[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During development of left-right asymmetry in the vertebrate embryo, Nodal plays a central role for determination of left-handedness. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling has an important role for regulation of Nodal expression, although there is controversy over whether BMP signaling has a positive or negative effect on Nodal expression in the chick embryo. As BMP is a morphogen, we speculated that different concentrations might induce different responses in the cells of the lateral plate mesoderm (LPM). To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the effects of various concentrations of BMP4 and NOGGIN on Nodal expression in the LPM. We found that the effect on Nodal expression varied in a complex fashion with the concentration of BMP. In agreement with previous reports, we found that a high level of BMP signaling induced Nodal expression in the LPM, whereas a low level inhibited expression. However, a high intermediate level of BMP signaling was found to suppress Nodal expression in the left LPM, whereas a low intermediate level induced Nodal expression in the right LPM. Thus, the high and the low intermediate levels of BMP signaling up-regulated Nodal expression, but the high intermediate and low levels of BMP signaling down-regulated Nodal expression. Next, we sought to identify the mechanisms of this complex regulation of Nodal expression by BMP signaling. At the low intermediate level of BMP signaling, regulation depended on a NODAL positive-feedback loop suggesting the possibility of crosstalk between BMP and NODAL signaling. Overexpression of a constitutively active BMP receptor, a constitutively active ACTIVIN/NODAL receptor and SMAD4 indicated that SMAD1 and SMAD2 competed for binding to SMAD4 in the cells of the LPM. Nodal regulation by the high and low levels of BMP signaling was dependent on Cfc up-regulation or down-regulation, respectively. We propose a model for the variable effects of BMP signaling on Nodal expression in which different levels of BMP signaling regulate Nodal expression by a balance between BMP-pSMAD1/4 signaling and NODAL-pSMAD2/4 signaling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During left-right (L-R) axis formation, Nodal is expressed in the node and has a central role in the transfer of L-R information in the vertebrate embryo. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling also has an important role for maintenance of gene expression around the node. Several members of the Cerberus/Dan family act on L-R patterning by regulating activity of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family. We demonstrate here that chicken Dan plays a critical role in L-R axis formation. Chicken Dan is expressed in the left side of the node shortly after left-handed Shh expression and before the appearance of asymmetrically expressed genes in the lateral plate mesoderm (LPM). In vitro experiments revealed that DAN inhibited BMP signaling but not NODAL signaling. SHH had a positive regulatory effect on Dan expression while BMP4 had a negative effect. Using overexpression and RNA interference-mediated knockdown strategies, we demonstrate that Dan is indispensable for Nodal expression in the LPM and for Lefty-1 expression in the notochord. In the perinodal region, expression of Dan and Nodal was independent of each other. Nodal up-regulation by DAN required NODAL signaling, suggesting that DAN might act synergistically with NODAL. Our data indicate that Dan plays an essential role in the establishment of the L-R axis by inhibiting BMP signaling around the node.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The epithelial ureteric bud is critical for mammalian kidney development as it generates the ureter and the collecting duct system that induces nephrogenesis in dicrete locations in the kidney mesenchyme during its emergence. We show that a secreted Bmp antagonist Cerberus homologue (Cer1) fine tunes the organization of the ureteric tree during organogenesis in the mouse embryo. Both enhanced ureteric expression of Cer1 and Cer1 knock out enlarge kidney size, and these changes are associated with an altered three-dimensional structure of the ureteric tree as revealed by optical projection tomography. Enhanced Cer1 expression changes the ureteric bud branching programme so that more trifid and lateral branches rather than bifid ones develop, as seen in time-lapse organ culture. These changes may be the reasons for the modified spatial arrangement of the ureteric tree in the kidneys of Cer1+ embryos. Cer1 gain of function is associated with moderately elevated expression of Gdnf and Wnt11, which is also induced in the case of Cer1 deficiency, where Bmp4 expression is reduced, indicating the dependence of Bmp expression on Cer1. Cer1 binds at least Bmp2/4 and antagonizes Bmp signalling in cell culture. In line with this, supplementation of Bmp4 restored the ureteric bud tip number, which was reduced by Cer1+ to bring it closer to the normal, consistent with models suggesting that Bmp signalling inhibits ureteric bud development. Genetic reduction of Wnt11 inhibited the Cer1-stimulated kidney development, but Cer1 did not influence Wnt11 signalling in cell culture, although it did inhibit the Wnt3a-induced canonical Top Flash reporter to some extent. We conclude that Cer1 fine tunes the spatial organization of the ureteric tree by coordinating the activities of the growth-promoting ureteric bud signals Gndf and Wnt11 via Bmp-mediated antagonism and to some degree via the canonical Wnt signalling involved in branching.