LIM homeobox transcription factors integrate signaling events that control three-dimensional limb patterning and growth

Section on Mammalian Molecular Genetics, Laboratory of Mammalian Genes and Development, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Development (Impact Factor: 6.46). 05/2009; 136(8):1375-85. DOI: 10.1242/dev.026476
Source: PubMed


Vertebrate limb development is controlled by three signaling centers that regulate limb patterning and growth along the proximodistal (PD), anteroposterior (AP) and dorsoventral (DV) limb axes. Coordination of limb development along these three axes is achieved by interactions and feedback loops involving the secreted signaling molecules that mediate the activities of these signaling centers. However, it is unknown how these signaling interactions are processed in the responding cells. We have found that distinct LIM homeodomain transcription factors, encoded by the LIM homeobox (LIM-HD) genes Lhx2, Lhx9 and Lmx1b integrate the signaling events that link limb patterning and outgrowth along all three axes. Simultaneous loss of Lhx2 and Lhx9 function resulted in patterning and growth defects along the AP and the PD limb axes. Similar, but more severe, phenotypes were observed when the activities of all three factors, Lmx1b, Lhx2 and Lhx9, were significantly reduced by removing their obligatory co-factor Ldb1. This reveals that the dorsal limb-specific factor Lmx1b can partially compensate for the function of Lhx2 and Lhx9 in regulating AP and PD limb patterning and outgrowth. We further showed that Lhx2 and Lhx9 can fully substitute for each other, and that Lmx1b is partially redundant, in controlling the production of output signals in mesenchymal cells in response to Fgf8 and Shh signaling. Our results indicate that several distinct LIM-HD transcription factors in conjunction with their Ldb1 co-factor serve as common central integrators of distinct signaling interactions and feedback loops to coordinate limb patterning and outgrowth along the PD, AP and DV axes after limb bud formation.

