[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hematopoiesis is precisely orchestrated by lineage-specific DNA-binding proteins that regulate transcription in concert with coactivators and corepressors. Mutations in the zebrafish moonshine (mon) gene specifically disrupt both embryonic and adult hematopoiesis, resulting in severe red blood cell aplasia. We report that mon encodes the zebrafish ortholog of mammalian transcriptional intermediary factor 1gamma (TIF1gamma) (or TRIM33), a member of the TIF1 family of coactivators and corepressors. During development, hematopoietic progenitor cells in mon mutants fail to express normal levels of hematopoietic transcription factors, including gata1, and undergo apoptosis. Three different mon mutant alleles each encode premature stop codons, and enforced expression of wild-type tif1gamma mRNA rescues embryonic hematopoiesis in homozygous mon mutants. Surprisingly, a high level of zygotic tif1gamma mRNA expression delineates ventral mesoderm during hematopoietic stem cell and progenitor formation prior to gata1 expression. Transplantation studies reveal that tif1gamma functions in a cell-autonomous manner during the differentiation of erythroid precursors. Studies in murine erythroid cell lines demonstrate that Tif1gamma protein is localized within novel nuclear foci, and expression decreases during erythroid cell maturation. Our results establish a major role for this transcriptional intermediary factor in the differentiation of hematopoietic cells in vertebrates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vertebrate hematopoiesis occurs in two distinct phases, primitive (embryonic) and definitive (adult). Genes that are required specifically for the definitive program, or for both phases of hematopoiesis, have been described. However, a specific regulator of primitive hematopoiesis has yet to be reported. The zebrafish bloodless (bls) mutation causes absence of embryonic erythrocytes in a dominant but incompletely penetrant manner. Primitive macrophages appear to develop normally in bls mutants. Although the thymic epithelium forms normally in bls mutants, lymphoid precursors are absent. Nonetheless, the bloodless mutants can progress through embryogenesis, where red cells begin to accumulate after 5 days post-fertilization (dpf). Lymphocytes also begin to populate the thymic organs by 7.5 dpf. Expression analysis of hematopoietic genes suggests that formation of primitive hematopoietic precursors is deficient in bls mutants and those few blood precursors that are specified fail to differentiate and undergo apoptosis. Overexpression of scl, but not bmp4 or gata1, can lead to partial rescue of embryonic blood cells in bls. Cell transplantation experiments show that cells derived from bls mutant donors can differentiate into blood cells in a wild-type host, but wild-type donor cells fail to form blood in the mutant host. These observations demonstrate that the bls gene product is uniquely required in a non-cell autonomous manner for primitive hematopoiesis, potentially acting via regulation of scl.
Development 03/2002; 129(3):649-59. · 6.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Selenoprotein P is a protein of considerable intrigue, due to its unusual composition and requirements for its biosynthesis. Whereas most selenoproteins contain a single selenocysteine residue, the human, bovine and rodent selenoprotein P genes encode proteins containing 10-12 selenocysteines. Selenoprotein P genes have, to date, only been reported in mammals, and the function of the protein remains elusive.
Herein, we report the identification and characterization of nonmammalian selenoprotein P in the zebrafish Danio rerio. Sequencing of the cDNA revealed the presence of 17 selenocysteine codons, the highest number reported in any protein. Two histidine-rich regions present in the mammalian selenoprotein P sequences are conserved in the zebrafish protein, and two SECIS elements are present in the 3' untranslated region. Whole-mount in situ hybridization of zebrafish embryos revealed high levels of expression of selenoprotein P mRNA in fertilized eggs and in the yolk sac of developing embryos. Transient transfection of the cDNA in mammalian cells resulted in efficient expression of the full-length secreted selenoprotein. A single N-glycosylation site is predicted, and shown to be utilized.
Discovery of selenoprotein P in the zebrafish opens a previously unavailable avenue for genetic investigation of the functions of this unusual protein.
