Developmental Cell

Published by Elsevier
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While the avid dieter obsesses about reduction of different body parts, permanent reduction of many structures seems to be achieved relatively effortlessly (though much more slowly) throughout evolution. In a recent article in Nature, Shapiro et al. examine one such example, the genetic basis of pelvic reduction in the threespine stickleback fish (2004). They conclude that a regulatory mutation in the Pitx1 gene is responsible for the pelvic reduction.
 
The reproducible pattern of organismal growth during metazoan development is the product of genetically controlled signaling pathways. Patterned activation of these pathways shapes developing organs and dictates overall organismal shape and size. Here, we show that patches of tissue that are mutant for the Drosophila Tsg101 ortholog, erupted, cause dramatic overproliferation of adjacent wild-type tissue. Tsg101 proteins function in endosomal sorting and are required to incorporate late endosomes into multivesicular bodies. Drosophila cells with impaired Tsg101 function show accumulation of the Notch receptor in intracellular compartments marked by the endosomal protein Hrs. This causes increased Notch-mediated signaling and ectopic expression of the Notch target gene unpaired (upd), which encodes the secreted ligand of the JAK-STAT pathway. Activation of JAK-STAT signaling in surrounding wild-type cells correlates with their overgrowth. These findings define a pathway by which changes in endocytic trafficking can regulate tissue growth in a non-cell-autonomous manner.
 
The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family is heavily implicated in many diseases, including cancer. The developmental functions of these genes are not clear, however, because the >20 mammalian MMPs can be functionally redundant. Drosophila melanogaster has only two MMPs, which are expressed in embryos in distinct patterns. We created mutations in both genes: Mmp1 mutants have defects in larval tracheal growth and pupal head eversion, and Mmp2 mutants have defects in larval tissue histolysis and epithelial fusion during metamorphosis; neither is required for embryonic development. Double mutants also complete embryogenesis, and these represent the first time, to our knowledge, that all MMPs have been disrupted in any organism. Thus, MMPs are not required for Drosophila embryonic development, but, rather, for tissue remodeling.
 
Dicer controls the biogenesis of microRNAs (miRNAs) and is essential for neurogenesis. Recent reports show that the levels and substrate selectivity of DICER result in the preferential biogenesis of specific miRNAs in vitro. However, how dicer expression levels and miRNA biogenesis are regulated in vivo and how this affects neurogenesis is incompletely understood. Here we show that during zebrafish hindbrain development dicer expression levels are controlled by miR-107 to tune the biogenesis of specific miRNAs, such as miR-9, whose levels regulate neurogenesis. Loss of miR-107 function stabilizes dicer levels and miR-9 biogenesis across the ventricular hindbrain zone, resulting in an increase of both proliferating progenitors and postmitotic neurons. miR-9 ectopic accumulation in differentiating neuronal cells recapitulated the excessive neurogenesis phenotype. We propose that miR-107 modulation of dicer levels in differentiating neuronal cells is required to maintain the homeostatic levels of specific miRNAs, whose precise accumulation is essential for neurogenesis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
 
Genetic Model of Somatic Sex Determination in C. elegans , and TRA-1 Localization in Males and Hermaphrodites (A) Simplified representation of the genetic pathway that regulates somatic sex determination. Barred lines indicate negative interactions, and arrows indicate positive interactions. The X/A ratio regulates X chromosome dosage compensation and sex determination via xol-1 and the sdc genes. The pathway branches at the sdc genes, and only downstream genes involved in sex determination are shown. (See Meyer, 1997 for a review.) (B–I) (B, D, F, and G) Differential interference contrast micrographs and (C, E, H, and I) TRA-1 immunofluorescence of adult nematodes: (B and C) tra-1; eDp6[tra-1(+)] XX hermaphrodite and (D and E) a tra-1(null) mutant XX pseudomale sibling; (F and H) tra-1(+) XX hermaphrodite and (G and I) a tra-1(+) XO male sibling. Exposure times in (C) and (E) are identical, as are exposure times in (H) and (I). (J and K) DAPI staining of the animals in (F) and (G). 
Truncated TRA-1 Feminizes the Intestine in tra-1(null) XX Pseudomales and tra-1(+) XO Males Heat-Induced TRA-1 Protein a Fraction of Transgenic Intestines Expressing vit-2::DsRed b
Differential Accumulation of TRA-1 Isoforms in Males and Hermaphrodites
Evidence for Cleavage of TRA-1A Near Its C Terminus (A–F) (A–C and E) Differential contrast interference and (D and F) GFP fluorescence micrographs of tra-1(null) mutant XX pseudomales carrying a transgene encoding (A, C, and D) GFP::TRA-1A or (B, E, and F) TRA-1A::GFP, each under the control of tra-1 regulatory sequences. The scale bar in (B) also applies to (A). The scale bar in (C) also applies to (D)–(F). (G) Retention of N-terminal Myc and C-terminal 3xFlag epitope tags by TRA-1A and C-terminally deleted derivatives expressed from a tra-1 cDNA under control of a heat-shock promoter. Gray shading indicates the Myc tag, black indicates the 3xFlag tag, and crosshatching indicates the DNA-binding domain of TRA-1A. A ‘‘+’’ indicates that the tag was detected on western blots of nematode lysates, and a ‘‘ 2 ’’ indicates that the tag was not detected. (H–M) (H, J, and L) Differential contrast interference and (I, K, and M) merged GFP and DsRed fluorescence images of young-adult him-8 animals carrying a heat-inducible transgene encoding TRA-1(1–773). (H and I) XX hermaphrodite. (J and K) XO male, no heat shock. (L and M) XO male after heat shock. Red fluorescence indicates expression of the vit-2::DsRed reporter. Green fluorescence marks the nuclei of cells that carry the transgene. 
TRA-1A is the sole representative in Caenorhabditis elegans of the Gli transcription factor family. Its activity is required to specify all somatic female cell fates in XX hermaphrodites. We have found that TRA-1 protein levels are much higher in hermaphrodites than in males, and that the difference is attributable to the predominance in hermaphrodites of C-terminally truncated isoforms that are nearly undetectable in males. Our results support a model in which TRA-1A is negatively regulated by male-specific proteolysis that depends upon specific TRA-1A protein sequences and upon the activity of the fem genes. C-terminally truncated TRA-1 isoforms are stable and can inappropriately feminize XO males, suggesting that they escape this negative regulation. Thus, although C. elegans appears to lack a Hedgehog-signaling pathway, our results indicate that proteolytic processing and degradation of Gli family transcription factors, commonly seen during Hedgehog signaling in other organisms, also control C. elegans sex determination.
 