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    • "In addition to short stature, patients with SHOX deficiency can present a wide variety of skeletal malformations such as shortening and bowing of the forearms, Madelung deformity, and cubitus valgus [56]. Other down-regulated transcription factors identified were LHX9, CRIP2, CSRP2, and TES, which belong to the LIM homeobox family also implicated in skeletal and limb development [57]. Altogether, these data indicate that the altered gene expression of different transcription factors seems to contribute to the skeletal abnormalities of SEMDJL1 patients. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in B3GALT6, encoding the galactosyltransferase II (GalT-II) involved in the synthesis of the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) linkage region of proteoglycans (PGs), have recently been associated with a spectrum of connective tissue disorders, including spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia with joint laxity type 1 (SEMDJL1) and Ehlers–Danlos-like syndrome. Here, we report on two sisters compound heterozygous for two novel B3GALT6 mutations that presented with severe short stature and progressive kyphoscoliosis, joint hypermobility and laxity, hyperextensible skin, platyspondyly, short ilia, and elbow malalignment. Microarray-based transcriptome analysis revealed the differential expression of several genes encoding extracellular matrix (ECM) structural components, including COMP, SPP1, COL5A1, and COL15A1, enzymes involved in GAG synthesis and in ECM remodeling, such as CSGALNACT1, CHPF, LOXL3, and STEAP4, signaling transduction molecules of the TGFβ/BMP pathway, i.e., GDF6, GDF15, and BMPER, and transcription factors of the HOX and LIM families implicated in skeletal and limb development. Immunofluorescence analyses confirmed the down-regulated expression of some of these genes, in particular of the cartilage oligomeric matrix protein and osteopontin, encoded by COMP and SPP1, respectively, and showed the predominant reduction and disassembly of the heparan sulfate specific GAGs, as well as of the PG perlecan and type III and V collagens. The key role of GalT-II in GAG synthesis and the crucial biological functions of PGs are consistent with the perturbation of many physiological functions that are critical for the correct architecture and homeostasis of various connective tissues, including skin, bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, and generates the wide phenotypic spectrum of GalT-II-deficient patients.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports
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    • "In mice, Ldb1 is ubiquitously expressed during development, and a global knockout of Ldb1 caused mid-gestation lethality with severe defects, such as loss of the heart and anterior head [13]. In addition, tissue-specific deletions using a conditional knockout allele revealed that Ldb1 is important in the development of the central nervous system (CNS), hematopoietic system, and limbs at later stages [14-16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: LIM domain binding protein 1 (LDB1) is a transcriptional co-factor, which interacts with multiple transcription factors and other proteins containing LIM domains. Complete inactivation of Ldb1 in mice resulted in early embryonic lethality with severe patterning defects during gastrulation. Tissue-specific deletions using a conditional knockout allele revealed additional roles of Ldb1 in the development of the central nervous system, hematopoietic system, and limbs. The goal of the current study was to determine the importance of Ldb1 function during craniofacial development in mouse embryos. We generated tissue-specific Ldb1 mutants using Wnt1-Cre, which causes deletion of a floxed allele in the neural crest; neural crest-derived cells contribute to most of the mesenchyme of the developing face. All examined Wnt1-Cre;Ldb1fl/- mutants suffered from cleft secondary palate. Therefore, we performed a series of experiments to investigate how Ldb1 regulated palate development. First, we examined the expression of Ldb1 during normal development, and found that Ldb1 was expressed broadly in the palatal mesenchyme during early stages of palate development. Second, we compared the morphology of the developing palate in control and Ldb1 mutant embryos using sections. We found that the mutant palatal shelves had abnormally blunt appearance, and failed to elevate above the tongue at the posterior domain. An in vitro head culture experiment indicated that the elevation defect was not due to interference by the tongue. Finally, in the Ldb1 mutant palatal shelves, cell proliferation was abnormal in the anterior, and the expression of Wnt5a, Pax9 and Osr2, which regulate palatal shelf elevation, was also altered. The function of Ldb1 in the neural crest-derived palatal mesenchyme is essential for normal morphogenesis of the secondary palate.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · BMC Developmental Biology
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    • "Because the primitive streak generates mesoderm and endoderm during gastrulation and the tailbud generates all three germ layers: mesoderm, neuroectoderm and endoderm [9], these lineages are recombined by TCre action [5], [10]. However, amongst the many studies where TCre has been used to control gene expression [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24], [25], [26], there is a subset wherein the TCre-mediated defect strongly affects axis extension, resulting in an embryonic truncation that precludes investigation of more posterior regions of the embryo [12], [13], [16], [20], [23], [25]. For example, when TCre is used to inactivate or activate ß-Catenin, an essential component of “canonical” WNT signaling, the resulting embryos do not develop normally past embryonic day 8.5 (E8.5) [13], [16], [25]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The study of axis extension and somitogenesis has been greatly advanced through the use of genetic tools such as the TCre mouse line. In this line, Cre is controlled by a fragment of the T (Brachyury) promoter that is active in progenitor cells that reside within the primitive streak and tail bud and which give rise to lineages emerging from these tissues as the embryonic axis extends. However, because TCre-mediated recombination occurs early in development, gene inactivation can result in an axis truncation that precludes the study of gene function in later or more posterior tissues. To address this limitation, we have generated an inducible TCre transgenic mouse line, called TCreERT2, that provides temporal control, through tamoxifen administration, in all cells emerging from the primitive streak or tail bud throughout development. TCreERT2 activity is mostly silent in the absence of tamoxifen and, in its presence, results in near complete recombination of emerging mesoderm from E7.5 through E13.5. We demonstrate the utility of the TCreERT2 line for determining rate of posterior axis extension and somite formation, thus providing the first in vivo tool for such measurements. To test the usefulness of TCreERT2 for genetic manipulation, we demonstrate that an early deletion of ß-Catenin via TCreERT2 induction phenocopies the TCre-mediated deletion of ß-Catenin defect, whereas a later induction bypasses this early phenotype and produces a similar defect in more caudal tissues. TCreERT2 provides a useful and novel tool for the control of gene expression of emerging embryonic lineages throughout development.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2013 · PLoS ONE
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