The forkhead transcription factor FoxY regulates Nanos.
ABSTRACT FoxY is a member of the forkhead transcription factor family that appeared enriched in the presumptive germ line of sea urchins (Ransick et al. Dev Biol 2002;246:132). Here, we test the hypothesis that FoxY is involved in germ line determination in this animal. We found two splice forms of FoxY that share the same DNA-binding domain, but vary in the carboxy-terminal trans-activation/repression domain. Both forms of the FoxY protein are present in the egg and in the early embryo, and their mRNAs accumulate to their highest levels in the small micromeres and adjacent non-skeletogenic mesoderm. Knockdown of FoxY resulted in a dramatic decrease in Nanos mRNA and protein levels as well as a loss of coelomic pouches in 2-week-old larvae. Our results indicate that FoxY positively regulates Nanos at the transcriptional level and is essential for reproductive potential in this organism. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 79: 680-688, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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ABSTRACT: The formation of the germ line in an embryo marks a fresh round of reproductive potential. The developmental stage and location within the embryo where the primordial germ cells (PGCs) form, however, differs markedly among species. In many animals, the germ line is formed by an inherited mechanism, in which molecules made and selectively partitioned within the oocyte drive the early development of cells that acquire this material to a germ-line fate. In contrast, the germ line of other animals is fated by an inductive mechanism that involves signaling between cells that directs this specialized fate. In this review, we explore the mechanisms of germ-line determination in echinoderms, an early-branching sister group to the chordates. One member of the phylum, sea urchins, appears to use an inherited mechanism of germ-line formation, whereas their relatives, the sea stars, appear to use an inductive mechanism. We first integrate the experimental results currently available for germ-line determination in the sea urchin, for which considerable new information is available, and then broaden the investigation to the lesser-known mechanisms in sea stars and other echinoderms. Even with this limited insight, it appears as sea stars, and perhaps the majority of the echinoderm taxon, rely on inductive mechanisms for germ-line fate determination. This enables a strongly contrasted picture for germ-line determination in this phylum, but one for which transitions between different modes of germ-line determination might now be experimentally addressed. Mol. Reprod. Dev. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Molecular Reproduction and Development 07/2013; · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In sea urchin larvae the circumesophageal fibers form a prominent muscle system of mesodermal origin. Although the morphology and later development of this muscle system has been well-described, little is known about the molecular signature of these cells or their precise origin in the early embryo. As an invertebrate deuterostome that is more closely related to the vertebrates than other commonly used model systems in myogenesis, the sea urchin fills an important phylogenetic gap and provides a unique perspective on the evolution of muscle cell development. Here, we present a comprehensive description of the development of the sea urchin larval circumesophageal muscle lineage beginning with its mesodermal origin using high-resolution localization of the expression of several myogenic transcriptional regulators and differentiation genes. A few myoblasts are bilaterally distributed at the oral vegetal side of the tip of the archenteron and first appear at the late gastrula stage. The expression of the differentiation genes Myosin Heavy Chain, Tropomyosin I and II, as well as the regulatory genes MyoD2, FoxF, FoxC, FoxL1, Myocardin, Twist, and Tbx6 uniquely identify these cells. Interestingly, evolutionarily conserved myogenic factors such as Mef2, MyoR and Six1/2 are not expressed in sea urchin myoblasts but are found in other mesodermal domains of the tip of the archenteron. The regulatory states of these domains were characterized in detail. Moreover, using a combinatorial analysis of gene expression we followed the development of the FoxF/FoxC positive cells from the onset of expression to the end of gastrulation. Our data allowed us to build a complete map of the Non-Skeletogenic Mesoderm at the very early gastrula stage, in which specific molecular signatures identify the precursors of different cell types. Among them, a small group of cells within the FoxY domain, which also express FoxC and SoxE, have been identified as plausible myoblast precursors. Together, these data support a very early gastrula stage segregation of the myogenic lineage. From this analysis, we are able to precisely define the regulatory and differentiation signatures of the circumesophageal muscle in the sea urchin embryo. Our findings have important implications in understanding the evolution of development of the muscle cell lineage at the molecular level. The data presented here suggest a high level of conservation of the myogenic specification mechanisms across wide phylogenetic distances, but also reveal clear cases of gene cooption.EvoDevo 12/2013; 4(1):33. · 3.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nanos is an essential factor of germ line success in all animals tested. This gene encodes a Zn-finger RNA-binding protein that in complex with its partner pumilio, binds to and changes the fate of several known transcripts. We summarize here the documented functions of nanos in several key organisms, and then emphasize echinoderms as a working model for how nanos expression is regulated. Nanos presence outside of the target cells is often detrimental to the animal, and in sea urchins, nanos expression appears to be regulated at every step of transcription, and post-transcriptional activity, making this gene product exciting, every which way. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.genesis 12/2013; 52(3). · 2.04 Impact Factor