Primitive erythropoiesis defines the onset of hematopoiesis in the yolk sac of the early embryo and is initiated by the emergence of progenitors assayed as colony-forming cells (EryP-CFCs). EryP-CFCs are detected for only a narrow window during embryonic development, suggesting that both their initiation and termination are tightly controlled. Using the embryonic stem differentiation system to model primitive erythropoiesis, we found that miR-126 regulates the termination of EryP-CFC development. Analyses of miR-126 null embryos revealed that this miR also regulates EryP-CFCs in vivo. We identified vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (Vcam-1) expressed by a mesenchymal cell population as a relevant target of miR-126. Interaction of EryP-CFCs with Vcam-1 accelerated their maturation to ßh1-globin(+) and Ter119(+) cells through a Src family kinase. These findings uncover a cell nonautonomous regulatory pathway for primitive erythropoiesis that may provide insight into the mechanism(s) controlling the developmental switch from primitive to definitive hematopoiesis.
 
Precise regulation of the formation, maintenance, and remodeling of the vasculature is required for normal development, tissue response to injury, and tumor progression. How specific microRNAs intersect with and modulate angiogenic signaling cascades is unknown. Here, we identified microRNAs that were enriched in endothelial cells derived from mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and in developing mouse embryos. We found that miR-126 regulated the response of endothelial cells to VEGF. Additionally, knockdown of miR-126 in zebrafish resulted in loss of vascular integrity and hemorrhage during embryonic development. miR-126 functioned in part by directly repressing negative regulators of the VEGF pathway, including the Sprouty-related protein SPRED1 and phosphoinositol-3 kinase regulatory subunit 2 (PIK3R2/p85-beta). Increased expression of Spred1 or inhibition of VEGF signaling in zebrafish resulted in defects similar to miR-126 knockdown. These findings illustrate that a single miRNA can regulate vascular integrity and angiogenesis, providing a new target for modulating vascular formation and function.
 
Endothelial cells play essential roles in maintenance of vascular integrity, angiogenesis, and wound repair. We show that an endothelial cell-restricted microRNA (miR-126) mediates developmental angiogenesis in vivo. Targeted deletion of miR-126 in mice causes leaky vessels, hemorrhaging, and partial embryonic lethality, due to a loss of vascular integrity and defects in endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis. The subset of mutant animals that survives displays defective cardiac neovascularization following myocardial infarction. The vascular abnormalities of miR-126 mutant mice resemble the consequences of diminished signaling by angiogenic growth factors, such as VEGF and FGF. Accordingly, miR-126 enhances the proangiogenic actions of VEGF and FGF and promotes blood vessel formation by repressing the expression of Spred-1, an intracellular inhibitor of angiogenic signaling. These findings have important therapeutic implications for a variety of disorders involving abnormal angiogenesis and vascular leakage.
 
Upon activation by Wnt, the Frizzled receptor is internalized in a process that requires the recruitment of Dishevelled. We describe a novel interaction between Dishevelled2 (Dvl2) and micro2-adaptin, a subunit of the clathrin adaptor AP-2; this interaction is required to engage activated Frizzled4 with the endocytic machinery and for its internalization. The interaction of Dvl2 with AP-2 requires simultaneous association of the DEP domain and a peptide YHEL motif within Dvl2 with the C terminus of micro2. Dvl2 mutants in the YHEL motif fail to associate with micro2 and AP-2, and prevent Frizzled4 internalization. Corresponding Xenopus Dishevelled mutants show compromised ability to interfere with gastrulation mediated by the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway. Conversely, a Dvl2 mutant in its DEP domain impaired in PCP signaling exhibits defective AP-2 interaction and prevents the internalization of Frizzled4. We suggest that the direct interaction of Dvl2 with AP-2 is important for Frizzled internalization and Frizzled/PCP signaling.
 
Semaphorins and ephrins are axon guidance cues. In C. elegans, semaphorin-2a/mab-20 and ephrin-4/efn-4/mab-26 also regulate cell sorting to form distinct rays in the male tail. Several erf (enhancer of ray fusion) mutations were identified in a mab-20 enhancer screen. Mutants of plexin-2 (plx-2) and unc-129, which encodes an axon guiding TGF-beta, were also found to be erfs. Genetic analyses show that plx-2 and mab-20 function in the same pathway, as expected if PLX-2 is a receptor for MAB-20. Surprisingly, MAB-20 also signals in a parallel pathway that requires efn-4. This signal utilizes a non-plexin receptor. The expression of plx-2, efn-4, and unc-129 in subsets of 3-cell sensory ray clusters likely mediates the ray-specific cell sorting functions of the ubiquitously expressed mab-20. We present a model for the integrated control of TGF-beta, semaphorin, and ephrin signaling in the sorting of cell clusters into distinct rays in the developing male tail.
 
Neurons, like all cells, face the problem that tubulin forms microtubules with too many or too few protofilaments (pfs). Cells overcome this heterogeneity with the γ-tubulin ring complex, which provides a nucleation template for 13-pf microtubules. Doublecortin (DCX), a protein that stabilizes microtubules in developing neurons, also nucleates 13-pf microtubules in vitro. Using fluorescence microscopy assays, we show that the binding of DCX to microtubules is optimized for the lateral curvature of the 13-pf lattice. This sensitivity depends on a cooperative interaction wherein DCX molecules decrease the dissociation rate of their neighbors. Mutations in DCX found in patients with subcortical band heterotopia weaken these cooperative interactions. Using assays with dynamic microtubules, we discovered that DCX binds to polymerization intermediates at growing microtubule ends. These results support a mechanism for stabilizing 13-pf microtubules that allows DCX to template new 13-pf microtubules through associations with the sides of the microtubule lattice.
 
Recent studies have shown that Notch signaling plays an important role in epidermal development, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here, by integrating loss- and gain-of-function studies of Notch receptors and Hes1, we describe molecular information about the role of Notch signaling in epidermal development. We show that Notch signaling determines spinous cell fate and induces terminal differentiation by a mechanism independent of Hes1, but Hes1 is required for maintenance of the immature state of spinous cells. Notch signaling induces Ascl2 expression to promote terminal differentiation, while simultaneously repressing Ascl2 through Hes1 to inhibit premature terminal differentiation. Despite the critical role of Hes1 in epidermal development, Hes1 null epidermis transplanted to adult mice showed no obvious defects, suggesting that this role of Hes1 may be restricted to developmental stages. Overall, we conclude that Notch signaling orchestrates the balance between differentiation and immature programs in suprabasal cells during epidermal development.
 
