BMP4-dependent expression of Xenopus Grainyhead-like 1 is essential for epidermal differentiation.
ABSTRACT Morphogen-dependent epidermal-specific transacting factors have not been defined in vertebrates. We demonstrate that a member of the grainyhead transcription factor family, Grainyhead-like 1 (XGrhl1) is essential for ectodermal ontogeny in Xenopus laevis. Expression of this factor is restricted to epidermal cells. Moreover, XGrhl1 is regulated by the BMP4 signaling cascade. Disruption of XGrhl1 activity in vivo results in a severe defect in terminal epidermal differentiation, with inhibition of XK81A1 epidermal keratin gene expression, a key target of BMP4 signaling. Furthermore, transcription of the XK81A1 gene is modulated directly by binding of XGRHL1 to a promoter-localized binding motif that is essential for high-level expression. These results establish a novel developmental role for XGrhl1 as a crucial tissue-specific regulator of vertebrate epidermal differentiation.
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ABSTRACT: Barrett's esophagus is a preneoplastic metaplasia in which the normal squamous epithelium of the esophagus changes to an intestinal, columnar phenotype due to long-term gastro-esophageal reflux. The major components of this reflux are bile and stomach acid. Previous in vitro studies on the effect of bile and acid on esophageal cells have predominantly relied on transformed esophageal squamous cells or cancer cells grown in monolayer culture. In this study, we expanded our previous work using an immortalized primary esophageal squamous cell line (EPC1). We demonstrate that EPC1 cells form a multi-layer, stratified epithelium when grown on polyester transwell filters in media supplemented with calcium. When exposed to short pulses of bile and pH 5, but not either condition alone, EPC1 cells demonstrate a reduction in stratification layers and reduced expression of squamous epithelium-specific genes. Bile at pH 5 also causes activation of epidermal growth factor receptor and down-stream pathways. Blocking epidermal growth factor receptor activation partially attenuates the effects of bile acid and pH 5. These results suggest that bile at low pH, but not bile or low pH alone, promotes loss of differentiation status of stratified squamous esophageal epithelium in vitro, possibly by initiating a mucosal repair response through epidermal growth factor activation.Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 08/2013; · 2.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Many animals utilize maternal mRNAs to pre-pattern the embryo before the onset of zygotic transcription. In Xenopus laevis, vegetal factors specify the germ line, endoderm and dorsal axis, but there are few studies demonstrating roles for animal-enriched maternal mRNAs. Therefore, we carried out a microarray analysis to identify novel maternal transcripts enriched in 8-cell stage animal blastomeres. We identified 39 mRNAs isolated from 8-cell animal blastomeres that are >4-fold enriched compared to vegetal pole mRNAs. We characterized 14 of these that are of unknown function. We validated the microarray results for 8/14 genes by qRT-PCR and for 14/14 genes by in situ hybridization assays. Because no developmental functions are reported yet, we provide the expression patterns for each of the 14 genes. Each is expressed in the animal hemisphere of unfertilized eggs, 8-cell animal blastomeres, and diffusely in blastula animal cap ectoderm, gastrula ectoderm and neural ectoderm, neural crest (and derivatives) and cranial placodes (and derivatives). They have varying later expression in some mesodermal and endodermal tissues in tail bud through larval stages. Novel animal-enriched maternal mRNAs are preferentially expressed in ectodermal derivatives, particularly neural ectoderm. However, they are later expressed in derivatives of other germ layers. Developmental Dynamics, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Developmental Dynamics 10/2013; · 2.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Grainyhead family of transcription factors controls morphogenesis and differentiation of epithelial cell layers in multicellular organisms by regulating cell junction- and proliferation-related genes. Grainyhead-like 2 (Grhl2) is expressed in developing mouse lung epithelium and is required for normal lung organogenesis. The specific epithelial cells expressing Grhl2 and the genes regulated by Grhl2 in normal lungs are mostly unknown. In these studies, we identified the NK2 homeobox 1 transcription factor (Nkx2-1) as a direct transcriptional target of Grhl2. By binding and transcriptional assays, and by confocal microscopy we showed that these two transcription factors form a positive feed-back loop in vivo and in cell lines, and are co-expressed in lung bronchiolar and alveolar type II cells. The morphological changes observed in flattening lung alveolar type II cells in culture are associated with down-regulation of Grhl2 and Nkx2-1. Reduction of Grhl2 in lung epithelial cell lines results in lower expression levels of Nkx2-1 and of known Grhl2 target genes. By microarray analysis we identified that in addition to Cadherin1 and Claudin4, Grhl2 regulates other cell interaction genes such as semaphorins and their receptors, which also play a functional role in developing lung epithelium. Impaired collective cell migration observed in Grhl2 knockdown cell monolayers is associated with reduced expression of these genes and may contribute to the altered epithelial phenotype reported in Grhl2 mutant mice. Thus, Grhl2 functions at the nexus of a novel regulatory network, connecting lung epithelial cell identity, migration and cell-cell interactions.Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2012; · 4.60 Impact Factor