[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During early pancreatic development, Notch signaling represses differentiation of endocrine cells and promotes proliferation of Nkx6-1(+)Ptf1a(+) multipotent progenitor cells (MPCs). Later, antagonistic interactions between Nkx6 transcription factors and Ptf1a function to segregate MPCs into distal Nkx6-1(-)Ptf1a(+) acinar progenitors and proximal Nkx6-1(+)Ptf1a(-) duct and β-cell progenitors. Distal cells are initially multipotent, but evolve into unipotent, acinar cell progenitors. Conversely, proximal cells are bipotent and give rise to duct cells and late-born endocrine cells, including the insulin producing β-cells. However, signals that regulate proximodistal (P-D) patterning and thus formation of β-cell progenitors are unknown. Here we show that Mind bomb 1 (Mib1) is required for correct P-D patterning of the developing pancreas and β-cell formation. We found that endoderm-specific inactivation of Mib1 caused a loss of Nkx6-1(+)Ptf1a(-) and Hnf1β(+) cells and a corresponding loss of Neurog3(+) endocrine progenitors and β-cells. An accompanying increase in Nkx6-1(-)Ptf1a(+) and amylase(+) cells, occupying the proximal domain, suggests that proximal cells adopt a distal fate in the absence of Mib1 activity. Impeding Notch-mediated transcriptional activation by conditional expression of dominant negative Mastermind-like 1 (Maml1) resulted in a similarly distorted P-D patterning and suppressed β-cell formation, as did conditional inactivation of the Notch target gene Hes1. Our results reveal iterative use of Notch in pancreatic development to ensure correct P-D patterning and adequate β-cell formation.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2012; 109(19):7356-61. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurog3-induced Dll1 expression in pancreatic endocrine progenitors ostensibly activates Hes1 expression via Notch and thereby represses Neurog3 and endocrine differentiation in neighboring cells by lateral inhibition. Here we show in mouse that Dll1 and Hes1 expression deviate during regionalization of early endoderm, and later during early pancreas morphogenesis. At that time, Ptf1a activates Dll1 in multipotent pancreatic progenitor cells (MPCs), and Hes1 expression becomes Dll1 dependent over a brief time window. Moreover, Dll1, Hes1 and Dll1/Hes1 mutant phenotypes diverge during organ regionalization, become congruent at early bud stages, and then diverge again at late bud stages. Persistent pancreatic hypoplasia in Dll1 mutants after eliminating Neurog3 expression and endocrine development, together with reduced proliferation of MPCs in both Dll1 and Hes1 mutants, reveals that the hypoplasia is caused by a growth defect rather than by progenitor depletion. Unexpectedly, we find that Hes1 is required to sustain Ptf1a expression, and in turn Dll1 expression in early MPCs. Our results show that Ptf1a-induced Dll1 expression stimulates MPC proliferation and pancreatic growth by maintaining Hes1 expression and Ptf1a protein levels.
Development 11/2011; 139(1):33-45. · 6.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NEUROG3 plays a central role in the development of both pancreatic islets and enteroendocrine cells. Homozygous hypomorphic missense mutations in NEUROG3 have been recently associated with a rare form of congenital malabsorptive diarrhea secondary to enteroendocrine cell dysgenesis. Interestingly, the patients did not develop neonatal diabetes but childhood-onset diabetes. We hypothesized that null mutations in NEUROG3 might be responsible for the disease in a patient with permanent neonatal diabetes and severe congenital malabsorptive diarrhea.
The single coding exon of NEUROG3 was amplified and sequenced from genomic DNA. The mutant protein isoforms were functionally characterized by measuring their ability to bind to an E-box element in the NEUROD1 promoter in vitro and to induce ectopic endocrine cell formation and cell delamination after in ovo chicken endoderm electroporation.