While endocytosis can regulate morphogen distribution, its precise role in shaping these gradients is unclear. Even more enigmatic is the role of retromer, a complex that shuttles proteins between endosomes and the Golgi apparatus, in Wnt gradient formation. Here we report that DPY-23, the C. elegans mu subunit of the clathrin adaptor AP-2 that mediates the endocytosis of membrane proteins, regulates Wnt function. dpy-23 mutants display Wnt phenotypes, including defects in neuronal migration, neuronal polarity, and asymmetric cell division. DPY-23 acts in Wnt-expressing cells to promote these processes. MIG-14, the C. elegans homolog of the Wnt-secretion factor Wntless, also acts in these cells to control Wnt function. In dpy-23 mutants, MIG-14 accumulates at or near the plasma membrane. By contrast, MIG-14 accumulates in intracellular compartments in retromer mutants. Based on our observations, we propose that intracellular trafficking of MIG-14 by AP-2 and retromer plays an important role in Wnt secretion.
 
The Hippo (Hpo) kinase cascade restricts tissue growth by inactivating the transcriptional coactivator Yorkie (Yki), which regulates the expression of target genes such as the cell death inhibitor diap1 by unknown mechanisms. Here we identify the TEAD/TEF family protein Scalloped (Sd) as a DNA-binding transcription factor that partners with Yki to mediate the transcriptional output of the Hpo growth-regulatory pathway. The diap1 (th) locus harbors a minimal Sd-binding Hpo Responsive Element (HRE) that mediates transcriptional regulation by the Hpo pathway. Sd binds directly to Yki, and a Yki missense mutation that abrogates Sd-Yki binding also inactivates Yki function in vivo. We further demonstrate that sd is required for yki-induced tissue overgrowth and target gene expression, and that sd activity is conserved in its mammalian homolog. Our results uncover a heretofore missing link in the Hpo signaling pathway and provide a glimpse of the molecular events on a Hpo-responsive enhancer element.
 
BR Induces Nuclear Localization of BZR1 
14-3-3 Binding Inhibits BZR1 Activity 
Mutations in 14-3-3 Binding Site Do Not Affect Stability or DNA Binding Activity of BZR1 
14-3-3 Binding Reduces Nuclear Localization of BZR1 
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are essential hormones for plant growth and development. BRs regulate gene expression by inducing dephosphorylation of two key transcription factors, BZR1 and BZR2/BES1, through a signal transduction pathway that involves cell-surface receptors (BRI1 and BAK1) and a GSK3 kinase (BIN2). How BR-regulated phosphorylation controls the activities of BZR1/BZR2 is not fully understood. Here, we show that BIN2-catalyzed phosphorylation of BZR1/BZR2 not only inhibits DNA binding, but also promotes binding to the 14-3-3 proteins. Mutations of a BIN2-phosphorylation site in BZR1 abolish 14-3-3 binding and lead to increased nuclear localization of BZR1 protein and enhanced BR responses in transgenic plants. Further, BR deficiency increases cytoplasmic localization, and BR treatment induces rapid nuclear localization of BZR1/BZR2. Thus, 14-3-3 binding is required for efficient inhibition of phosphorylated BR transcription factors, largely through cytoplasmic retention. This study demonstrates that multiple mechanisms are required for BR regulation of gene expression and plant growth.
 
Regulation of cargo transport via adaptor molecules is essential for neuronal development. However, the role of PDZ scaffolding proteins as adaptors in neuronal cargo trafficking is still poorly understood. Here, we show by genetic deletion in mice that the multi-PDZ domain scaffolding protein glutamate receptor interacting protein 1 (GRIP1) is required for dendrite development. We identify an interaction between GRIP1 and 14-3-3 proteins that is essential for the function of GRIP1 as an adaptor protein in dendritic cargo transport. Mechanistically, 14-3-3 binds to the kinesin-1 binding region in GRIP1 in a phospho-dependent manner and detaches GRIP1 from the kinesin-1 motor protein complex thereby regulating cargo transport. A single point mutation in the Thr956 of GRIP1 in transgenic mice impairs dendritic development. Together, our results show a regulatory role for GRIP1 during microtubule-based transport and suggest a crucial function for 14-3-3 proteins in controlling kinesin-1 motor attachment during neuronal development.
 
14-3-3 proteins received their somewhat ineffable name from being in fraction 14 of an ion-exchange column and being in fraction 3.3 after starch gel electrophoresis of brain extracts (Moore and Perez, 1967), and they have since been found in all eukaryotes. 14-3-3s function as dimeric proteins (Figure 1) in which each monomer is capable of binding to common peptide motifs found in target proteins. The target motifs can undergo serine phosphorylation that subsequently changes the affinity of the target proteins for binding to 14-3-3s. 14-3-3s themselves can also be phosphorylated by (for example) PKC isoforms, and this prevents interaction with target proteins (Aitken, 2006). The physiological functions of 14-3-3s are quite diverse and range from transcriptional regulation through interaction with transcription factors to activation of membrane proteins such as ATPases, and they are often implicated in protein translocation between the cytosol and the nucleus (Aitken, 2006). In Arabidopsis at least 12 different 14-3-3 proteins have been identified that appear to have isoform-specific subcellular localization that is believed to be governed in part by their respective interaction partners. However, there is little evidence that an individual 14-3-3 protein has a higher affinity for one particular target. This probably results in a high level of redundancy, which appears to prevent a direct forward genetic analysis of their function (Paul et al., 2005). Recently, a number of 14-3-3s have been found to be associated with plant membrane receptor kinases; in particular, with members of the SERK and the BRI1 family (Karlova et al., 2006), which are receptors shown to be involved in BR signaling. However, the significance of this association was not demonstrated.
 
The Hippo (Hpo) signaling pathway governs cell growth, proliferation, and apoptosis by controlling key regulatory genes that execute these processes; however, the transcription factor of the pathway has remained elusive. Here we provide evidence that the TEAD/TEF family transcription factor Scalloped (Sd) acts together with the coactivator Yorkie (Yki) to regulate Hpo pathway-responsive genes. Sd and Yki form a transcriptional complex whose activity is inhibited by Hpo signaling. Sd overexpression enhances, whereas its inactivation suppresses, tissue overgrowth caused by Yki overexpression or tumor suppressor mutations in the Hpo pathway. Inactivation of Sd diminishes Hpo target gene expression and reduces organ size, whereas a constitutively active Sd promotes tissue overgrowth. Sd promotes Yki nuclear localization, whereas Hpo signaling retains Yki in the cytoplasm by phosphorylating Yki at S168. Finally, Sd recruits Yki to the enhancer of the pathway-responsive gene diap1, suggesting that diap1 is a direct transcriptional target of the Hpo pathway.
 
