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2.  TBX3 Directs Cell-Fate Decision toward Mesendoderm 
Stem Cell Reports  2013;1(3):248-265.
Cell-fate decisions and pluripotency are dependent on networks of key transcriptional regulators. Recent reports demonstrated additional functions of pluripotency-associated factors during early lineage commitment. The T-box transcription factor TBX3 has been implicated in regulating embryonic stem cell self-renewal and cardiogenesis. Here, we show that TBX3 is dynamically expressed during specification of the mesendoderm lineages in differentiating embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in vitro and in developing mouse and Xenopus embryos in vivo. Forced TBX3 expression in ESCs promotes mesendoderm specification by directly activating key lineage specification factors and indirectly by enhancing paracrine Nodal/Smad2 signaling. TBX3 loss-of-function analyses in the Xenopus underline its requirement for mesendoderm lineage commitment. Moreover, we uncovered a functional redundancy between TBX3 and Tbx2 during Xenopus gastrulation. Taken together, we define further facets of TBX3 actions and map TBX3 as an upstream regulator of the mesendoderm transcriptional program during gastrulation.
Graphical Abstract
•T-box transcription factor TBX3 is involved in early embryonic events•Key transcription factor promoters of mesendoderm formation are occupied by TBX3•TBX3 promotes mesendodermal fate of mESCs
PMCID: PMC3849240  PMID: 24319661
3.  MyD88 is involved in myeloid as well as lymphoid hematopoiesis independent of the presence of a pathogen 
MyD88 was originally described as a primary response gene up-regulated during myeloid differentiation after IL-6 induction. Later, MyD88 was shown to be a key molecule necessary for IL1, IL18 and Toll-like receptor signaling. Since these receptors recognize abundantly produced cytokines during infection or molecular patterns of pathogens, MyD88 itself was suggested to be an important regulator of the first line of defense against invading pathogens, including the differentiation and maturation of myeloid cells. Here we describe that MyD88 is important for early and late hematopoietic events that occur independently of antigen under steady-state conditions. In MyD88-deficient mice the earliest alteration in hematopoiesis was found at the level of long-term hematopoietic stem cells. Moreover, we found that MyD88 influences not only the development of the myeloid lineage but also the differentiation of B cells. The B cell defect observed in Btk-deficient mice is further enhanced when both molecules, Btk and MyD88, are not expressed. Therefore, MyD88 affects myeloid as well as lymphoid hematopoiesis. Since Btk and MyD88 deficiencies influence differentially myeloid and lymphoid development, both molecules seem to act in different signaling pathways important for appropriate developmental events during myelo- and lymphopoiesis.
PMCID: PMC3649812  PMID: 23675564
MyD88; Btk; hematopoiesis; myelopoiesis; lymphopoiesis
4.  Octamer-dependent transcription in T cells is mediated by NFAT and NF-κB 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;41(4):2138-2154.
The transcriptional co-activator BOB.1/OBF.1 was originally identified in B cells and is constitutively expressed throughout B cell development. BOB.1/OBF.1 associates with the transcription factors Oct1 and Oct2, thereby enhancing octamer-dependent transcription. In contrast, in T cells, BOB.1/OBF.1 expression is inducible by treatment of cells with PMA/Ionomycin or by antigen receptor engagement, indicating a marked difference in the regulation of BOB.1/OBF.1 expression in B versus T cells. The molecular mechanisms underlying the differential expression of BOB.1/OBF.1 in T and B cells remain largely unknown. Therefore, the present study focuses on mechanisms controlling the transcriptional regulation of BOB.1/OBF.1 and Oct2 in T cells. We show that both calcineurin- and NF-κB-inhibitors efficiently attenuate the expression of BOB.1/OBF.1 and Oct2 in T cells. In silico analyses of the BOB.1/OBF.1 promoter revealed the presence of previously unappreciated combined NFAT/NF-κB sites. An array of genetic and biochemical analyses illustrates the involvement of the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase calcineurin as well as NFAT and NF-κB transcription factors in the transcriptional regulation of octamer-dependent transcription in T cells. Conclusively, impaired expression of BOB.1/OBF.1 and Oct2 and therefore a hampered octamer-dependent transcription may participate in T cell-mediated immunodeficiency caused by the deletion of NFAT or NF-κB transcription factors.
PMCID: PMC3575799  PMID: 23293002
5.  Protein kinase D2 is a novel regulator of glioblastoma growth and tumor formation 
Neuro-Oncology  2011;13(7):710-724.
Glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive tumor of the central nervous system, has a dismal prognosis that is due in part to its resistance to radio- and chemotherapy. The protein kinase C (PKC) family of serine threonine kinases has been implicated in the formation and proliferation of glioblastoma multiforme. Members of the protein kinase D (PKD) family, which consists of PKD1, -2 and, -3, are prominent downstream targets of PKCs and could play a major role in glioblastoma growth. PKD2 was highly expressed in both low-grade and high-grade human gliomas. The number of PKD2-positive tumor cells increased with glioma grading (P < .001). PKD2 was also expressed in CD133-positive glioblastoma stem cells and various glioblastoma cell lines in which the kinase was found to be constitutively active. Inhibition of PKDs by pharmacological inhibitors resulted in substantial inhibition of glioblastoma proliferation. Furthermore, specific depletion of PKD2 by siRNA resulted in a marked inhibition of anchorage-dependent and -independent proliferation and an accumulation of glioblastoma cells in G0/G1, accompanied by a down-regulation of cyclin D1 expression. In addition, PKD2-depleted glioblastoma cells exhibited substantially reduced tumor formation in vivo on chicken chorioallantoic membranes. These findings identify PKD2 as a novel mediator of glioblastoma cell growth in vitro and in vivo and thereby as a potential therapeutic target for this devastating disease.
PMCID: PMC3129279  PMID: 21727210
glioblastoma multiforme; oncogene; protein kinase D2; PKD2
6.  The role of transcription factors in the guidance of granulopoiesis 
In recent years, the prospective isolation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells has identified the hierarchical structure of hematopoietic development and lineage-commitment. Moreover, these isolated cell populations allowed the elucitation of the molecular mechansims associated with lineage choice and revealed the indispensable functions of transcription factors as lineage determinants. This review summarizes current concepts regarding adult murine granulopoiesis and illustrates the importance of the transcription factors C/EBPα, PU.1 and GATA-2 for the development of neutrophil, eosinophil and basophil granulocytes.
PMCID: PMC3301437  PMID: 22432088
Granulopoiesis; transcription factors; C/EBPα
7.  NFATc1 affects mouse splenic B cell function by controlling the calcineurin–NFAT signaling network 
Mouse B cells lacking NFATc1 exhibit defective proliferation, survival, isotype class switching, cytokine production, and T cell help.
By studying mice in which the Nfatc1 gene was inactivated in bone marrow, spleen, or germinal center B cells, we show that NFATc1 supports the proliferation and suppresses the activation-induced cell death of splenic B cells upon B cell receptor (BCR) stimulation. BCR triggering leads to expression of NFATc1/αA, a short isoform of NFATc1, in splenic B cells. NFATc1 ablation impaired Ig class switch to IgG3 induced by T cell–independent type II antigens, as well as IgG3+ plasmablast formation. Mice bearing NFATc1−/− B cells harbor twofold more interleukin 10–producing B cells. NFATc1−/− B cells suppress the synthesis of interferon-γ by T cells in vitro, and these mice exhibit a mild clinical course of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. In large part, the defective functions of NFATc1−/− B cells are caused by decreased BCR-induced Ca2+ flux and calcineurin (Cn) activation. By affecting CD22, Rcan1, CnA, and NFATc1/αA expression, NFATc1 controls the Ca2+-dependent Cn–NFAT signaling network and, thereby, the fate of splenic B cells upon BCR stimulation.
PMCID: PMC3135343  PMID: 21464221
8.  Protein Kinase D2 Is an Essential Regulator of Murine Myoblast Differentiation 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e14599.
Muscle differentiation is a highly conserved process that occurs through the activation of quiescent satellite cells whose progeny proliferate, differentiate, and fuse to generate new myofibers. A defined pattern of myogenic transcription factors is orchestrated during this process and is regulated via distinct signaling cascades involving various intracellular signaling pathways, including members of the protein kinase C (PKC) family. The protein kinase D (PKD) isoenzymes PKD1, -2, and -3, are prominent downstream targets of PKCs and phospholipase D in various biological systems including mouse and could hence play a role in muscle differentiation. In the present study, we used a mouse myoblast cell line (C2C12) as an in vitro model to investigate the role of PKDs, in particular PKD2, in muscle stem cell differentiation. We show that C2C12 cells express all PKD isoforms with PKD2 being highly expressed. Furthermore, we demonstrate that PKD2 is specifically phosphorylated/activated during the initiation of mouse myoblast differentiation. Selective inhibition of PKCs or PKDs by pharmacological inhibitors blocked myotube formation. Depletion of PKD2 by shRNAs resulted in a marked inhibition of myoblast cell fusion. PKD2-depleted cells exhibit impaired regulation of muscle development-associated genes while the proliferative capacity remains unaltered. Vice versa forced expression of PKD2 increases myoblast differentiation. These findings were confirmed in primary mouse satellite cells where myotube fusion was also decreased upon inhibition of PKDs. Active PKD2 induced transcriptional activation of myocyte enhancer factor 2D and repression of Pax3 transcriptional activity. In conclusion, we identify PKDs, in particular PKD2, as a major mediator of muscle cell differentiation in vitro and thereby as a potential novel target for the modulation of muscle regeneration.