Two different heterozygous point mutations in NEUROG3 were identified in the proband [c.82G>T (p.E28X) and c.404T>C (p.L135P)], each being inherited from an unaffected parent. Both in vitro and in vivo functional studies indicated that the mutant isoforms are biologically inactive. In keeping with this, no enteroendocrine cells were detected in intestinal biopsy samples from the patient.
Severe deficiency of neurogenin 3 causes a rare novel subtype of permanent neonatal diabetes. This finding confirms the essential role of NEUROG3 in islet development and function in humans.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fgf10 is a critical component of mesenchymal-to-epithelial signaling during endodermal development. In the Fgf10 null pancreas, the embryonic progenitor population fails to expand, while ectopic Fgf10 expression forces progenitor arrest and organ hyperplasia. Using a conditional Fgf10 gain-of-function model, we observed that the timing of Fgf10 expression affected the cellular competence of the arrested pancreatic progenitors. We present evidence that the Fgf10-arrested progenitor state is reversible and that terminal differentiation resumes upon cessation of Fgf10 production. However, competence towards the individual pancreatic cell lineages depended upon the gestational time of when Fgf10 expression was attenuated. This revealed a competence window of endocrine and ductal cell formation that coincided with the pancreatic secondary transition between E13.5 and E15.5. We demonstrate that maintaining the Fgf10-arrested state during this period leads to permanent loss of competence for the endocrine and ductal cell fates. However, competence of the arrested progenitors towards the exocrine cell fate was retained throughout the secondary transition. Sustained Fgf10 expression caused irreversible loss of Ngn3 expression, which may underlie the loss of endocrine competence. Maintenance of exocrine competence may be attributable to continuous Ptf1a expression in the Fgf10-arrested progenitors. This may explain the rapid induction of Bhlhb8, a normally distalized cell intrinsic marker, following loss of ectopic Fgf10 expression. We conclude that the window for endocrine and ductal cell competence ceases during the secondary transition in pancreatic development.
Mechanisms of development 12/2009; 127(3-4):220-34. · 2.83 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurog3 (Neurogenin 3 or Ngn3) is both necessary and sufficient to induce endocrine islet cell differentiation from embryonic pancreatic progenitors. Since robust Neurog3 expression has not been detected in hormone-expressing cells, Neurog3 is used as an endocrine progenitor marker and regarded as dispensable for the function of differentiated islet cells. Here we used 3 independent lines of Neurog3 knock-in reporter mice and mRNA/protein-based assays to examine Neurog3 expression in hormone-expressing islet cells. Neurog3 mRNA and protein are detected in hormone-producing cells at both embryonic and adult stages. Significantly, inactivating Neurog3 in insulin-expressing beta cells at embryonic stages or in Pdx1-expressing islet cells in adults impairs endocrine function, a phenotype that is accompanied by reduced expression of several Neurog3 target genes that are essential for islet cell differentiation, maturation, and function. These findings demonstrate that Neurog3 is required not only for initiating endocrine cell differentiation, but also for promoting islet cell maturation and maintaining islet function.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2009; 106(24):9715-20. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The helix-loop-helix transcription factor NeuroD1 (also known as Beta2) is involved in beta-cell survival during development and insulin gene transcription in adults. Here we show NeuroD1 is primarily cytoplasmic at non-stimulating glucose concentrations (i.e. 3 mM) in MIN6 beta-cells and nuclear under stimulating conditions (i.e. 20 mM). Quantification revealed that NeuroD1 was in 40-45% of the nuclei at 3 mM and 80-90% at 20 mM. Treatment with the MEK inhibitor PD98059 or substitution of a serine for an alanine at a potential mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation site (S274) in NeuroD1 significantly increased the cytoplasmic level at 20 mM glucose. The rise in NeuroD1-mediated transcription in response to glucose also correlated with the change in sub-cellular localization, a response attenuated by PD98059. The data strongly suggest that glucose-stimulation of the MEK-ERK signalling pathway influences NeuroD1 activity at least partially through effects on sub-cellular localization.