Growth factors, integrins, and the extracellular matrix (ECM) are known to play key roles in epidermal wound healing, although the interplay between these proteins is not fully understood. We show that growth factor macrophage stimulating protein (MSP)- and its receptor Ron-mediated PI3K activation in keratinocytes induces phosphorylation of both Ron and alpha6beta4 integrin at specific 14-3-3 binding sites. Consequently, a Ron/alpha6beta4 complex formed via 14-3-3 binding displaces alpha6beta4 from its location at hemidesmosomes (structures supporting cell adhesion) and relocalizes it to lamellipodia. Concomitant activation of alpha3beta1 and keratinocyte spreading/migration on laminin-5 occurs. Further, MSP-dependent beta4 tyrosine phosphorylation evokes p38 and NF-kappaB signaling required for keratinocyte wound closure. Based on these results, we propose a mechanism based on MSP-Ron-dependent phosphorylation and 14-3-3 association, whereby the function of alpha6beta4 switches from a mechanical adhesive device into a signaling component, and might be critically involved in human epidermal wound healing.
 
Wnt proteins are secreted signaling molecules that play a central role in development and adult tissue homeostasis. We have previously shown that Wnt signaling requires retromer function in Wnt-producing cells. The retromer is a multiprotein complex that mediates endosome-to-Golgi transport of specific sorting receptors. MIG-14/Wls is a conserved transmembrane protein that binds Wnt and is required in Wnt-producing cells for Wnt secretion. Here, we demonstrate that in the absence of retromer function, MIG-14/Wls is degraded in lysosomes and becomes limiting for Wnt signaling. We show that retromer-dependent recycling of MIG-14/Wls is part of a trafficking pathway that retrieves MIG-14/Wls from the plasma membrane. We propose that MIG-14/Wls cycles between the Golgi and the plasma membrane to mediate Wnt secretion. Regulation of this transport pathway may enable Wnt-producing cells to control the range of Wnt signaling in the tissue.
 
During cell division, a microtubule-based mitotic spindle mediates the faithful segregation of duplicated chromosomes into daughter cells. Proper length control of the metaphase mitotic spindle is critical to this process and is thought to be achieved through a mechanism in which spindle pole separation forces from plus-end-directed motors are balanced by forces from minus-end-directed motors that pull spindle poles together. However, in contrast to this model, metaphase mitotic spindles with inactive kinesin-14 minus-end-directed motors often have shorter spindle lengths, along with poorly aligned spindle microtubules. A mechanistic explanation for this paradox is unknown. Using computational modeling, in vitro reconstitution, live-cell fluorescence microscopy, and electron microscopy, we now find that the budding yeast kinesin-14 molecular motor Kar3-Cik1 can efficiently align spindle microtubules along the spindle axis. This then allows plus-end-directed kinesin-5 motors to efficiently exert the outward microtubule sliding forces needed for proper spindle bipolarity.
 
Xenopus oocyte death is partly controlled by the apoptotic initiator caspase-2 (C2). We reported previously that oocyte nutrient depletion activates C2 upstream of mitochondrial cytochrome c release. Conversely, nutrient-replete oocytes inhibit C2 via S135 phosphorylation catalyzed by calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. We now show that C2 phosphorylated at S135 binds 14-3-3zeta, thus preventing C2 dephosphorylation. Moreover, we determined that S135 dephosphorylation is catalyzed by protein phosphatase-1 (PP1), which directly binds C2. Although C2 dephosphorylation is responsive to metabolism, neither PP1 activity nor binding is metabolically regulated. Rather, release of 14-3-3zeta from C2 is controlled by metabolism and allows for C2 dephosphorylation. Accordingly, a C2 mutant unable to bind 14-3-3zeta is highly susceptible to dephosphorylation. Although this mechanism was initially established in Xenopus, we now demonstrate similar control of murine C2 by phosphorylation and 14-3-3 binding in mouse eggs. These findings provide an unexpected evolutionary link between 14-3-3 and metabolism in oocyte death.
 
Mitotic spindle position is controlled by interactions of cortical molecular motors with astral microtubules. In animal cells, Partner of Inscuteable (Pins) acts at the cortex to coordinate the activity of Dynein and Kinesin-73 (Khc73; KIF13B in mammals) to orient the spindle. Though the two motors move in opposite directions, their synergistic activity is required for robust Pins-mediated spindle orientation. Here, we identify a physical connection between Dynein and Khc73 that mediates cooperative spindle positioning. Khc73's motor and MBS domains link Pins to microtubule plus ends, while its stalk domain is necessary for Dynein activation and precise positioning of the spindle. A motif in the stalk domain binds, in a phospho-dependent manner, 14-3-3ζ, which dimerizes with 14-3-3ε. The 14-3-3ζ/ε heterodimer binds the Dynein adaptor NudE to complete the Dynein connection. The Khc73 stalk/14-3-3/NudE pathway defines a physical connection that coordinates the activities of multiple motor proteins to precisely position the spindle.
 
Loss-of-function mutations in glypican-3 (GPC3), one of the six mammalian glypicans, causes the Simpson-Golabi-Behmel overgrowth syndrome (SGBS), and GPC3 null mice display developmental overgrowth. Because the Hedgehog signaling pathway positively regulates body size, we hypothesized that GPC3 acts as an inhibitor of Hedgehog activity during development. Here, we show that GPC3 null embryos display increased Hedgehog signaling and that GPC3 inhibits Hedgehog activity in cultured mouse embryonic fibroblasts. In addition, we report that GPC3 interacts with high affinity with Hedgehog but not with its receptor, Patched, and that GPC3 competes with Patched for Hedgehog binding. Furthermore, GPC3 induces Hedgehog endocytosis and degradation. Surprisingly, the heparan sulfate chains of GPC3 are not required for its interaction with Hedgehog. We conclude that GPC3 acts as a negative regulator of Hedgehog signaling during mammalian development and that the overgrowth observed in SGBS patients is, at least in part, the consequence of hyperactivation of the Hedgehog signaling pathway.
 
Fission yeast Pat1 kinase inhibits sexual differentiation by phosphorylating the meiotic inducer Mei2 and the transcription factor Ste11. Here, we show how Pat1 downregulates these proteins. Mei2 is degraded via a ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in a phosphorylation-dependent fashion. The E2 Ubc2 and the E3 Ubr1 are required for this proteolysis. In addition, Pat1 negatively regulates Ste11 via Rad24/14-3-3, thereby repressing mei2+ transcription. The Pat1 phosphorylation sites of Ste11 match the consensus recognition sequence for 14-3-3. Rad24 binds preferentially to phosphorylated Ste11, and this binding results in inhibition of the transcriptional activation capacity of Ste11. Overall, therefore, these results show that Pat1 coordinates concerted molecular mechanisms that govern the sexual differentiation developmental decision.
 
