Maximiliano L Suster

National Institute of Genetics, Мисима, Shizuoka, Japan

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Publications (19)133.57 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Sex chromosomes harbour a primary sex-determining signal that triggers sexual development of the organism. However, diverse sex chromosome systems have been evolved in vertebrates. Here we use positional cloning to identify the sex-determining locus of a medaka-related fish, Oryzias dancena, and find that the locus on the Y chromosome contains a cis-regulatory element that upregulates neighbouring Sox3 expression in developing gonad. Sex-reversed phenotypes in Sox3(Y) transgenic fish, and Sox3(Y) loss-of-function mutants all point to its critical role in sex determination. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Sox3 initiates testicular differentiation by upregulating expression of downstream Gsdf, which is highly conserved in fish sex differentiation pathways. Our results not only provide strong evidence for the independent recruitment of Sox3 to male determination in distantly related vertebrates, but also provide direct evidence that a novel sex determination pathway has evolved through co-option of a transcriptional regulator potentially interacted with a conserved downstream component.
    Nature Communications 06/2014; 5:4157. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The broad diversity of neurons is vital to neuronal functions. During vertebrate development, the spinal cord is a site of sensory and motor tasks coordinated by interneurons and ongoing neurogenesis. In the spinal cord, V2-interneuron (V2-IN) progenitors (p2) develop into excitatory V2a-INs and inhibitory V2b-INs. The balance of these two types of interneurons requires precise control in the number and timing of their production. Here, using zebrafish embryos with altered Notch signaling, we show that different combinations of Notch ligands and receptors regulate two functions: the maintenance of p2 progenitor cells and the V2a/V2b cell fate decision in V2-IN development. Two ligands, DeltaA and DeltaD, and three receptors, Notch1a, Notch1b, and Notch3 redundantly contribute to p2 progenitor maintenance. On the other hand, DeltaA, DeltaC, and Notch1a mainly contribute to the V2a/V2b cell fate determination. A ubiquitin ligase Mib, which activates Notch ligands, acts in both functions through its activation of DeltaA, DeltaC, and DeltaD. Moreover, p2 progenitor maintenance and V2a/V2b fate determination are not distinct temporal processes, but occur within the same time frame during development. In conclusion, V2-IN cell progenitor proliferation and V2a/V2b cell fate determination involve signaling through different sets of Notch ligand-receptor combinations that occur concurrently during development in zebrafish.
    Developmental Biology 04/2014; · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The developing nervous system consists of a variety of cell types. Transgenic animals expressing reporter genes in specific classes of neuronal cells are powerful tools for the study of neuronal network formation. We generated a wide variety of transgenic zebrafish that expressed reporter genes in specific classes of neurons or neuronal progenitors. These include lines in which neurons of specific neurotransmitter phenotypes expressed fluorescent proteins or Gal4, and lines in which specific subsets of the dorsal progenitor domain in the spinal cord expressed fluorescent proteins. Using these, we examined domain organization in the developing dorsal spinal cord, and found that there are six progenitor domains in zebrafish, which is similar to the domain organization in mice. We also systematically characterized neurotransmitter properties of the neurons that are produced from each domain. Given that reporter gene expressions occurs in a wide area of the nervous system in the lines generated, these transgenic fish should serve as powerful tools for the investigation of not only the neurons in the dorsal spinal cord but also neuronal structures and functions in many other regions of the nervous system.
    Development 08/2013; · 6.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations affecting the N-glycosylation site in Berardinelli-Seip lipodystrophy associated gene BSCL2/seipin lead to a dominantly inherited spastic paraplegia termed seipinopathy. While seipin loss of function leads to severe congenital lipodystrophy, the effects of seipin N-glycosylation mutations on lipid balance in the nervous system are unknown. In this study, we show that expression of seipin N-glycosylation mutant N88S led to decreased triglyceride content in astrocytoma and motor neuron cell lines. This was corrected by supplementation with exogenous oleic acid. Upon oleic acid loading, seipin N88S protein was relocated from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the surface of lipid droplets and this was paralleled by alleviation of ER stress induced by the mutant protein. This effect was not limited to seipin N88S, as oleic acid loading also reduced tunicamycin induced ER stress in motor neuron cells. Furthermore, both seipin N88S and tunicamycin induced ER stress were decreased by inhibiting lipolysis, suggesting that lipid droplets protected neuronal cells from ER stress. In developing zebrafish larvae, seipin N88S expression led to triglyceride imbalance and reduced spontaneous free swimming. Importantly, supplementation with exogenous oleic acid reduced ER stress in the zebrafish head and increased fish motility. We propose that decreased triglyceride content contributes to the pathology induced by seipin N88S, and that rescuing triglyceride levels may provide a novel therapeutic strategy in seipinopathy.
