Shinya Oki

Kyushu University, Hukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan

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Publications (13)43.68 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The transcription factor Pitx2c is expressed in primordial visceral organs in a left-right (L-R) asymmetric manner and executes situs-specific morphogenesis. Here we show that Pitx2c is also L-R asymmetrically expressed in the developing mouse limb. Human PITX2c exhibits the same transcriptional activity in the mouse limb. The asymmetric expression of Pitx2c in the limb also exhibits dorsal-ventral and anterior-posterior polarities, being confined to the posterior-dorsal region of the left limb. Left-sided Pitx2c expression in the limb is regulated by Nodal signaling through a Nodal-responsive enhancer. Pitx2c is expressed in lateral plate mesoderm (LPM)–derived cells in the left limb that contribute to various limb connective tissues. The number of Pitx2c+ cells in the left limb was found to be negatively regulated by Pitx2c itself. Although obvious defects were not apparent in the limb of mice lacking asymmetric Pitx2c expression, Pitx2c may regulate functional L-R asymmetry of the limb.
    Developmental Biology 11/2014; 395(2). DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.09.002 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Raw data from ChIP-seq (chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with massively parallel DNA sequencing) experiments are deposited in public databases as SRAs (Sequence Read Archives) that are publically available to all researchers. However, to graphically visualize ChIP-seq data of interest, the corresponding SRAs must be downloaded and converted into BigWig format, a process that involves complicated command-line processing. This task requires users to possess skill with script languages and sequence data processing, a requirement that prevents a wide range of biologists from exploiting SRAs. To address these challenges, we developed SraTailor, a GUI (Graphical User Interface) software package that automatically converts an SRA into a BigWig-formatted file. Simplicity of use is one of the most notable features of SraTailor: entering an accession number of an SRA and clicking the mouse are the only steps required to obtain BigWig-formatted files and to graphically visualize the extents of reads at given loci. SraTailor is also able to make peak calls, generate files of other formats, process users' own data, and accept various command-line-like options. Therefore, this software makes ChIP-seq data fully exploitable by a wide range of biologists. SraTailor is freely available at, and runs on both Mac and Windows machines.
    Genes to Cells 10/2014; DOI:10.1111/gtc.12190 · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The node triggers formation of the left-right axis in mouse embryos by establishing local asymmetry of Nodal and Cerl2 expression. We found that Wnt3 is expressed in perinodal crown cells preferentially on the left side. The enhancer responsible for Wnt3 expression was identified and found to be regulated by Foxa2 and Rbpj under the control of Notch signaling. Rbpj binding sites suppress enhancer activity in pit cells of the node, thereby ensuring crown cell-specific expression. In addition, we found that the expression of Gdf1 and Cerl2 is also regulated by Notch signaling, suggesting that such signaling may induce the expression of genes related to left-right asymmetry as a set. Furthermore, Cerl2 expression became symmetric in response to inhibition of Wnt-β-catenin signaling. Our results suggest that Wnt signaling regulates the asymmetry of Cerl2 expression, which likely generates a left-right difference in Nodal activity at the node for further amplification in lateral plate mesoderm.
    Developmental Biology 05/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.05.011 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) are primed pluripotent stem cells and can be derived from postimplantation mouse embryos. We now show that the absence of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling is essential for maintenance of the undifferentiated state in mouse EpiSCs and in the epiblast of mouse embryos. Attenuation of Wnt signaling with the small-molecule inhibitor XAV939 or deletion of the β-catenin gene blocked spontaneous differentiation of EpiSCs toward mesoderm and enhanced the expression of pluripotency factor genes, allowing propagation of EpiSCs as a homogeneous population. EpiSCs were efficiently established and propagated from single epiblast cells in the presence of both XAV939 and the Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibitor Y27632. Cell transplantation revealed that EpiSCs were able to contribute to primordial germ cells and descendants of all three germ layers in a host embryo, suggesting that they maintained pluripotency, even after prolonged culture with XAV939. Such an improvement in the homogeneity of pluripotency achieved with the use of a Wnt inhibitor should prove advantageous for manipulation of primed pluripotent stem cells.
    PLoS ONE 05/2013; 8(5):e63378. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0063378 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The origins of liver progenitor cells have been extensively studied, but evidence on the origin of pancreatic precursor cells is currently limited. Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox gene 1 (Pdx1) is one of the earliest known markers for the pancreas. A transgenic mouse line expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of the Pdx1 promoter showed that Pdx1/GFP expression was first observed in the mid-region of the anterior intestinal portal (AIP) lip at embryonic day (E) 8.5 at the 5-6 somite stage (ss). The liver progenitors were confirmed to originate from separate domains at the lateral endoderm and the inner part of the medial AIP as previously reported (Tremblay and Zaret, 2005), which turned out to lie caudally to the Pdx1/GFP-expressing domain. To confirm if the early Pdx1/GFP-positive cells give rise to the pancreatic bud, we labeled the cells on the lip of the AIP using the carbocyanine dye CM-DiI and traced their fates in 1-4 ss, 5-6 ss and 7-9 ss E8.5 embryos using an ex utero whole embryo culture method. At 1 ss, the ventral pancreas progenitors were observed in the lateral endoderm, not yet being segregated from the liver or gut progenitors. Cells that contributed solely to the ventral pancreas first appeared at the AIP lip from 5 ss. At 5-6 ss, cells from the medial of the AIP lip contributed to the ventral pancreas. The pancreas fate region become narrower as development progresses. At 7-9 ss, the cells contributing to the ventral pancreas resided in a narrow region of the AIP lip. From 5 ss, the right flanking region contributes to the posterior gut, and the left flanking region contributes to the anterior gut. Dorsal pancreatic progenitors originate from the dorsal endoderm at the 3-6 somite level at 7-9 ss, though they have not yet diverged from the dorsal gut progenitors at this stage.