PAR-1 kinases are required to determine the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis in C. elegans and Drosophila, but little is known about their molecular function. We identified 14-3-3 proteins as Drosophila PAR-1 interactors and show that PAR-1 binds a domain of 14-3-3 distinct from the phosphoserine binding pocket. PAR-1 kinases phosphorylate proteins to generate 14-3-3 binding sites and may therefore directly deliver 14-3-3 to these targets. 14-3-3 mutants display identical phenotypes to par-1 mutants in oocyte determination and the polarization of the A-P axis. Together, these results indicate that PAR-1's function is mediated by the binding of 14-3-3 to its substrates. The C. elegans 14-3-3 protein, PAR-5, is also required for A-P polarization, suggesting that this is a conserved mechanism by which PAR-1 establishes cellular asymmetries.
 
The plasma membrane-localized plant steroid hormone receptor, BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1 (BRI1), is quiescent in the absence of steroids, largely due to a negative regulator, BRI1 KINASE INHIBITOR 1 (BKI1). Here, we report that the steroid-induced, plasma membrane-dissociated and phosphorylated BKI1 also plays positive roles in BR signaling by interacting with a subset of 14-3-3 proteins. The cytosolic fraction of BKI1 carboxyl terminal region enhances BR signaling. Mutations of two serine residues in this region lead to reduced phosphorylation by the BRI1 kinase and constitutive plasma membrane localization. The 14-3-3 proteins can interact with the phosphorylated BKI1 through a motif that contains the two phosphorylation sites to release inhibition of BRI1 by BKI1. Meanwhile, the cytosolic BKI1 antagonizes the 14-3-3 s and enhances accumulation of BRI1 EMS SUPPRESSOR 1 (BES1)/BRASSINAZOLE RESISTANT 1 (BZR1) in the nucleus to regulate BR-responses.
 
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) emerge during embryogenesis from hemogenic endothelium, but it remains unclear how the HSC lineage is initially established from mesoderm during ontogeny. In Xenopus, the definitive hemangioblast precursors of the HSC lineage have been identified in dorsal lateral plate (DLP) mesoderm, and a transcriptional gene regulatory network (GRN) controlling hemangioblast programming has been elucidated. Herein, we identify an essential role for microRNAs (miRNAs) in establishing the mesodermal lineage leading to both HSC emergence and vasculogenesis and determine that a single miRNA, miR-142-3p, is primarily responsible for initiation of definitive hemangioblast specification. miR-142-3p forms a double-negative gate unlocking entry into the hemangioblast program, in part by inhibiting TGFβ signaling. Our results table miR-142-3p as a master regulator of HSC lineage specification, sitting at the apex of the hierarchy programming the adult hemangioblast, thus illustrating that miRNAs can act as instructive determinants of cell fate during development.
 
X inactivation is controlled by Xist and its antisense gene, Tsix, neither of which encodes a protein. Xist is essential for X inactivation to occur in cis, and its differential expression is a key event in the initiation of X inactivation. Xist and Tsix are imprinted in the extraembryonic tissues of mouse embryos so that they are expressed from the paternal and maternal X, respectively, resulting in the preferential inactivation of the paternal X. Targeted disruption of Tsix causes ectopic expression of Xist, suggesting that Tsix negatively regulates Xist in cis. However, the molecular mechanism of this antisense regulation remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that Tsix transcriptionally silences Xist in both embryonic and extraembryonic tissues of mouse embryos. Moreover, we show that disruption of Tsix impairs establishment of repressive epigenetic modifications and chromatin structure at the Xist locus. We propose that Tsix silences Xist through modification of the chromatin structure.
 
The forkhead transcription factor, DAF-16, a downstream target of the insulin/IGF-I signaling pathway in C. elegans, is indispensable both for lifespan regulation and stress resistance. The molecular mechanisms involved in regulating DAF-16 transcriptional activation remain undefined. Here, we have identified an E3 ubiquitin ligase, RLE-1 (regulation of longevity by E3), which regulates aging in C. elegans. Disruption of RLE-1 expression in C. elegans increases lifespan; this extension of lifespan is due to elevated DAF-16 protein but not to changes of daf-16 mRNA levels. We have also found that RLE-1 catalyzes DAF-16 ubiquitination, leading to degradation by the proteasome. Elimination of RLE-1 expression in C. elegans causes increased transcriptional activation and sustained nuclear localization of DAF-16. Overexpression of DAF-16 in rle-1 mutants increases worm lifespan, while disruption of DAF-16 expression in rle-1 mutants reverses their longevity. Thus, RLE-1 is an E3 ubiquitin ligase of DAF-16 that regulates C. elegans aging.
 
Autophagy is a unique membrane trafficking pathway describing the formation and targeting of double membrane autophagosomes to the vacuole/lysosome. The biogenesis of autophagosomes and their delivery to the vacuole/lysosome depend on multiple membrane fusion events. Using a cell-free system, we have investigated the ability of LC3 and GATE-16, two mammalian Atg8 orthologs, to mediate membrane fusion. We found that both proteins promote tethering and membrane fusion, mediated by the proteins' N-terminal α helices. We further show that short, 10 amino acid long synthetic peptides derived from the N terminus of LC3 or GATE-16 are sufficient to promote membrane fusion. Our data indicate that the fusion activity of LC3 is mediated by positively charged amino acids, whereas the activity of GATE-16 is mediated by hydrophobic interactions. Finally, we demonstrate that LC3 and GATE-16 N termini in general and specific residues needed for the fusion activity are essential for the proteins role in autophagosome biogenesis.
 
Recent data indicate that the eukaryotic centromere and pericentromeric regions are organized into definable functional and structural domains. Studies in different organisms point to a model of conserved pattern of organization for these domains.
 
Recent evidence suggests that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) tubules mark the sites where the GTPase Drp1 promotes mitochondrial fission via a largely unknown mechanism. Here, we show that the SNARE protein syntaxin 17 (Syn17) is present on raft-like structures of ER-mitochondria contact sites and promotes mitochondrial fission by determining Drp1 localization and activity. The hairpin-like C-terminal hydrophobic domain, including Lys-254, but not the SNARE domain, is important for this regulation. Syn17 also regulates ER Ca(2+) homeostasis and interferes with Rab32-mediated regulation of mitochondrial dynamics. Starvation disrupts the Syn17-Drp1 interaction, thus favoring mitochondrial elongation during autophagy. Because we also demonstrate that Syn17 is an ancient SNARE, our findings suggest that Syn17 is one of the original key regulators for ER-mitochondria contact sites present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor. As such, Syn17 acts as a switch that responds to nutrient conditions and integrates functions for the ER and autophagosomes with mitochondrial dynamics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
 
Cytoplasmic microtubules (MTs) continuously grow and shorten at free plus ends. During mitosis, this dynamic behavior allows MTs to capture chromosomes to initiate their movement to the spindle poles; however, the role of MT dynamics in capturing organelles for transport in interphase cells has not been demonstrated. Here we use Xenopus melanophores to test the hypothesis that MT dynamics significantly contribute to the efficiency of MT minus-end directed transport of membrane organelles. We demonstrate that initiation of transport of membrane-bounded melanosomes (pigment granules) to the cell center involves their capture by MT plus ends, and that inhibition of MT dynamics or loss of the MT plus-end tracking protein CLIP-170 from MT tips dramatically inhibits pigment aggregation. We conclude that MT dynamics are required for the initiation of MT transport of membrane organelles in interphase cells, and that +TIPs such as CLIP-170 play an important role in this process.
 