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(11):e27676. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angiopoietin-like proteins (ANGPTLs) are secreted proteins possessing an amino-terminal coiled-coil domain and a carboxyl-terminal fibrinogen-like domain and are known as angiogenic factors. Several members of ANGPTLs also regulate lipid metabolism independently of angiogenic effects, but most of their functions during vertebrate development are not demonstrated. To ascertain their developmental functions, we examined the expression patterns of Angptl1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 orthologues during chick development using whole-mount in situ hybridization. Angptl1 was first detected at embryonic day 3 (E3) in the somite. At E4, Angptl1 was expressed in somite-derivatives and limb mesenchyme. Angptl2 was first detected at E3 in the hindbrain. At E4, Angptl2 was expressed in neuroepithelium of forebrain and hindbrain and partly in the heart. Angptl3 was first detected at E3 and continued to be expressed in the liver and yolk sac at E4. Angptl4 was first detected at E3 in the somites and liver. At E4, Angptl4 was also observed in the heart. Angptl5 was not detected in these developmental stages. Angptl7 was first detected at E3 in the ectoderm overlying the lenses of the eyes. At E4, Angptl7 was specifically expressed in cornea. These data suggest that each member of the ANGPTL family could be related to angiogenesis during various organogeneses of the developing chick embryo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intrahepatic bile ducts (IHBDs) are indispensable for transporting bile secreted from hepatocytes to the hepatic duct. The biliary epithelial cells (BECs) of the IHBD arise from bipotent hepatoblasts around the portal vein, suggesting the portal mesenchyme is essential for their development. However, except for Notch or Activin/TGF-beta signaling molecules, it is not known which molecules regulate IHBD development. Here, we found that FGF receptors and BMP4 are specifically expressed in the developing IHBD and the hepatic mesenchyme, respectively. Using a mesenchyme-free culture of liver bud, we showed that bFGF and FGF7 induce the hepatoblasts to differentiate into BECs, and that BMP4 enhances bFGF-induced BEC differentiation. The extracellular matrix (ECM) components in the hepatic mesenchyme induced BEC differentiation. Forced expression of a constitutively active form of the FGF receptor partially induced BEC differentiation markers in vivo. These data strongly suggest that bFGF and FGF7 promote BEC differentiation cooperatively with BMP4 and ECMs in vivo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During chick liver development, the liver bud arises from the foregut, invaginates into the septum transversum, and elongates along and envelops the ductus venosus. However, the mechanism of liver bud migration is only poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that a GDNF family ligand involved in neuronal outgrowth and migration, neurturin (NRTN), and its receptor, GFRalpha2, are essential for liver bud migration. In the chick embryo, we found that GFRalpha2 was expressed in the liver bud and that NRTN was expressed in the endothelial cells of the ductus venosus. Inhibition of GFRalpha2 signaling suppressed liver bud elongation along the ductus venous without affecting cell proliferation and apoptosis. Moreover, ectopic expression of NRTN perturbed the directional migration along the ductus venosus, leading to splitting or ectopic branching of the liver. We showed that liver buds selectively migrated toward an NRTN-soaked bead in vitro. These data represent a new model for liver bud migration: NRTN secreted from endothelial cells functions as a chemoattractant to direct the migration of the GFRalpha2-expressing liver bud in early liver development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During vertebrate inner ear development, compartmentalization of the auditory and vestibular apparatuses along two axes depends on the patterning of transcription factors expressed in a region-specific manner. Although most of the patterning is regulated by extrinsic signals, it is not known how Nkx5.1 and Msx1 are patterned. We focus on Dan, the founding member of the Cerberus/Dan gene family that encodes BMP antagonists, and describe its function in morphogenesis and patterning. First, we confirmed that Dan is expressed in the dorso-medial region of the otic vesicle that corresponds to the presumptive endolymphatic duct and sac (ed/es). Second, we used siRNA knockdown to demonstrate that depletion of Dan induced both a severe reduction in the size of the ed/es and moderate deformities of the semicircular canals and cochlear duct. Depletion of Dan also caused suppression of Nkx5.1 in the dorso-lateral region, suppression of Msx1 in the dorso-medial region, and ectopic induction of Nkx5.1 and Msx1 in the ventro-medial region. Most of these phenotypes also appeared following misexpression of the constitutively active form of BMP receptor type Ib. Thus, Dan is required for the normal morphogenesis of the inner ear and, by inhibiting BMP signaling, for the patterning of the transcription factors Nkx5.1 and Msx1.