Genes to Cells 12/2000; 5(11):897-903. · 2.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In vertebrates, hematopoietic and vascular progenitors develop from ventral mesoderm. The first primitive wave of hematopoiesis yields embryonic red blood cells, whereas progenitor cells of subsequent definitive waves form all hematopoietic cell lineages. In this report we examine the development of hematopoietic and vasculogenic cells in normal zebrafish and characterize defects inclocheandspadetailmutant embryos. The zebrafish homologs oflmo2, c-myb, fli1, flk1, andflt4have been cloned and characterized in this study. Expression of these genes identifies embryonic regions that contain hematopoietic and vascular progenitor cells. The expression ofc-mybalso identifies definitive hematopoietic cells in the ventral wall of the dorsal aorta. Analysis ofb316mutant embryos that carry a deletion of thec-mybgene demonstrates thatc-mybis not required for primitive erythropoiesis in zebrafish even though it is expressed in these cells. Bothclocheandspadetailmutant embryos have defects in primitive hematopoiesis and definitive hematopoiesis. Theclochemutants also have significant decreases in vascular gene expression, whereasspadetailmutants expressed normal levels of these genes. These studies demonstrate that the molecular mechanisms that regulate hematopoiesis and vasculogenesis have been conserved throughout vertebrate evolution and thecloandsptgenes are key regulators of these programs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In chordate phylogeny, changes in the nervous system, jaws, and appendages transformed meek filter feeders into fearsome predators. Gene duplication is thought to promote such innovation. Vertebrate ancestors probably had single copies of genes now found in multiple copies in vertebrates and gene maps suggest that this occurred by polyploidization. It has been suggested that one genome duplication event occurred before, and one after the divergence of ray-finned and lobe-finned fishes. Holland et al., however, have argued that because various vertebrates have several HOX clusters, two rounds of duplication occurred before the origin of jawed fishes. Such gene-number data, however, do not distinguish between tandem duplications and polyploidization events, nor whether independent duplications occurred in different lineages. To investigate these matters, we mapped 144 zebrafish genes and compared the resulting map with mammalian maps. Comparison revealed large conserved chromosome segments. Because duplicated chromosome segments in zebrafish often correspond with specific chromosome segments in mammals, it is likely that two polyploidization events occurred prior to the divergence of fish and mammal lineages. This zebrafish gene map will facilitate molecular identification of mutated zebrafish genes, which can suggest functions for human genes known only by sequence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Integrins containing the alpha2 and alpha3 subunits associate with the beta1 subunit to form distinct receptors with partially overlapping adhesive specificities. We report the cloning and sequence of cDNAs that encode the Xenopus orthologues of integrins alpha2 and alpha3 and the expression of these subunits during embryogenesis. Integrin alpha2 and alpha3 mRNAs are first expressed in the dorsal mesoderm and developing notochord at gastrulation. We also show that alpha3 mRNAs are expressed in the entire marginal zone of gastrulae dorsalized with LiCl but that this localization is lost in embryos ventralized by ultraviolet light. Immunoblots reveal that the alpha3 protein is expressed throughout early development, however, the alpha2 protein is not detected until late tailbud stages. Injection of full-length alpha3 transcripts into the animal poles of fertilized eggs results in embryonic defects in paraxial mesoderm attributed to the failure of somites to form segments. Injection of the alpha3 transcripts into the vegetal pole and overexpression of a 5'-truncated alpha3 control construct have no apparent affect on development or somite formation. These data suggest that normal position-specific expression of integrins is important in maintaining the proper organization of tissues during early amphibian morphogenesis.
Mechanisms of Development 11/1997; 67(2):141-55. · 2.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Integrins containing the α2 and α3 subunits associate with the β1 subunit to form distinct receptors with partially overlapping adhesive specificities. We report the cloning and sequence of cDNAs that encode the Xenopus orthologues of integrins α2 and α3 and the expression of these subunits during embryogenesis. Integrin α2 and α3 mRNAs are first expressed in the dorsal mesoderm and developing notochord at gastrulation. We also show that α3 mRNAs are expressed in the entire marginal zone of gastrulae dorsalized with LiCl but that this localization is lost in embryos ventralized by ultraviolet light. Immunoblots reveal that the α3 protein is expressed throughout early development, however, the α2 protein is not detected until late tailbud stages. Injection of full-length α3 transcripts into the animal poles of fertilized eggs results in embryonic defects in paraxial mesoderm attributed to the failure of somites to form segments. Injection of the α3 transcripts into the vegetal pole and overexpression of a 5′-truncated α3 control construct have no apparent affect on development or somite formation. These data suggest that normal position-specific expression of integrins is important in maintaining the proper organization of tissues during early amphibian morphogenesis.
