A phenotype-driven ENU mutagenesis screen identifies novel alleles with functional roles in early mouse craniofacial development

Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
genesis (Impact Factor: 2.02). 04/2011; 49(4):342-59. DOI: 10.1002/dvg.20727
Source: PubMed


Proper craniofacial development begins during gastrulation and requires the coordinated integration of each germ layer tissue (ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm) and its derivatives in concert with the precise regulation of cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Neural crest cells, which are derived from ectoderm, are a migratory progenitor cell population that generates most of the cartilage, bone, and connective tissue of the head and face. Neural crest cell development is regulated by a combination of intrinsic cell autonomous signals acquired during their formation, balanced with extrinsic signals from tissues with which the neural crest cells interact during their migration and differentiation. Although craniofacial anomalies are typically attributed to defects in neural crest cell development, the cause may be intrinsic or extrinsic. Therefore, we performed a phenotype-driven ENU mutagenesis screen in mice with the aim of identifying novel alleles in an unbiased manner, that are critically required for early craniofacial development. Here we describe 10 new mutant lines, which exhibit phenotypes affecting frontonasal and pharyngeal arch patterning, neural and vascular development as well as sensory organ morphogenesis. Interestingly, our data imply that neural crest cells and endothelial cells may employ similar developmental programs and be interdependent during early embryogenesis, which collectively is critical for normal craniofacial morphogenesis. Furthermore our novel mutants that model human conditions such as exencephaly, craniorachischisis, DiGeorge, and Velocardiofacial sydnromes could be very useful in furthering our understanding of the complexities of specific human diseases.

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Available from: Shachi Bhatt, Dec 30, 2013
    • "This intraflagellar transport protein gene is also mutated in one type of human ciliopathy termed Short-Rib Thoracic Dysplasia (Norris and Grimes, 2012). Additional ENU mutations have provided new alleles that impact facial development by disrupting signaling through the Wnt, Hh, Tgfb, Fgf, and retinoic acid pathways and are valuable models to understand genetic and environmental influences on human craniofacial birth defects (Bjork et al., 2010;Feng et al., 2013;Handschuh et al., 2014;Sandell et al., 2011Sandell et al., , 2007). Of particular note, a dominant ENU screen identified the mouse line batface (Bfc), which presented with a shorter and broader face and was caused by a mutation in Ctnnb1, the gene encoding β-catenin (Nolan et al., 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: The craniofacial skeletal structures that comprise the human head develop from multiple tissues that converge to form the bones and cartilage of the face. Because of their complex development and morphogenesis, many human birth defects arise due to disruptions in these cellular populations. Thus, determining how these structures normally develop is vital if we are to gain a deeper understanding of craniofacial birth defects and devise treatment and prevention options. In this review, we will focus on how animal model systems have been used historically and in an ongoing context to enhance our understanding of human craniofacial development. We do this by first highlighting “animal to man” approaches: that is, how animal models are being utilized to understand fundamental mechanisms of craniofacial development. We discuss emerging technologies, including high throughput sequencing and genome editing, and new animal repository resources, and how their application can revolutionize the future of animal models in craniofacial research. Secondly, we highlight “man to animal” approaches, including the current use of animal models to test the function of candidate human disease variants. Specifically, we outline a common workflow deployed after discovery of a potentially disease causing variant based on a select set of recent examples in which human mutations are investigated in vivo using animal models. Collectively, these topics will provide a pipeline for the use of animal models in understanding human craniofacial development and disease for clinical geneticist and basic researchers alike.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Developmental Biology
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    • "Aldh1a2gri mutant mice were originally described as grimace mutants obtained as part of a chemical mutagenesis screen for defects in early craniofacial development [29]. Mice carrying the FLP recombinase (FLPeR) in the Rosa26 locus on a C57BL6 background [30] available from the Jackson Laboratory as stock #009086 B6.129S4-Gt(ROSA)26Sortm1(FLP1)Dym/RainJ. "
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    ABSTRACT: Retinoic Acid (RA) is a small lipophilic signaling molecule essential for embryonic development and adult tissue maintenance. Both an excess of RA and a deficiency of RA can cause pathogenic anomalies, hence it is critical to understand the mechanisms controlling the spatial and temporal distribution of RA. However, our current understanding of these processes remains incomplete. Vitamin A is metabolized to RA via two sequential enzymatic reactions. The first requires retinol dehydrogenase (RDH) activity to oxidize Vitamin A (retinol) to retinal, and the second requires retinaldehyde activity (RALDH) to oxidize retinal into RA. The first reaction has previously been attributed to the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) family, whose genes are ubiquitously or redundantly expressed. Consequently, the specificity of RA synthesis was thought to reside exclusively at the level of the second reaction. To better understand the metabolism of Vitamin A into RA during embryogenesis, we generated new mouse models that disrupt this process. Here we describe a new targeted knockout of Rdh10 in which RA synthesis is severely impaired, particularly at critical early embryonic stages. We also introduce a new mutant allele of Aldh1a2. Both mutations produce similar developmental defects resulting in lethality around embryonic day 10.5 (E10.5). The severity of the Rdh10 null phenotype demonstrates that embryonic oxidation of retinol is carried out primarily by RDH10 and that neither ADHs nor other enzymes contribute significantly to this reaction. We also show that reduced RA production results in upregulation of Rdh10. These data demonstrate that RDH10 plays a critical role in mediating the rate limiting RDH step of Vitamin A metabolism and functions as a nodal point in feedback regulation of RA synthesis. Moreover, RDH10-mediated oxidation of retinol plays as important a role in the control and regulation of RA production during embryogenesis as does the subsequent RALDH-mediated reaction.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Mouse models have been useful systems for identifying genes and mechanisms crucial for proper craniofacial development (Copp 2006, Sandell et al., 2011). Recently, a new spontaneous mutant that we call tuft arose in our 3H1 wild-type mouse colony. "
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    ABSTRACT: Intracranial lipomas are rare, but 45% of them occur along the midline cisterns between the hemispheres and are often associated with corpus callosum hypoplasia and craniofacial defects. They are difficult to detect as they are generally asymptomatic and visible by MRI or by postmortem examination. The exact cause of these interhemispheric lipomas is not known, but they arise from a developmental defect resulting in the maldifferentiation of mesenchymal cells into mesodermal derivatives that are not normally present. We have identified a new mouse mutant called tuft, exhibiting a forebrain, intracranial lipoma with midline craniofacial defects resembling frontonasal dysplasia (FND) that arose spontaneously in our wild-type 3H1 colony. The tuft trait seems to be transmitted in recessive fashion, but approximately 80% less frequent than the expected Mendelian 25%, due to either incomplete penetrance or prenatal lethality. MRI and histologic analysis revealed that the intracranial lipoma occurred between the hemispheres and often protruded through the sagittal suture. We also observed a lesion at the lamina terminalis (LT) that may indicate improper closure of the anterior neuropore. We have mapped the tuft trait to within an 18 cM region on mouse chromosome 10 by microsatellite linkage analysis and identified several candidate genes involved with craniofacial development and cellular differentiation of adipose tissue. Tuft is the only known mouse model for midline craniofacial defects with an intracranial lipoma. Identifying the gene(s) and mutation(s) causing this early developmental defect will help us understand the pathogenesis of FND and related craniofacial disorders.
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