Detection of gene expression in embryonic tissues and stratified epidermis by in situ hybridization.
ABSTRACT Although recent molecular biology advances provide a very effective way in determining localized gene expression, the visualization of the expression by in situ hybridization of whole-mount embryos or paraffin-embedded tissue sections continues to be an excellent method to determine overall gene expression. In this chapter, I review protocols designed to determine mRNA expression by in situ hybridization techniques, in particular, focusing on the developing stratified epidermis.
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ABSTRACT: During development, Dlx3 is expressed in ectodermal appendages such as hair and teeth. Thus far, the evidence that Dlx3 plays a crucial role in tooth development comes from reports showing that autosomal dominant mutations in DLX3 result in severe enamel and dentin defects leading to abscesses and infections. However, the normal function of DLX3 in odontogenesis remains unknown. Here, we use a mouse model to demonstrate that the absence of Dlx3 in the neural crest results in major impairment of odontoblast differentiation and dentin production. Mutant mice develop brittle teeth with hypoplastic dentin and molars with an enlarged pulp chamber and underdeveloped roots. Using this mouse model, we found that dentin sialophosphoprotein (Dspp), a major component of the dentin matrix, is strongly down-regulated in odontoblasts lacking Dlx3. Using ChIP-seq, we further demonstrate the direct binding of Dlx3 to the Dspp promoter in vivo. Luciferase reporter assays determined that Dlx3 positively regulates Dspp expression. This establishes a regulatory pathway where the transcription factor Dlx3 is essential in dentin formation by directly regulating a crucial matrix protein.Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2012; 287(15):12230-40. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M111.326900 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The process by which the periderm transitions to stratified epidermis with the establishment of the skin barrier is unknown. Understanding the cellular and molecular processes involved is crucial for the treatment of human pathologies, where abnormal skin development and barrier dysfunction are associated with hypothermia and perinatal dehydration. For the first time, we demonstrate that retinoic acid (RA) levels are important for periderm desquamation, embryonic skin differentiation and barrier formation. Although excess exogenous RA has been known to have teratogenic effects, little is known about the consequences of elevated endogenous retinoids in skin during embryogenesis. Absence of cytochrome P450, family 26, subfamily b, polypeptide 1 (Cyp26b1), a retinoic-acid-degrading enzyme, results in aberrant epidermal differentiation and filaggrin expression, defective cornified envelopes and skin barrier formation, in conjunction with peridermal retention. We show that these alterations are RA dependent because administration of exogenous RA in vivo and to organotypic skin cultures phenocopy Cyp26b1(-/-) skin abnormalities. Furthermore, utilizing the Flaky tail (Ft/Ft) mice, a mouse model for human ichthyosis, characterized by mutations in the filaggrin gene, we establish that proper differentiation and barrier formation is a prerequisite for periderm sloughing. These results are important in understanding pathologies associated with abnormal embryonic skin development and barrier dysfunction.Journal of Cell Science 02/2012; 125(Pt 7):1827-36. DOI:10.1242/jcs.101550 · 5.33 Impact Factor
Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2012; 287(47):39304-39315. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M112.397273 · 4.60 Impact Factor