Mechanisms of Development 10/1997; · 2.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As part of a large scale chemical mutagenesis screen of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) genome, we have identified 33 mutants with defects in hematopoiesis. Complementation analysis placed 32 of these mutants into 17 complementation groups. The allelism of the remaining 1 blood mutant is currently unresolved. We have categorized these blood mutants into four phenotypic classes based on analyses of whole embryos and isolated blood cells, as well as by in situ hybridization using the hematopoietic transcription factors GATA-1 and GATA-2. Embryos mutant for the gene moonshine have few if any proerythroblasts visible on the day circulation begins and normal erythroid cell differentiation is blocked as determined by staining for hemoglobin and GATA-1 expression. Mutations in five genes, chablis, frascati, merlot, retsina, thunderbird and two possibly unique mutations cause a progressive decrease in the number of blood cells during the first 5 days of development. Mutations in another seven genes, chardonnay, chianti, grenache, sauternes, weiflherbst and zinfandel, and two additional mutations result in hypochromic blood cells which also decrease in number as development proceeds. Several of these mutants have immature cells in the circulation, indicating a block in normal erythroid development. The mutation in zinfandel is dominant, and 2-day old heterozygous carriers fail to express detectable levels of hemoglobin and have decreasing numbers of circulating cells during the first 5 days of development. Mutations in two genes, freixenet and yquem, result in the animals that are photosensitive with autofluorescent blood, similar to that found in the human congenital porphyrias. The collection of mutants presented here represent several steps required for normal erythropoiesis. The analysis of these mutants provides a powerful approach towards defining the molecular mechanisms involved in vertebrate hematopoietic development.
Development 01/1997; 123:311-9. · 6.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vertebrate hematopoietic stem cells are derived from vental mesoderm, which is postulated to migrate to both extra- and intraembryonic positions during gastrula and neurula stages. Extraembryonic migration has previously been documented, but the origin and migration of intraembryonic hematopoietic cells have not been visualized. The zebrafish and most other teleosts do not form yolk sac blood islands during early embryogenesis, but instead hematopoiesis occurs solely in a dorsal location known as the intermediate cell mass (IM) or Oellacher. In this report, we have isolated cDNAs encoding zebrafish homologs of the hematopoietic transcription factors GATA-1 and GATA-2 and have used these markers to determine that the IM is formed from mesodermal cells in a posterior-lateral position on the yolk syncytial layer of the gastrula yolk sac. Surprisingly, cells of the IM then migrate anteriorly through most of the body length prior to the onset of active circulation and exit onto the yolk sac. These findings support a hypothesis in which the hematopoietic program of vertebrates is established by variations in homologous migration pathways of extra- and intraembryonic progenitors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/1995; 92(23):10713-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During embryogenesis cells modulate their adhesion to other cells and the surrounding extracellular matrix, in part, through the combination of integrins they express. In order to identify integrins that may mediate morphogenetic cell movements in the early Xenopus embryo, we have used polymerase chain reaction methods to isolate cDNAs encoding Xenopus integrin beta subunits. Based on deduced amino acid sequence, they are identified as homologs of human integrins beta 1, beta 2, beta 3 and beta 6. We also report the cloning and sequencing of cDNAs covering the complete coding region of Xenopus beta 3. Embryonic patterns of expression for these integrin beta subunit mRNAs have been examined both by RNase protection analysis and by whole mount in situ hybridization. In the early embryo the beta 1 subunit is encoded by a maternally transcribed mRNA expressed in all cells, but is most abundant in ectoderm and mesoderm. In contrast, Xenopus beta 3 mRNA is detected in the epidermis, bottle cells of the neural groove, and a subset of cells arising from the ventral blood islands. The beta 2 and beta 6 mRNAs are expressed at high levels in late tailbud stages, although very low levels of beta 6 are also detected in eggs and early embryos. These data provide evidence that multiple integrins are expressed at the earliest stages of vertebrate development coincident with the onset of morphogenesis.