Distinct expression patterns for two Xenopus Bar homeobox genes

Division of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.
Development Genes and Evolution (Impact Factor: 2.44). 04/2000; 210(3):140-4. DOI: 10.1007/s004270050020
Source: PubMed


The BarH1 and BarH2 homeobox genes are coexpressed in cells of the fly retina and in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The fly Bar genes are required for normal development of the eye and external sensory organs. In Xenopus we have identified two distinct vertebrate Bar-related homeobox genes, XBH1 and XBH2. XBH1 is highly related in sequence and expression pattern to a mammalian gene, MBH1, suggesting that they are orthologues. XBH2 has not previously been identified but is clearly related to the Drosophila Bar genes. During early Xenopus embryogenesis XBH1 and XBH2 are expressed in overlapping regions of the central nervous system. XBH1, but not XBH2, is expressed in the developing retina. By comparing the expression of XBH1 with that of hermes, a marker of differentiated retinal ganglion cells, we show that XBH1 is expressed in retinal ganglion cells during the differentiation process, but is down-regulated as cells become terminally differentiated.

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    • "Some genes inherently expressed at low levels , such as barhl2 in RGCs and crx and pde6a in rods, were identified as being enriched using a mixed model comparison for each group (P < 0.05) but fell just outside the 10% confidence interval using the SI index. However, determining whether one statistical test is preferable over the other is complicated by the fact that both barhl2 and crx are expressed also in cell types in the inner nuclear layer (Patterson et al., 2000; Viczian et al., 2003; Supp. Fig. S3). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Translating Ribosome Affinity Purification (TRAP), a method recently developed to generate cell type-specific translational profiles, relies on creating transgenic lines of animals in which a tagged ribosomal protein is placed under regulatory control of a cell type-specific promoter. An antibody is then used to affinity purify the tagged ribosomes so that cell type-specific mRNAs can be isolated from whole tissue lysates. Results: Here, cell type-specific transgenic lines were generated to enable TRAP studies for retinal ganglion cells and rod photoreceptors in the Xenopus laevis retina. Using real time quantitative PCR for assessing expression levels of cell type-specific mRNAs, the TRAP method was shown to selectively isolate mRNAs expressed in the targeted cell and was efficient at purifying mRNAs expressed at both high and low levels. Statistical measures used to distinguish cell type-specific RNAs from low level background and non-specific RNAs showed TRAP to be highly effective in Xenopus. Conclusions: TRAP can be used to purify mRNAs expressed in rod photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells in X. laevis. The generated transgenic lines will enable numerous studies into the development, disease, and injury of the X. laevis retina.
    Developmental Dynamics 12/2012; 241(12). DOI:10.1002/dvdy.23880 · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    • "The homeobox sequences of vertebrate Barhl differ at these positions and clearly divide the genes in the two mentioned groups. The FIL domains represent another set of highly conserved motifs [7,8,12,14,24]. Only one of the FIL domains, FIL2, can be found in both medaka Barhl1 and Barhl2 (Figure 6A, B). "
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    ABSTRACT: Basic helix-loop-helix and homeodomain transcription factors have been shown to specify all different neuronal cell subtypes composing the vertebrate retina. The appearance of gene paralogs of such retina-specific transcription factors in lower vertebrates, with differently evolved function and/or conserved non-coding elements, might provide an important source for the generation of neuronal diversity within the vertebrate retinal architecture. In line with this hypothesis, we investigated the evolution of the homeobox Barhl family of transcription factors, barhl1 and barhl2, in the teleost and tetrapod lineages. In tetrapod barhl2, but not barhl1, is expressed in the retina and is important for amacrine cell specification. Zebrafish has three barhl paralogs: barhl1.1, barhl1.2 and barhl2, but their precise spatio-temporal retinal expression, as well as their function is yet unknown. Here we performed a meticulous expression pattern comparison of all known barhl fish paralogs and described a novel barhl paralog in medaka. Our detailed analysis of zebrafish barhl gene expression in wild type and mutant retinas revealed that only barhl1.2 and barhl2 are present in the retina. We also showed that these two paralogs are expressed in distinct neuronal lineages and are differently regulated by Atoh7, a key retinal-specific transcription factor. Finally, we found that the two retained medaka fish barhl paralogs, barhl1 and barhl2, are both expressed in the retina, in a pattern reminiscent of zebrafish barhl1.2 and barhl2 respectively. By performing phylogenetic and synteny analysis, we provide evidence that barhl retinal expression domain is an ancestral feature, probably lost in tetrapods due to functional redundancy. Functional differences among retained paralogs of key retina-specific transcription factors between teleosts and tetrapods might provide important clues for understanding their potential impact on the generation of retinal neuronal diversity. Intriguingly, within teleosts, retention of zebrafish barhl1.2 and its medaka ortholog barhl1 appears to correlate with the acquisition of distinct signalling mechanisms by the two genes within distinct retinal cell lineages. Our findings provide a starting point for the study of barhl gene evolution in relation to the generation of cell diversity in the vertebrate retina.
    BMC Evolutionary Biology 11/2011; 11(1):340. DOI:10.1186/1471-2148-11-340 · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    • "In Drosophila, BarH1 and BarH2 are expressed in R1/6 photoreceptor cells and are required for their differentiations (Higashijima et al., 1992). The Xenopus BarH orthologue, Xbh1, promotes RGC differentiation (Patterson et al., 2000; Poggi et al., 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Through transcriptional regulations, the BarH family of homeodomain proteins play essential roles in cell fate specification, cell differentiation, migration, and survival. Barhl2, a member of the Barh gene family, is expressed in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), amacrine cells (ACs), and horizontal cells. Here, to investigate the role of Barhl2 in retinal development, Barhl2-deficient mice were generated. Analysis of AC subtypes in Barhl2-deficient retinas suggests that Barhl2 plays a critical role in AC subtype determination. A significant reduction of glycinergic and GABAergic ACs with a substantial increase in the number of cholinergic ACs was observed in Barhl2-null retinas. Barhl2 is also critical for the development of a normal complement of RGCs. Barhl2 deficiency resulted in a 35% increase in RGCs undergoing apoptosis during development. Genetic analysis revealed that Barhl2 functions downstream of the Atoh7-Pou4f3 regulatory pathway and regulates the maturation and/or survival of RGCs. Thus, BARHL2 appears to have numerous roles in retinal development, including regulating neuronal subtype specification, differentiation, and survival.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 05/2009; 29(13):3992-4003. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5237-08.2009 · 6.34 Impact Factor
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