    Mechanisms of development 01/2012; 128(11-12):597-609. DOI:10.1016/j.mod.2011.12.004 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mouse inner ear develops from a simple epithelial pouch, the otocyst, with the dorsal and ventral portions giving rise to the vestibule and cochlea, respectively. The otocyst undergoes a morphological change to generate flattened saclike structures, known as outpocketings, in the dorsal and lateral regions. The semicircular canals of the vestibule form from the periphery of the outpocketings, with the central region (the fusion plate) undergoing de-epithelialization and disappearing. However, little is known of the mechanism that orchestrates formation of the semicircular canals. We now show that the area of canonical Wnt signaling changes dynamically in the dorsal otocyst during its morphogenesis. The genes for several Wnt ligands were found to be expressed in the dorsal otocyst according to specific patterns, whereas those for secreted inhibitors of Wnt ligands were expressed exclusively in the ventral otocyst. With the use of whole-embryo culture in combination with potent modulators of canonical Wnt signaling, we found that forced persistence of such signaling resulted in impaired formation both of the lateral outpocketing and of the fusion plates of the dorsal outpocketing. Canonical Wnt signaling was found to suppress Netrin1 expression and to preserve the integrity of the outpocketing epithelium. In addition, inhibition of canonical Wnt signaling reduced the size of the otocyst, likely through suppression of cell proliferation and promotion of apoptosis. Our stage-specific functional analysis suggests that strict regulation of canonical Wnt signaling in the dorsal otocyst orchestrates the process of semicircular canal formation.
    Developmental Biology 12/2011; 362(1):83-93. DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.11.019 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fgf signaling plays pivotal roles in mouse gastrulation and left-right axis formation. However, although genetic analyses have revealed important aspects of Fgf signaling in these processes, the temporal resolution of genetic studies is low. Here, we combined whole-embryo culture with application of chemical compounds to inhibit Fgf signaling at specific time points. We found that sodium chlorate and PD173074 are potent inhibitors of Fgf signaling in early mouse embryos. Fgf signaling is required for the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of the primitive streak before the onset of gastrulation. Once gastrulation begins, Fgf signaling specifies mesodermal fates via the Ras/MAPK downstream cascade. Finally, Fgf signaling on the posterior side of the embryo during gastrulation induces Nodal expression in the node via Tbx6-Dll1, the initial event required for Nodal expression in the left lateral plate mesoderm.
    Developmental Dynamics 06/2010; 239(6):1768-78. DOI:10.1002/dvdy.22282 · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The node at the anterior tip of the primitive streak serves as an initial generator of the left-right (L-R) axis in mammalian embryos. We now show that a small disturbance in molecular signaling at the node is responsible for the L-R reversal of visceral organs in the inv mutant mouse. In the node of wild-type embryos, the expression of Nodal and Cerl2 (Dand5), which encodes an inhibitor of Nodal, is asymmetric, with the level of Nodal expression being higher on the left side and that of Cerl2 expression higher on the right. In inv/inv embryos, however, a localized reduction in the level of Cerl2 expression results in upregulation of the Nodal signal and a consequent induction of Lefty expression in the node. The ectopic expression of Lefty1 delays the onset of Nodal expression in the lateral plate mesoderm. L-R asymmetry of Cerl2 expression in the node also becomes reversed in a manner dependent on the Nodal signal. Nodal expression in the lateral plate mesoderm then appears on the right side, probably reflecting the balance between Nodal and Cerl2 in the node. The inhibition of Cerl2 expression by the Nodal signal suggests a mechanism for amplification of the cue for L-R asymmetry provided by nodal flow and for stabilization of asymmetric gene expression around the node. In inv/inv embryos, this system may function in reverse as a result of ectopic production of Lefty, which inhibits the Nodal signal on the left side in a manner dependent on leftward nodal flow.