CLIPs are microtubule plus end-associated proteins that mediate interactions required for cell polarity and cell division. Here we demonstrate that budding yeast Bik1, unlike its human ortholog CLIP-170, is targeted to the microtubule plus end by a kinesin-dependent transport mechanism. Bik1 forms a complex with the kinesin Kip2. Fluorescently labeled Bik1 and Kip2 comigrate along individual microtubules. Bik1 exists in distinct intracellular pools: a stable pool at the spindle pole body that is depleted during cell cycle progression, a soluble pool from which Bik1 can be recruited during microtubule initiation, and a dynamic plus end pool maintained by Kip2. Kip2 stabilizes microtubules by targeting Bik1 to the plus end and Kip2 levels are controlled during the cell cycle. As with Bik1, the targeting of dynein to the microtubule plus end requires Kip2. These findings reveal a central role for Kip2-dependent transport in the cell cycle control of microtubule dynamics and dynein-dependent motility.
 
CLIP-170 family proteins regulate microtubule plus end dynamics. Two reports published in this issue of Developmental Cell show that Bik1 and tip1p, the CLIP-170-like proteins of budding and fission yeast, are carried to microtubule plus ends by kinesin motor proteins. These findings indicate a complex interplay between microtubule-associated proteins and suggest a novel mechanism by which kinesin proteins stabilize microtubules.
 
The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway has conserved roles in development of species ranging from Drosophila to humans. Responses to Hh are mediated by the transcription factor Cubitus interruptus (Ci; GLIs 1-3 in mammals), and constitutive activation of Hh target gene expression has been linked to several types of human cancer. In Drosophila, the kinesin-like protein Costal2 (Cos2), which associates directly with the Hh receptor component Smoothened (Smo), is essential for suppression of the transcriptional activity of Ci in the absence of ligand. Another protein, Suppressor of Fused (Su(Fu)), exerts a weak negative influence on Ci activity. Based on analysis of functional and sequence conservation of Cos2 orthologs, Su(Fu), Smo, and Ci/GLI proteins, we find here that Drosophila and mammalian Hh signaling mechanisms have diverged, and that, in mouse cells, major Cos2-like activities are absent and the inhibition of the Hh pathway in the absence of ligand critically depends on Su(Fu).
 
Posttranscriptional regulation plays a crucial role in germline and early embryonic development, but the underlying mechanisms are only partially understood. Here we report the genetic and molecular analysis of the maternally and zygotically expressed microRNA miR-184 in Drosophila. Loss of miR-184 leads to multiple severe defects during oogenesis and early embryogenesis, culminating in the complete loss of egg production. Using both in vitro and in vivo assays, we characterize the relevant miR-184 targets and target sites for three of the observed phenotypes. miR-184 controls germline stem cell differentiation by tuning the DPP receptor Saxophone, dorsoventral patterning of the egg shell by regulating the gurken transport factor K10, and anteroposterior patterning of the blastoderm by tuning the transcriptional repressor Tramtrack69. Our study highlights the importance of microRNA-mediated regulation in the major developmental transitions of the female germline, and provides insights into several aspects of microRNA function.
 
Clathrin and the epithelial-specific clathrin adaptor AP-1B mediate basolateral trafficking in epithelia. However, several epithelia lack AP-1B, and mice knocked out for AP-1B are viable, suggesting the existence of additional mechanisms that control basolateral polarity. Here, we demonstrate a distinct role of the ubiquitous clathrin adaptor AP-1A in basolateral protein sorting. Knockdown of AP-1A causes missorting of basolateral proteins in MDCK cells, but only after knockdown of AP-1B, suggesting that AP-1B can compensate for lack of AP-1A. AP-1A localizes predominantly to the TGN, and its knockdown promotes spillover of basolateral proteins into common recycling endosomes, the site of function of AP-1B, suggesting complementary roles of both adaptors in basolateral sorting. Yeast two-hybrid assays detect interactions between the basolateral signal of transferrin receptor and the medium subunits of both AP-1A and AP-1B. The basolateral sorting function of AP-1A reported here establishes AP-1 as a major regulator of epithelial polarity.
 
beta cell dysfunction is an important component of type 2 diabetes, but the molecular basis for this defect is poorly understood. The transcriptional coactivator PGC-1alpha mRNA and protein levels are significantly elevated in islets from multiple animal models of diabetes; adenovirus-mediated expression of PGC-1alpha to levels similar to those present in diabetic rodents produces a marked inhibition of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from islets in culture and in live mice. This inhibition coincides with changes in metabolic gene expression associated with impaired beta cell function, including the induction of glucose-6-phosphatase and suppression of GLUT2, glucokinase, and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. These changes result in blunting of the glucose-induced rise in cellular ATP levels and membrane electrical activity responsible for Ca(2+) influx and insulin exocytosis. These results strongly suggest that PGC-1alpha plays a key functional role in the beta cell and is involved in the pathogenesis of the diabetic phenotype.
 
Common obesity is primarily characterized by resistance to the actions of the hormone leptin. Mice deficient in protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) are resistant to diabetes and diet-induced obesity, prompting us to further define the relationship between PTP1B and leptin in modulating obesity. Leptin-deficient (Lep(ob/ob)) mice lacking PTP1B exhibit an attenuated weight gain, a decrease in adipose tissue, and an increase in resting metabolic rate. Furthermore, PTP1B-deficient mice show an enhanced response toward leptin-mediated weight loss and suppression of feeding. Hypothalami from these mice also display markedly increased leptin-induced Stat3 phosphorylation. Finally, substrate-trapping experiments demonstrate that leptin-activated Jak2, but not Stat3 or the leptin receptor, is a substrate of PTP1B. These results suggest that PTP1B negatively regulates leptin signaling, and provide one mechanism by which it may regulate obesity.
 
Indirect evidence implicates leptin resistance in the pathogenesis of the lipotoxicity that complicates obesity and results in the metabolic syndrome. In this issue of Developmental Cell, two groups identify protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) as a cause of leptin resistance through dephosphorylation of Jak2.
 