    Human Molecular Genetics 12/2012; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Teleosts have an asymmetrical caudal fin skeleton formed by the upward bending of the caudal-most portion of the body axis, the ural region. This homocercal type of caudal fin ensures powerful and complex locomotion and is regarded as one of the most important innovations for teleosts during adaptive radiation in an aquatic environment. However, the mechanisms that create asymmetric caudal fin remain largely unknown. The spontaneous medaka (teleost fish) mutant, Double anal fin (Da), exhibits a unique symmetrical caudal skeleton that resembles the diphycercal type seen in Polypterus and Coelacanth. We performed a detailed analysis of the Da mutant to obtain molecular insight into caudal fin morphogenesis. We first demonstrate that a large transposon, inserted into the enhancer region of the zic1 and zic4 genes (zic1/zic4) in Da, is associated with the mesoderm-specific loss of their transcription. We then show that zic1/zic4 are strongly expressed in the dorsal part of the ural mesenchyme and thereby induce asymmetric caudal fin development in wild-type embryos, whereas their expression is lost in Da. Comparative analysis further indicates that the dorsal mesoderm expression of zic1/zic4 is conserved in teleosts, highlighting the crucial role of zic1/zic4 in caudal fin morphogenesis.
    Current biology: CB 02/2012; 22(7):601-7. · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    Maximiliano L Suster, Gembu Abe, Anders Schouw, Koichi Kawakami
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) are widely used in studies of vertebrate gene regulation and function because they often closely recapitulate the expression patterns of endogenous genes. Here we report a step-by-step protocol for efficient BAC transgenesis in zebrafish using the medaka Tol2 transposon. Using recombineering in Escherichia coli, we introduce the iTol2 cassette in the BAC plasmid backbone, which contains the inverted minimal cis-sequences required for Tol2 transposition, and a reporter gene to replace a target locus in the BAC. Microinjection of the Tol2-BAC and a codon-optimized transposase mRNA into fertilized eggs results in clean integrations in the genome and transmission to the germline at a rate of ∼15%. A single person can prepare a dozen constructs within 3 weeks, and obtain transgenic fish within approximately 3-4 months. Our protocol drastically reduces the labor involved in BAC transgenesis and will greatly facilitate biological and biomedical studies in model vertebrates.
    Nature Protocol 12/2011; 6(12):1998-2021. · 8.36 Impact Factor
  • Neuroscience Research - NEUROSCI RES. 01/2011; 71.
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    ABSTRACT: The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a useful model for genetic studies of vertebrate development. Its embryos are transparent and develop rapidly outside the mother, making it feasible to visualize and manipulate specific cell types in the living animal. Zebrafish is well suited for transgenic manipulation since it is relatively easy to collect large numbers of embryos from adult fish. Several approaches have been developed for introducing transgenes into the zebrafish germline, from the injection of naked DNA to transposon-mediated integration. In particular, the Tol2 transposable element has been shown to create insertions in the zebrafish genome very efficiently. By using Tol2, gene trap and enhancer trap vectors containing the GFP reporter gene or yeast transcription activator Gal4 gene have been developed. Here we outline methodology for creating transgenic zebrafish using Tol2 vectors, and their applications to visualization and manipulation of specific tissues or cells in vivo and for functional studies of vertebrate neural circuits.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 02/2009; 561:41-63. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    Maximiliano L Suster, Kenta Sumiyama, Koichi Kawakami
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) are among the most widely used tools for studies of gene regulation and function in model vertebrates, yet methods for predictable delivery of BAC transgenes to the genome are currently limited. This is because BAC transgenes are usually microinjected as naked DNA into fertilized eggs and are known to integrate as multi-copy concatamers in the genome. Although conventional methods for BAC transgenesis have been very fruitful, complementary methods for generating single copy BAC integrations would be desirable for many applications. We took advantage of the precise cut-and-paste behavior of a natural transposon, Tol2, to develop a new method for BAC transgenesis. In this new method, the minimal sequences of the Tol2 transposon were used to deliver precisely single copies of a approximately 70 kb BAC transgene to the zebrafish and mouse genomes. We mapped the BAC insertion sites in the genome by standard PCR methods and confirmed transposase-mediated integrations. The Tol2 transposon has a surprisingly large cargo capacity that can be harnessed for BAC transgenesis. The precise delivery of single-copy BAC transgenes by Tol2 represents a useful complement to conventional BAC transgenesis, and could aid greatly in the production of transgenic fish and mice for genomics projects, especially those in which single-copy integrations are desired.