    Development 12/2009; 136(23):3917-25. DOI:10.1242/dev.039305 · 6.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Situs-specific organogenesis in the mouse results from leftward fluid flow in the node cavity and subsequent left-sided expression of Nodal in the lateral plate mesoderm (LPM). Nodal expression at the node is essential for the subsequent asymmetric Nodal expression in the left LPM, but the precise role of Nodal produced at the node has remained unknown. We have now investigated how the Nodal signal is transferred from the node to the LPM. Externally supplied Nodal protein failed to signal to the LPM, suggesting that the Nodal signal is transferred to the LPM via an internal route rather than an external one. Transgenic rescue experiments showed that the Nodal co-receptor Cryptic (Cfc1) is required only in the LPM, not at the node, for asymmetric Nodal expression in the LPM, indicating that the Nodal signal is not relayed indirectly between the node and LPM. Nodal interacts in vitro with sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are specifically localized to the basement membrane-like structure between the node and LPM in the mouse embryo. Inhibition of sulfated GAG biosynthesis prevents Nodal expression in the LPM. These data suggest that Nodal produced at the node might travel directly to the LPM via interaction with sulfated GAGs.
    Development 12/2007; 134(21):3893-904. DOI:10.1242/dev.009464 · 6.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Asymmetric expression of Nodal in the lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) plays the major role in left-right (L-R) patterning. A Nodal-responsive enhancer located in the intron 1 (ASE) regulates asymmetric Nodal expression, but it is unknown how Nodal expression is initiated in the left LPM. Here, we have identified a second asymmetric enhancer (left side-specific enhancer, LSE) in the upstream region of mouse Nodal gene. LSE is also located in the corresponding region of human NODAL. L-R specificity of LSE is affected by iv and inv mutations. The requirement of a conserved FoxH1-binding sequence for LSE activity and the dependence of LSE activity on Nodal coreceptor Cryptic indicate that LSE is activated by Nodal signal. However, the mutant mouse lacking LSE does not show obvious L-R patterning defects. These results suggest that Nodal expression in the left LPM is induced by a combination of two Nodal-responsive autoregulatory enhancers, ASE and LSE.
    Developmental Dynamics 04/2005; 232(4):1031-6. DOI:10.1002/dvdy.20192 · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Initial determination of left-right (L-R) polarity in mammalian embryos takes place in the node. However, it is not known how asymmetric signals are generated in the node and transferred to the lateral plate mesoderm (LPM). Mice homozygous for a hypomorphic Nodal allele (Nodal(neo)) were generated and found to exhibit L-R defects, including right isomerism. Although the mutant embryos express Nodal at gastrulation stages, the subsequent expression of this gene in the node and left LPM is lost. A transgene that conferred Nodal expression specifically in the node rescued the L-R defects of the Nodal(neo/neo) embryos. Conversely, ectopic expression of the Nodal inhibitor Lefty2 in the node of Nodal(neo/+) embryos resulted in a phenotype similar to that of the Nodal(neo/neo) mutant. These results indicate that Nodal produced in the node is required for expression of Nodal and other left side-specific genes in the LPM.
    Developmental Biology 05/2003; 256(1):160-72. DOI:10.1016/S0012-1606(02)00121-5 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two well-characterized and phylogenetically diverse species, Escherichiacoli and Dictyostelium discoideum, were used as the modelorganisms. When the two species were mixed and allowed to grow onminimal agar plates at 22 (°)C, instead of the predator Dictyostelium exterminating E.coli, the two species remarkablyachieved a state of stable coexistence in about two weeks. In addition, theemerged colonies housing the coexisting species have a mucoidal naturethat is distinctive from its origin. The simplicity of the system and the shorttime span for the two species to develop the coexistence state, that isproven stable and reproducible on laboratory conditions, hence, providesa new model system for the study of symbiosis, particularly with referenceto the initial stages.
    Journal of Biological Physics 12/2002; 28(4):793-7. DOI:10.1023/A:1021263427826 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two well-characterized and phylogeneticaly different species, Escherichia coli and Dictyostelium discoideum, were used as the model organisms. When the two species were mixed and allowed to grow on minimal agar plates at 22 degrees C, remarkably, the two species achieved a state of coexistence at an average of 2-4 weeks. In addition, the emerged colonies housing the coexisting species had a mucoidal nature that was not observed from its origin. Moreover, the state of coexistence was confirmed to be stable, and so was the mucoidal nature of the emerged colonies. Comparing with the pure E. coli origin, the mucoidal colony showed a significant increase in higher molecular weight extracellular components, with polysaccharides as the major constituent. Qualitative analysis of the monosaccharide contents in the extracellular components of the mucoidal colony revealed not only a significant increase in the glucose content, but also significant amount of additional xylose and galactose. The system permits the initial stages of the development of relationship between two species be captured within a short period of time. This feature, together with being simple and reproducible in laboratory conditions, provides a new model system for the study of symbiosis, especially when initial stages are concerned.
    Biosystems 03/2002; 65(2-3):105-12. DOI:10.1016/S0303-2647(02)00006-0 · 1.47 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

244 Citations
43.68 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2014
    • Kyushu University
      • Graduate School of Medical Sciences
      Hukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan
  • 2002–2014
    • Osaka University
      • • Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences
      • • Department of Biotechnology
      Suika, Ōsaka, Japan
  • 2007
    • Columbia University
      • Department of Genetics and Development
      New York, New York, United States