domain. Transcripts for all four genes were elevated in early haploid cells (round spermatids). In these cells Rfx4 transcripts originate primarily from a newly described promoter with intron 1 but are expected to be translationally compromised due to a poorly situated start codon. Western blotting confirmed that RFX2 is greatly elevated beginning in meiosis and also confirmed that full length RFX4 protein is not prevalent in mouse testis at any stage. These results imply that RFX2 is the most likely X box binding factor to influence novel gene expression during meiosis, that RFX1–3 may all play roles in haploid cells but that RFX4 is much less prevalent than implied by its high transcript levels.
Alternate promoter; Gene regulation; Meiosis; Mouse; Real-time PCR; Spermatid; Spermatogenesis; Spermatogonia; Transcription factor; 5'-RACE
The gonad in C. elegans is an important model system for understanding complex morphogenetic processes including cellular movement, cell fusion, cell invasion and cell polarity during development. One class of signaling proteins known to be critical for the cellular events underlying morphogenesis is the Rho family GTPases, particularly RhoA, Rac and Cdc42. In C. elegans orthologues of these genes have been shown to be important for gonad development. In our current study we have extended those findings by examining the patterns of 5’ cis-regulatory element (5’CRE) activity associated with nineteen putative guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) encoded by the C. elegans genome predicted to activate Rho family GTPases. Here we identify thirteen RhoGEF genes that are expressed during gonadogenesis and characterize the cells in which their 5’CREs are active. These data provide the basis for designing experiments to examine Rho GTPase activation during morphogenetic processes central to normal gonad development.
C. elegans; gonadogenesis; RhoGEF; morphogenesis; organogenesis; anchor cell invasion; gonad development; Rho GTPase; rho; rac; cdc42; mig-2; ced-10; cdc-42; rho-1
Fezf2 (also known as Fezl, ZNF312, or Zfp312) is an evolutionarily conserved forebrain-specific zinc finger transcription factor that is expressed during development and is implicated in patterning as well as neurogenesis in both zebrafish and mice. Despite these findings, the expression of fezf2 in the adult brain has not been well characterized, and fezf2 function in the adult brain remains unknown. The zebrafish has recently emerged as a new model system to study adult neurogenesis, given its similarity to mammalian systems and enhanced capability of undergoing adult neurogenesis. Through RNA in situ hybridization and using a fezf2 promoter-driven GFP transgenic line, we present data showing that fezf2 is expressed in radial glial progenitor cells of the telencephalic ventricular zone in the adult zebrafish brain, which co-express markers of neural stem cells and proliferation. Additionally, we identify the preoptic region and the hypothalamus as fezf2-expressing neurogenic regions in the adult zebrafish brain, where fezf2 labels progenitor cells as well as postmitotic neurons. Our findings establish Fezf2 as a novel marker for adult telencephalic ventricular progenitor cells that express markers of neural stem cells in zebrafish and lay a critical foundation for future investigation of Fezf2 function in the maintenance and differentiation of neural stem cells in the adult vertebrate brain.
Fezf2; Radial glia; Ventricular progenitor cells; Telencephalon; Zebrafish; Transgenic; Adult neural stem cells; Adult neurogenesis; Olfactory bulb; Preoptic region; Hypothalamus