Compensatory endocytosis follows regulated exocytosis in cells ranging from eggs to neurons, but the means by which it is accomplished are unclear. In Xenopus eggs, compensatory endocytosis is driven by dynamic coats of assembling actin that surround and compress exocytosing cortical granules (CGs). We have identified Xenopus laevis myosin-1c (XlMyo1c) as a myosin that is upregulated by polyadenylation during meiotic maturation, the developmental interval that prepares eggs for fertilization and regulated CG exocytosis. Upon calcium-induced exocytosis, XlMyo1c is recruited to exocytosing CG membranes where actin coats then assemble. When XlMyo1c function is disrupted, actin coats assemble, but dynamic actin filaments are uncoupled from the exocytosing CG membranes such that coats do not compress, and compensatory endocytosis fails. Remarkably, there is also an increase in polymerized actin at membranes throughout the cell. We conclude that XlMyo1c couples polymerizing actin to membranes and so mediates force production during compensatory endocytosis.
 
An outstanding question in protein sorting is why polarized epithelial cells express two isoforms of the μ1 subunit of the AP-1 clathrin adaptor complex: the ubiquitous μ1A and the epithelial-specific μ1B. Previous studies led to the notion that μ1A and μ1B mediate basolateral sorting predominantly from the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and recycling endosomes, respectively. Using improved analytical tools, however, we find that μ1A and μ1B largely colocalize with each other. They also colocalize to similar extents with TGN and recycling endosome markers, as well as with basolateral cargoes transiting biosynthetic and endocytic-recycling routes. Instead, the two isoforms differ in their signal-recognition specificity. In particular, μ1B preferentially binds a subset of signals from cargoes that are sorted basolaterally in a μ1B-dependent manner. We conclude that expression of distinct μ1 isoforms in epithelial cells expands the repertoire of signals recognized by AP-1 for sorting of a broader range of cargoes to the basolateral surface.
 
C. elegans SIR-2.1, a member of the Sir-2 family of NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylases, has been shown to regulate nematode aging via the insulin/IGF pathway transcription factor daf-16. Treatment of C. elegans with the small molecule resveratrol, however, extends life span in a manner fully dependent upon sir-2.1, but independent of daf-16. Microarray analysis of worms treated with resveratrol demonstrates the transcriptional induction of a family of genes encoding prion-like glutamine/asparagine-rich proteins involved in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response to unfolded proteins. RNA interference of abu-11, a member of this ER stress gene family, abolishes resveratrol-mediated life span extension, and overexpression of abu-11 extends the life span of transgenic animals. Furthermore, SIR-2.1 normally represses transcription of abu-11 and other ER stress gene family members, indicating that resveratrol extends life span by inhibiting sir-2.1-mediated repression of ER stress genes. Our findings demonstrate that abu-11 and other members of its ER stress gene family are positive determinants of C. elegans life span.
 
Neuroepithelial cell proliferation must be carefully balanced with the transition to neuroblast (neural stem cell) to control neurogenesis. Here, we show that loss of the Drosophila microRNA mir-8 (the homolog of vertebrate miR-200 family) results in both excess proliferation and ectopic neuroblast transition. Unexpectedly, mir-8 is expressed in a subpopulation of optic-lobe-associated cortex glia that extend processes that ensheath the neuroepithelium, suggesting that glia cells communicate with the neuroepithelium. We provide evidence that miR-8-positive glia express Spitz, a transforming growth factor α (TGF-α)-like ligand that triggers epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation to promote neuroepithelial proliferation and neuroblast formation. Further, our experiments suggest that miR-8 ensures both a correct glial architecture and the spatiotemporal control of Spitz protein synthesis via direct binding to Spitz 3' UTR. Together, these results establish glial-derived cues as key regulatory elements in the control of neuroepithelial cell proliferation and the neuroblast transition.
 
