Article

Genetic Analysis of Hedgehog Signaling in Ventral Body Wall Development and the Onset of Omphalocele Formation

Global COE, Cell Fate Regulation Research and Education Unit, Department of Organ Formation, Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 01/2011; 6(1):e16260. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016260
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An omphalocele is one of the major ventral body wall malformations and is characterized by abnormally herniated viscera from the body trunk. It has been frequently found to be associated with other structural malformations, such as genitourinary malformations and digit abnormalities. In spite of its clinical importance, the etiology of omphalocele formation is still controversial. Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is one of the essential growth factor signaling pathways involved in the formation of the limbs and urogenital system. However, the relationship between Hh signaling and ventral body wall formation remains unclear.
To gain insight into the roles of Hh signaling in ventral body wall formation and its malformation, we analyzed phenotypes of mouse mutants of Sonic hedgehog (Shh), GLI-Kruppel family member 3 (Gli3) and Aristaless-like homeobox 4 (Alx4). Introduction of additional Alx4(Lst) mutations into the Gli3(Xt/Xt) background resulted in various degrees of severe omphalocele and pubic diastasis. In addition, loss of a single Shh allele restored the omphalocele and pubic symphysis of Gli3(Xt/+); Alx4(Lst/Lst) embryos. We also observed ectopic Hh activity in the ventral body wall region of Gli3(Xt/Xt) embryos. Moreover, tamoxifen-inducible gain-of-function experiments to induce ectopic Hh signaling revealed Hh signal dose-dependent formation of omphaloceles.
We suggest that one of the possible causes of omphalocele and pubic diastasis is ectopically-induced Hh signaling. To our knowledge, this would be the first demonstration of the involvement of Hh signaling in ventral body wall malformation and the genetic rescue of omphalocele phenotypes.

Full-text

Available from: Ryuma Haraguchi, Jun 03, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
191 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The study of the external genitalia is divided into 2 developmental stages: the formation and growth of a bipotential genital tubercle (GT) and the sexual differentiation of the male and female GT. The sexually dimorphic processes, which occur during the second part of GT differentiation, are suggested to be governed by androgen signaling and more recently crosstalk with other signaling factors. The process of elucidating the regulatory mechanisms of hormone signaling towards other signaling networks in the GT is still in its early stages. Nevertheless, it is becoming a productive area of research. This review summarizes various studies on the development of the murine GT and the defining characteristics of a masculinized GT and presents the different signaling pathways possibly involved during masculinization. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Sexual Development 02/2014; 8(5). DOI:10.1159/000357932 · 1.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The cloaca is temporally formed and eventually divided by the urorectal septum (URS) during urogenital and anorectal organ development. Although congenital malformations, such as anorectal malformations (ARMs), are frequently observed during this process, the underlying pathogenic mechanisms remain unclear. β-Catenin is a critical component of canonical Wnt signaling and is essential for the regulation of cell differentiation and morphogenesis during embryogenesis. The expression of β-catenin is observed in endodermal epithelia, including URS epithelia. We modulated the β-catenin gene conditionally in endodermal epithelia by utilizing tamoxifen-inducible Cre driver line (Shh(CreERT2)). Both β-catenin loss- and gain-of-function (LOF and GOF) mutants displayed abnormal clefts in the perineal region and hypoplastic elongation of the URS. The mutants also displayed reduced cell proliferation in the URS mesenchyme. In addition, the β-catenin GOF mutants displayed reduced apoptosis and subsequently increased apoptosis in the URS epithelium. This instability possibly resulted in reduced expression levels of differentiation markers, such as keratin 1 and filaggrin, in the perineal epithelia. The expression of bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) genes, such as Bmp4 and Bmp7, was also ectopically induced in the epithelia of the URS in the β-catenin GOF mutants. The expression of the Msx2 gene and phosphorylated-Smad1/5/8, possible readouts of Bmp signaling, was also increased in the mutants. Moreover, we introduced an additional mutation for a Bmp receptor gene: BmprIA. The Shh(CreERT2/+); β-catenin(flox(ex3)/+); BmprIA(flox/-) mutants displayed partial restoration of URS elongation compared with the β-catenin GOF mutants. These results indicate that some ARM phenotypes in the β-catenin GOF mutants were caused by abnormal Bmp signaling. The current analysis revealed the close relation of endodermal β-catenin signaling to the ARM phenotypes. These results are considered to shed light on the pathogenic mechanisms of human ARMs.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 14 March 2014; doi:10.1038/cdd.2014.21.
    Cell death and differentiation 03/2014; 21(6). DOI:10.1038/cdd.2014.21 · 8.39 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The bladder exstrophy-epispadias complex (BEEC) represents the severe end of the uro-rectal malformation spectrum, and is thought to result from aberrant embryonic morphogenesis of the cloacal membrane and the urorectal septum. The most common form of BEEC is isolated classic bladder exstrophy (CBE). To identify susceptibility loci for CBE, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 110 CBE patients and 1,177 controls of European origin. Here, an association was found with a region of approximately 220kb on chromosome 5q11.1. This region harbors the ISL1 (ISL LIM homeobox 1) gene. Multiple markers in this region showed evidence for association with CBE, including 84 markers with genome-wide significance. We then performed a meta-analysis using data from a previous GWAS by our group of 98 CBE patients and 526 controls of European origin. This meta-analysis also implicated the 5q11.1 locus in CBE risk. A total of 138 markers at this locus reached genome-wide significance in the meta-analysis, and the most significant marker (rs9291768) achieved a P value of 2.13 × 10-12. No other locus in the meta-analysis achieved genome-wide significance. We then performed murine expression analyses to follow up this finding. Here, Isl1 expression was detected in the genital region within the critical time frame for human CBE development. Genital regions with Isl1 expression included the peri-cloacal mesenchyme and the urorectal septum. The present study identified the first genome-wide significant locus for CBE at chromosomal region 5q11.1, and provides strong evidence for the hypothesis that ISL1 is the responsible candidate gene in this region.
    PLoS Genetics 03/2015; 11(3):e1005024. DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005024 · 8.17 Impact Factor