During neural tube closure, Pax3 is required to inhibit p53-dependent apoptosis. Pax3 is also required for migration of cardiac neural crest (CNC) from the neural tube to the heart and septation of the primitive single cardiac outflow tract into the aorta and pulmonary arteries. Whether Pax3 is required for CNC migration and outflow tract septation by inhibiting p53-dependent apoptosis is not known. In this study, mouse strains carrying reporters linked to Pax3 alleles were used to map the fate of CNC cells in embryos which were either Pax3-sufficient (expressing one or two functional Pax3 alleles) or Pax3-deficient (expressing two null Pax3 alleles), and in which p53 had been inactivated or not. Migrating CNC cells were observed in both Pax3-sufficient and -deficient embryos, but CNC cells were sparse and disorganized in Pax3-deficient embryos as migration progressed. The defective migration was associated with increased cell death. Suppression of p53, either by null mutation of the p53 gene, or administration of a p53 inhibitor, pifithrin-alpha, prevented the defective CNC migration and apoptosis in Pax3-deficient embryos, and also restored proper development of cardiac outflow tracts. These results indicate that Pax3 is required for cardiac outflow tract septation because it blocks p53-dependent processes during CNC migration.
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"Via the Wnt/Fz/Dvl pathway, DAAM1 with RhoA participates in morphology and migratory behaviors in vertebrates such as cell fate specification, migration, proliferation and apoptosis
[13,17]. Cardiac neural crest (cNC) passes through pharyngeal arches to the efferent pathway of the heart, and subsequent directional cell migration are essential for the formation of cardiac outflow tract
. Failure of the cNC directed migration may cause severe defects in the conotruncal region and the atrioventricular septum. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background
With an increasing incidence of congenital heart defects (CHDs) in recent years, genotype-phenotype correlation and array-based methods have contributed to the genome-wide analysis and understanding of genetic variations in the CHD population. Here, we report a copy number deletion of chromosomal 14q23.1 in a female fetus with complex congenital heart defects. This is the first description of DAAM1 gene deletion associated with congenital heart anomalies.
Compared with the control population, one CHD fetus showed a unique copy number deletion of 14q23.1, a region that harbored DAAM1 and KIAA0666 genes.
Results suggest that the copy number deletion on chromosome 14q23.1 may be critical for cardiogenesis. However, the exact relationship and mechanism of how DAAM1 and KIAA0666 deletion contributes to the onset of CHD is yet to be determined.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · BMC Medical Genetics
"Mesenchymal cells were counted and divided by the total number of cells in a 40 field of view from three different regions of the cultures. -galactosidase staining was quantified as previously described (Morgan et al., 2008). Epicardial differentiation of smooth muscle cells was quantified following immunostaining against SM- MHC. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The epicardium is the primary source of coronary vascular smooth muscle cells (cVSMCs) and fibroblasts that reside in the compact myocardium. To form these epicardial-derived cells (EPDCs), the epicardium undergoes the process of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Although several signaling pathways have been identified that disrupt EMT, no pathway has been reported that restricts this developmental process. Here, we identify neurofibromin 1 (Nf1) as a key mediator of epicardial EMT. To determine the function of Nf1 during epicardial EMT and the formation of epicardial derivatives, cardiac fibroblasts and cVSMCs, we generated mice with a tissue-specific deletion of Nf1 in the epicardium. We found that mutant epicardial cells transitioned more readily to mesenchymal cells in vitro and in vivo. The mesothelial epicardium lost epithelial gene expression and became more invasive. Using lineage tracing of EPDCs, we found that the process of EMT occurred earlier in Nf1 mutant hearts, with an increase in epicardial cells entering the compact myocardium. Moreover, loss of Nf1 caused increased EPDC proliferation and resulted in more cardiac fibroblasts and cVSMCs. Finally, we were able to partially reverse the excessive EMT caused by loss of Nf1 by disrupting Pdgfrα expression in the epicardium. Conversely, Nf1 activation was able to inhibit PDGF-induced epicardial EMT. Our results demonstrate a regulatory role for Nf1 during epicardial EMT and provide insights into the susceptibility of patients with disrupted NF1 signaling to cardiovascular disease.
"This suggests that the ensuing NTD and COTD result from depletion of progenitor cells that are necessary to populate these structures. We showed that inactivation of p53 through germ-line mutation or chemical inhibition prevented the NTD, exencephaly and spina bifida, and COTD that are characteristic of Pax3Sp/Sp embryos, as well as associated apoptosis, in embryos expressing nonfunctional Pax3 alleles , . This indicates that Pax3 is not required in neuroepithelium and neural crest to regulate genes that direct morphogenesis or migration, but that it is required to block p53-dependent processes that lead to apoptosis. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Pax3 is a developmental transcription factor that is required for neural tube and neural crest development. We previously showed that inactivating the p53 tumor suppressor protein prevents neural tube and cardiac neural crest defects in Pax3-mutant mouse embryos. This demonstrates that Pax3 regulates these processes by blocking p53 function. Here we investigated the mechanism by which Pax3 blocks p53 function.
We employed murine embryonic stem cell (ESC)-derived neuronal precursors as a cell culture model of embryonic neuroepithelium or neural crest. Pax3 reduced p53 protein stability, but had no effect on p53 mRNA levels or the rate of p53 synthesis. Full length Pax3 as well as fragments that contained either the DNA-binding paired box or the homeodomain, expressed as GST or FLAG fusion proteins, physically associated with p53 and Mdm2 both in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, Splotch Pax3, which causes neural tube and neural crest defects in homozygous embryos, bound weakly, or not at all, to p53 or Mdm2. The paired domain and homeodomain each stimulated Mdm2-mediated ubiquitination of p53 and p53 degradation in the absence of the Pax3 transcription regulatory domains, whereas Splotch Pax3 did not stimulate p53 ubiquitination or degradation.
Pax3 inactivates p53 function by stimulating its ubiquitination and degradation. This process utilizes the Pax3 paired domain and homeodomain but is independent of DNA-binding and transcription regulation. Because inactivating p53 is the only required Pax3 function during neural tube closure and cardiac neural crest development, and inactivating p53 does not require Pax3-dependent transcription regulation, this indicates that Pax3 is not required to function as a transcription factor during neural tube closure and cardiac neural crest development. These findings further suggest novel explanations for PAX3 functions in human diseases, such as in neural crest-derived cancers and Waardenburg syndrome types 1 and 3.