    BMC Genomics 01/2009; 10:477. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Spinal interneurons are key components of locomotor circuits, driving such diverse behaviors as swimming in fish and walking in mammals. Recent work has linked the expression of evolutionarily conserved transcription factors to key features of interneurons in diverse species, raising the possibility that these interneurons are functionally related. Consequently, the determinants of interneuron subtypes are predicted to share conserved cis-regulation in vertebrates with very different spinal cords. Here, we establish a link between cis-regulation and morphology of spinal interneurons that express the Evx1 homeodomain transcription factor from fish to mammals. Using comparative genomics, and complementary transgenic approaches, we have identified a novel enhancer of evx1, that includes two non-coding elements conserved in vertebrates. We show that pufferfish evx1 transgenes containing this enhancer direct reporter expression to a subset of spinal commissural interneurons in zebrafish embryos. Pufferfish, zebrafish and mouse evx1 downstream genomic enhancers label selectively Evx1(+) V0 commissural interneurons in chick and rat embryos. By dissecting the zebrafish evx1 enhancer, we identify a role for a 25 bp conserved cis-element in V0-specific gene expression. Our findings support the notion that spinal interneurons shared between distantly related vertebrates, have been maintained in part via the preservation of highly conserved cis-regulatory modules.
    Developmental Biology 11/2008; 325(2):422-33. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Targeted gene expression is a powerful approach to study the function of genes and cells in vivo. In Drosophila, the P element-mediated Gal4-UAS method has been successfully used for this purpose. However, similar methods have not been established in vertebrates. Here we report the development of a targeted gene expression methodology in zebrafish based on the Tol2 transposable element and its application to the functional study of neural circuits. First, we developed gene trap and enhancer trap constructs carrying an engineered yeast Gal4 transcription activator (Gal4FF) and transgenic reporter fish carrying the GFP or the RFP gene downstream of the Gal4 recognition sequence (UAS) and showed that the Gal4FF can activate transcription through UAS in zebrafish. Second, by using this Gal4FF-UAS system, we performed large-scale screens and generated a large collection of fish lines that expressed Gal4FF in specific tissues, cells, and organs. Finally, we developed transgenic effector fish carrying the tetanus toxin light chain (TeTxLC) gene downstream of UAS, which is known to block synaptic transmission. We crossed the Gal4FF fish with the UAS:TeTxLC fish and analyzed double transgenic embryos for defects in touch response. From this analysis, we discovered that targeted expression of TeTxLC in distinct populations of neurons in the brain and the spinal cord caused distinct abnormalities in the touch response behavior. These studies illustrate that our Gal4FF gene trap and enhancer trap methods should be an important resource for genetic analysis of neuronal functions and behavior in vertebrates.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2008; 105(4):1255-1260. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study links natural variation in a Drosophila melanogaster overwintering strategy, diapause, to the insulin-regulated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) gene, Dp110. Variation in diapause, a reproductive arrest, was associated with Dp110 by using Dp110 deletions and genomic rescue fragments in transgenic flies. Deletions of Dp110 increased the proportion of individuals in diapause, whereas expression of Dp110 in the nervous system, but not including the visual system, decreased it. The roles of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase for both diapause in D. melanogaster and dauer formation in Caenorhabditis elegans suggest a conserved role for this kinase in both reproductive and developmental arrests in response to environmental stresses.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2006; 103(43):15911-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Drosophila larva is extensively used for studies of neural development and function, yet the mechanisms underlying the appropriate development of its stereotypic motor behaviors remain largely unknown. We have previously shown that mutations in scribbler (sbb), a gene encoding two transcripts widely expressed in the nervous system, cause abnormally frequent episodes of turning in the third instar larva. Here we report that hypomorphic sbb mutant larvae display aberrant turning from the second instar stage onwards. We focus on the smaller of the two sbb transcripts and show that its pan-neural expression during early larval life, but not in later larval life, restores wild type turning behavior. To identify the classes of neurons in which this sbb transcript is involved, we carried out transgenic rescue experiments. Targeted expression of the small sbb transcript using the cha-GAL4 driver was sufficient to restore wild type turning behavior. In contrast, expression of this sbb transcript in motoneurons, sensory neurons or large numbers of unidentified interneurons was not sufficient. Our data suggest that the expression of the smaller sbb transcript may be needed in a subset of neurons for the maintenance of normal turning behavior in Drosophila larvae.
    Genes Brain and Behavior 11/2004; 3(5):273-86. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We constructed an enhancer-trap element, P[GAL80], that encodes the yeast GAL80 repressor to refine expression of transgenes driven by the binary GAL4/UAS system. GAL80 blocks GAL4 activity by binding to its transcriptional activation domain. We screened GAL80 enhancer-traps for repression of GAL4-induced green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the intact larval nervous system. We selected one line that repressed GFP in a large set of cholinergic neurons. This line was used to refine GFP expression from a set of over 200 neurons to a subset of 20 neurons in a preselected GAL4 line. Expression of tetanus neurotoxin, a potent blocker of neurotransmitter release, in these 20 neurons reproduced an aberrant larval turning behavior previously assigned to the parental set of 200 neurons. Our results suggest that targeted GAL80 expression could become a useful means of spatially refining transgene expression in Drosophila.