Loss of Apical Polarity Correlates with Loss of Neural Precursors and Lumen Morphogenesis All images show representative transverse sections at the level of the trunk spinal cord with dorsal up. (A and B) At 1 and 2 dpf, ZO-1 is concentrated at apical membranes of cells lining a primitive lumen, which extends across the dorsoventral axis of the spinal cord (brackets). (C and D) At 3 and 5 dpf, the primitive lumen is replaced with a ventrally positioned central canal marked by apically localized ZO-1. (E-H) F-actin is similarly localized to apical membranes lining the primitive lumen and central canal. Additionally, most cells that express Sox2 are associated with F-actin localization. (I-L) A BrdU pulse labels numerous cells lining the primitive lumen at 1 and 2 dpf, but at 3 and 5 dpf few cells incorporate BrdU. Scale bar equals 10 mm.
miR-219 Is Required for Differentiation of Glia and Late-Born Neurons All images show representative transverse sections through trunk spinal cord with dorsal up. (A and B) Whereas numerous GFAP + radial glia occupy the spinal cord of a 3 dpf control larva, a miR-219 MO-injected larva has few radial glia except for the most dorsal and ventral regions of spinal cord (brackets). Asterisks mark oligodendrocyte lineage cells. (C and D) Images showing a deficit of BLBP + radial glia in a miR-219 MO-injected larva compared to control. (E and F) miR-219 MO-injected larvae appear to have a normal number and distribution of neurons, marked by Elavl3 expression, but fewer oligodendrocyte lineage cells (asterisks) than control larvae. (G) Graph showing number of Isl + motor neurons in control and miR-219 MO-injected larvae. Data are presented as mean ± SEM (n = 10 sections obtained from 15 larvae per group, with two replicates). p > 0.05, unpaired t test. (H and I) Confocal images of embryos pulsed with EdU at 1 dpf and fixed at 2 dpf. Numerous Edu + cells are also Elavl3 + (arrowheads) in control larvae (H), whereas most EdU label persists within cells lining the spinal cord lumen, and fewer neurons are labeled by EdU in miR-219 MO-injected larva (I). (J) Graph showing number of Elav3 + EdU + neurons in control and miR-219 MO-injected larvae. Data represent mean ± SEM (n = 10 sections obtained from five larvae per group). ****p < 0.0001, unpaired t test. Scale bar equals 10 mm.
miR-219 Has Single, Conserved Target Sites within prkci and pard3 3 0 UTRs (A and B) Schematic representations of prkci and pard3 transcripts with predicted miR-219 target sites conserved among various species. (C-E) In controls at 1 and 2 dpf, Prkci protein is concentrated at apical membranes lining the primitive lumen, but by 3 dpf Prkci is limited to the central canal (brackets). (F and G) Prkci labeling persists along a primitive lumen extending across the spinal cord dorsoventral axis in 3 dpf and 5 dpf miR-219 MO-injected larvae. (H) Sequences (220 bp) from the pard3 3 0 UTR containing wild-type and mutated miR-219 target sites were cloned into dual luciferase vectors. (I) Quantification of light units revealed a miR-219-mediated reduction of reporter gene expression that was abrogated by 1 and 2 bp mutations within the target site. Data represent ± SEM (three independent experiments). Brackets indicate pairwise comparisons. ****p < 0.0001, unpaired t test. Scale bar equals 10 mm.
mir-219 Regulates Reporter Gene Expression In Vivo via pard3 and prkci 3 0 UTR Sequences (A–C) Fluorescence images of living embryos injected with EGFP:prkci 3 0 UTR mRNA alone, miR-216a control, or miR-219 . (D) Graph showing EGFP fluorescence intensity values. Units represent pixel intensity and are reported as percent of control values (n = 20 embryos, with three replicates). Brackets indicate pairwise comparisons. **p = 0.0014, unpaired t test. (E–G) Images of living embryos injected with EGFP:pard3 3 0 UTR mRNA alone, miR-216a control, or miR-219 . (H) EGFP fluorescence intensity values shown as in (D) (n = 20 embryos, with three replicates). ***p = 0.0001 unpaired t test. (I and J) Images of embryos injected with EGFP mRNA alone or with miR-219 . (K) EGFP fluorescence intensity values shown as in D (n = 20 embryos, with two replicates). p = 0.8728, unpaired t test. Error bars represent ± SEM. 
pard3 and prkci Are Functionally Relevant miR-219 Targets (A-C) Lateral images of living 3 dpf (Tg:olig2:EGFP) larvae, focused on the trunk spinal cord. Control larva (A) shows the normal number and distribution of dorsally migrating OPCs (arrow). Whereas miR-219 MO-injected larvae have few OPCs (B), larvae coinjected with miR-219 and pard3 MOs have an intermediate number of OPCs (C). (D) Graph showing quantification of OPC phenotypic classes. Larvae classified as normal had the number of dorsally migrated OPCs typical of wild-type. Larvae were classified as severe if fewer than five OPCs had migrated and mild in all other circumstances. p value was calculated by comparing the number of larvae with normal numbers of OPCs in the miR-219-MO alone and miR-219 MO ± pard3 MO experiments. Data represent ± SEM (n = 25 larvae per group, with three replicates). *p = 0.0324, unpaired t test. (E and F) Larvae injected with pard3 TP MO have fewer OPCs than those injected with a control TP MO. (G) Graph showing quantification of the pard3 TP MO phenotypes. Data represent ± SEM (n = 35 and 55 larvae in two independent experiments). ****p < 0.0001, unpaired t test. (H and I) Larvae injected with prkci TP MO have fewer OPCs than those injected with a control TP MO. (J) Graph showing quantification of the prkci TP MO phenotype. (n = 45-60 larvae per experiment, with three independent experiments). **p = 0.0020, unpaired t test.
Asymmetric self-renewing division of neural precursors is essential for brain development. Partitioning-defective (Par) proteins promote self-renewal, and their asymmetric distribution provides a mechanism for asymmetric division. Near the end of neural development, most asymmetric division ends and precursors differentiate. This correlates with Par protein disappearance, but mechanisms that cause downregulation are unknown. MicroRNAs can promote precursor differentiation but have not been linked to Par protein regulation. We tested a hypothesis that microRNA miR-219 promotes precursor differentiation by inhibiting Par proteins. Neural precursors in zebrafish larvae lacking miR-219 function retained apical proteins, remained in the cell cycle, and failed to differentiate. miR-219 inhibited expression via target sites within the 3' untranslated sequence of pard3 and prkci mRNAs, which encode Par proteins, and blocking miR-219 access to these sites phenocopied loss of miR-219 function. We propose that negative regulation of Par protein expression by miR-219 promotes cell-cycle exit and differentiation.
 
mtDNA Nucleoids Disappear during Spermatogenesis (A) Schematic summary of postmeiotic sperm development depicting nuclei (green), mitochondria (red), and investment cones (purple). (B) Onion stage spermatids stained for DNA (PicoGreen: green), and mitochondria (mito-YFP: red). Each nucleus (n) is paired with a large mitochondrial structure, the nebenkern (mt). (C-E) Elongating spermatid bundles stained for DNA (PicoGreen: green) and actin (phalloidin: purple). (C) Elongation stage bundle, 560 mm long. A cluster of normal spermatid nuclei (n), apically discarded spermatid nuclei (n 0 ), and a somatic cell nucleus belonging to a cyst cell (n 00 ) form large staining foci. mtDNA nucleoids (magnified in inset) form much smaller foci throughout the tail bundle. (D and E) Two late elongation stage bundles, 1,729 mm (D) and 1,747 mm (E) long. Numbers indicate distance (mm) of image from basal tip of bundle. Scale bars are 10 mm. (F) Nucleoid density (number of nucleoids/mm) along the lengths of four representative spermatid bundles (each bundle is a different colored line) of the indicated length (mm). (G) Average number of nucleoids per onion stage spermatid (O), elongating spermatid <1,700 mm (E1), elongating spermatid 1,700-1,800 mm (E2), and elongating spermatid >1,800 mm (E3). Error bars indicate standard deviation in a least three cysts. See also Figure S2.
mtDNA Nucleoid Elimination During Spermatid Elongation Requires EndoG 
Residual mtDNA Nucleoids are Removed from EndoG Mutant Sperm During Spermatid Individualization 
Across the eukaryotic phylogeny, offspring usually inherit their mitochondrial genome from only one of two parents: in animals, the female. Although mechanisms that eliminate paternally derived mitochondria from the zygote have been sought, the developmental stage at which paternal transmission of mitochondrial DNA is restricted is unknown in most animals. Here, we show that the mitochondria of mature Drosophila sperm lack DNA, and we uncover two processes that eliminate mitochondrial DNA during spermatogenesis. Visualization of mitochondrial DNA nucleoids revealed their abrupt disappearance from developing spermatids in a process requiring the mitochondrial nuclease, Endonuclease G. In Endonuclease G mutants, persisting nucleoids are swept out of spermatids by a cellular remodeling process that trims and shapes spermatid tails. Our results show that mitochondrial DNA is eliminated during spermatogenesis, thereby removing the capacity of sperm to transmit the mitochondrial genome to the next generation.
 
Top-cited authors
Daniel J Klionsky
  • University of Michigan
Erwin F Wagner
  • Medical University of Vienna (MUW)
Kiran Bhadriraju
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
Dana Pirone
  • Mount Saint Mary's University, Emmitsburg
Gerard Karsenty
  • Columbia University