PMCID: PMC3029294  PMID: 21298052
9.  Btk expression is controlled by Oct and BOB.1/OBF.1 
Nucleic Acids Research  2006;34(6):1807-1815.
BOB.1/OBF.1 is a lymphocyte-restricted transcriptional coactivator. It binds together with the Oct1 and Oct2 transcription factors to DNA and enhances their transactivation potential. Mice deficient for the transcriptional coactivator BOB.1/OBF.1 show several defects in differentiation, function and signaling of B cells. In search of BOB.1/OBF.1 regulated genes we identified Btk—a cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase—as a direct target of BOB.1/OBF.1. Analyses of the human as well as murine Btk promoters revealed a non-consensus octamer site close to the start site of transcription. Here we show that Oct proteins together with BOB.1/OBF.1 are able to form ternary complexes on these sites in vitro and in vivo. This in turn leads to the induction of Btk promoter activity in synergism with the transcription factor PU.1. Btk, like BOB.1/OBF.1, plays a critical role in B cell development and B cell receptor signalling. Therefore the down-regulation of Btk expression in BOB.1/OBF.1-deficient B cells could be related to the functional and developmental defects observed in BOB.1/OBF.1-deficient mice.
PMCID: PMC1421503  PMID: 16582106
10.  Myosin light chain 1 atrial isoform (MLC1A) is expressed in pre-B cells under control of the BOB.1/OBF.1 coactivator 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(4):1577-1583.
The BOB.1/OBF.1 protein is a B-cell-specific coactivator of the Oct1 and Oct2 transcription factors. It is involved in mediating the transcriptional activity of the Oct proteins. However, animals deficient for BOB.1/OBF.1 showed virtually normal expression of genes that contain octamer motifs in their regulatory regions. To identify new genes that are regulated by BOB.1/OBF.1, we took advantage of a previously described cell system. RNAs differentially expressed in a BOB.1/OBF.1-deficient pre-B cell line and a derivative of this cell line expressing a hormone dependent BOB.1/OBF.1-estrogene receptor (BobER) fusion protein were isolated. Using the cDNA representational difference analysis method we could identify myosin light chain 1 atrial (MLC1A) isoform as a gene regulated by BOB.1/OBF.1. MLC1A was so far unknown to be expressed in tissues other than muscle. Here we demonstrate that MLC1A is indeed expressed in mouse pre-B cells. Analysis of the expressed mRNA revealed an alternative 5′ promoter element and an alternative splice product, which had not yet been described for the murine gene. Cotransfection experiments with reporter constructs driven by the MLC1A promoter suggest that the regulation by BOB.1/OBF.1 is indirect. Consistent with this conclusion is the observation that transcriptional induction of the endogenous MLC1A gene by BOB.1/OBF.1 requires de novo protein synthesis.
PMCID: PMC390310  PMID: 15004244
11.  B Cell–specific Transgenic Expression of Bcl2 Rescues Early B Lymphopoiesis but Not B Cell Responses in BOB.1/OBF.1-deficient Mice 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2003;197(9):1205-1211.
Mice deficient for the transcriptional coactivator BOB.1/OBF.1 show several defects in B cell differentiation. Numbers of immature transitional B cells in the bone marrow are reduced and fewer B cells reach the periphery. Furthermore, germinal center B cells are absent and marginal zone (MZ) B lymphocytes are markedly reduced. Increased levels of B cell apoptosis in these mice prompted us to analyze expression and function of antiapoptotic proteins. Bcl2 expression is strongly reduced in BOB.1/OBF.1-deficient pre–B cells. When BOB.1/OBF.1-deficient mice were crossed with Bcl2-transgenic mice, B cell development in the bone marrow and numbers of B cells in peripheral lymphoid organs were normalized. However, neither germinal center B cells nor MZ B cells were rescued. Additionally, Bcl2 did not rescue the defects in signaling and affinity maturation found in BOB.1/OBF.1-deficient mice. Interestingly, Bcl2-transgenic mice by themselves show an MZ B cell defect. Virtually no functional MZ B cells were detected in these mice. In contrast, mice deficient for Bcl2 show a relative increase in MZ B cell numbers, indicating a previously undetected function of Bcl2 for this B cell compartment.
PMCID: PMC2193979  PMID: 12732662
B cell differentiation; germinal center reaction; affinity maturation; marginal zone; transcription factor

Results 1-11 (11)