    genesis 09/2004; 39(4):240-5. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although the Drosophila larva has been extensively used for genetic studies of synaptic transmission and locomotion, neurophysiological studies have lagged because it is difficult to investigate circuitry and synaptic function in the larval central nervous system (CNS). Here we introduce an optical technique to monitor neuronal activity in the intact Drosophila larval CNS. We loaded neurons retrogradely through cut axons with dextran-conjugated calcium indicators. Fluorescence responses to changes in the concentration of intracellular calcium are sufficiently fast and large to monitor electrical activity in single neurons. Responses to action potentials were detected in motor neuron cell bodies, axons, neurites, dendrites and sensory neuron afferents identified by genetically targeted green fluorescent protein expression. Our findings provide an experimental procedure for testing synaptic function and connectivity within the intact larval CNS.
    Journal of Neuroscience Methods 09/2003; 127(2):167-78. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    Maximiliano L Suster, Jean-Rene Martin, Carl Sung, Steven Robinow
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    ABSTRACT: The Drosophila larva is widely used for studies of neuronal development and function, yet little is known about the neuronal basis of locomotion in this model organism. Drosophila larvae crawl over a plain substrate by performing repetitive waves of forward peristalsis alternated by brief episodes of head swinging and turning. To identify sets of central and peripheral neurons required for the spatial or temporal pattern of larval locomotion, we blocked neurotransmitter release from defined populations of neurons by targeted expression of tetanus toxin light chain (TeTxLC) with the GAL4/UAS system. One hundred fifty GAL4 lines were crossed to a UAS-TeTxLC strain and a motion-analysis system was used to identify larvae with abnormal movement patterns. Five lines were selected that show discrete locomotor defects (i.e., increased turning and pausing) and these defects are correlated with diverse sets of central neurons. One line, 4C-GAL4, caused an unusual circling behavior that is correlated with approximately 200 neurons, including dopaminergic and peptidergic interneurons. Expression of TeTxLC in all dopaminergic and serotonergic but not in peptidergic neurons, caused turning deficits that are similar to those of 4C-GAL4/TeTxLC larvae. The results presented here provide a basis for future genetic studies of motor control in the Drosophila larva.
    Journal of Neurobiology 06/2003; 55(2):233-46. · 3.05 Impact Factor
  • Maximiliano L Suster, Michael Bate
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    ABSTRACT: Locomotion depends on the integration of sensory information with the activity of central circuitry, which generates patterned discharges in motor nerves to appropriate muscles. Isolated central networks generate fictive locomotor rhythms (recorded in the absence of movement), indicating that the fundamental pattern of motor output depends on the intrinsic connectivity and electrical properties of these central circuits. Sensory inputs are required to modify the pattern of motor activity in response to the actual circumstances of real movement. A central issue for our understanding of how locomotor circuits are specified and assembled is the extent to which sensory inputs are required as such systems develop. Here we describe the effects of eliminating sensory function and structure on the development of the peristaltic motor pattern of Drosophila embryos and larvae. We infer that the circuitry for peristaltic crawling develops in the complete absence of sensory input; however, the integration of this circuitry into actual patterns of locomotion requires additional information from the sensory system. In the absence of sensory inputs, the polarity of movement is deranged, and backward peristaltic waves predominate at the expense of forward peristalsis.
    Nature 04/2002; 416(6877):174-8. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a new gene, myoblasts incompetent, essential for normal myogenesis and myoblast fusion in Drosophila. myoblasts incompetent encodes a putative zinc finger transcription factor related to vertebrate Gli proteins and to Drosophila Cubitus interruptus. myoblasts incompetent is expressed in immature somatic and visceral myoblasts. Expression is predominantly in fusion-competent myoblasts and a loss-of-function mutation in myoblasts incompetent leads to a failure in the normal differentiation of these cells and a complete lack of myoblast fusion. In the mutant embryos, founder myoblasts differentiate normally and form mononucleate muscles, but genes that are specifically expressed in fusion-competent cells are not activated and the normal downregulation of twist expression in these cells fails to occur. In addition, fusion-competent myoblasts fail to express proteins characteristic of the general pathway of myogenesis such as myosin and Dmef2. Thus myoblasts incompetent appears to function specifically in the general pathway of myogenesis to control the differentiation of fusion-competent myoblasts.
    Development 02/2002; 129(1):133-41. · 6.21 Impact Factor
  • Maximiliano L. Suster, Jean-Rene Martin

Publication Stats

550 Citations
133.57 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2014
    • National Institute of Genetics
      • • Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology
      • • Division of Developmental Genetics
      Мисима, Shizuoka, Japan
    • McGill University Health Centre
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2004
    • University of Toronto
      • Department of Physiology
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2002–2004
    • University of Cambridge
      • Department of Zoology
      Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom