[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hedgehog (Hh) acts as a morphogen to activate the transcription of diverse target genes via its downstream effector Cubitus interruptus (Ci). Currently, it is less understood how Ci recruits co-factors to activate transcription. Here we report that hyperplastic discs (hyd), an E3 ubiquitin ligase, can differentially regulate the transcriptional outputs of Hh signaling. We show that loss of Hyd activity caused upregulation of some, but not all of Hh target genes. Importantly, Hyd does not affect the stability of Ci. Our data suggest that Hyd differentially restrains the transcriptional activity of Ci via selective association with respective promoters.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Mechanisms of Development
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Jun N-terminal kinase pathway plays an important role in inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis) and is activated in a variety of contexts. The deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are proteases regulating the protein stability by ubiquitin-proteasome system. Here, for the first time, we report the phenotypes observed during eye development that are induced by deleting Drosophila USP5 gene, which encodes one of the USP subfamily of DUBs. usp5 mutants displayed defects in photoreceptor differentiation. Using genetic epistasis analysis and molecular markers, we show that most of these phenotypes are caused by the activation of apoptosis and JNK pathway. These data may provide a mechanistic model for understanding the mammalian usp5 gene.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wnt members act as morphogens essential for embryonic patterning and adult homeostasis. Currently, it is still unclear how Wnt secretion and its gradient formation are regulated. In this study, we examined the roles of N-glycosylation and lipidation/acylation in regulating the activities of Wingless (Wg), the main Drosophila Wnt member. We show that Wg mutant devoid of all the N-glycosylations exhibits no major defects in either secretion or signaling, indicating that N-glycosylation is dispensable for Wg activities. We demonstrate that lipid modification at Serine 239 (S239) rather than that at Cysteine 93 (C93) plays a more important role in regulating Wg signaling in multiple developmental contexts. Wg S239 mutant exhibits a reduced ability to bind its receptor, Drosophila Frizzled 2 (dFz2), suggesting that S239 is involved in the formation of a Wg/receptor complex. Importantly, while single Wg C93 or Wg S239 mutants can be secreted, removal of both acyl groups at C93 and S239 renders Wg incapable of reaching the plasma membrane for secretion. These data argue that lipid modifications at C93 and S239 play major roles in Wg secretion. Further experiments demonstrate that two acyl attachment sites in the Wg protein are required for the interaction of Wg with Wntless (Wls, also known as Evi or Srt), the key cargo receptor involved in Wg secretion. Together, our data demonstrate the in vivo roles of N-glycosylation and lipid modification in Wg secretion and signaling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To measure the tear menisci in Sjögren's syndrome dry eye (SSDE) by optical coherence tomography (OCT) and to determine its relationships with the clinical tests.
Twenty-six SSDE, 26 non-SSDE, and 26 control subjects completed the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) before OCT determination of upper tear meniscus volume (UTMV), lower tear meniscus volume (LTMV), and total tear meniscus volume (TTMV). These were followed by measurements of noninvasive tear breakup time (NITBUT), fluorescein tear breakup time (FTBUT), fluorescein staining, Schirmer test, and corneal confocal microscopy.
UTMV, LTMV, and TTMV were the lowest in SSDE among the three groups (P < 0.05). High sensitivity and specificity of UTMV (1.0; 0.96), LTMV (0.92; 0.92), and TTMV (0.96; 0.96) were found in the diagnosis of SSDE. For SSDE, the areas under the UTMV, LTMV, and TTMV receiver operating characteristic curves were larger than those in NITBUT, FTBUT, and Schirmer test (P < 0.005). In the SSDE group, NITBUT was correlated with UTMV (R = 0.41) and TTMV (R = 0.39) (P < 0.05). Fluorescein staining score was significantly correlated with UTMV (R = -0.46), LTMV (R = -0.41), and TTMV (R = -0.53) (P < 0.05). Superficial epithelial cell density was correlated with UTMV (R = 0.18), LTMV (R = 0.51), and TTMV (R = 0.44) (P < 0.05).
Tear menisci volumes estimated by OCT may have great potential in the diagnosis and monitoring of SSDE. They can also reflect ocular surface damage and tear film stability.
No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To critically evaluate whether the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) plays a role in postnatal refractive development in mice.
Custom-built biometric systems specifically designed for mice were used to assess the development of relative myopia by examining refraction and biometrics in A2AR knockout (KO) mice and wild-type (WT) littermates between postnatal days (P)28 and P56. Ocular dimensions were measured by customized optical coherence tomography (OCT), refractive state by eccentric infrared photorefraction (EIR), and corneal radius of curvature by modified keratometry. Scleral collagen diameter and density were examined by electron microscopy on P35. The effect of A2AR activation on collagen mRNA expression and on soluble collagen production was examined in cultured human scleral fibroblasts by real-time RT-PCR and a collagen assay kit.
Compared with WT littermates, the A2AR KO mice displayed relative myopia (average difference, 5.1 D between P28 and P35) and associated increases in VC depth and axial length from P28 to P56. Furthermore, the myopic shift in A2AR KO mice was associated with ultrastructural changes in the sclera: Electron microscopy revealed denser collagen fibrils with reduced diameter in A2AR KO compared with WT. Last, A2AR activation induced expression of mRNAs for collagens I, III, and V and increased production of soluble collagen in cultured human scleral fibroblasts.
Genetic deletion of the A2AR promotes development of relative myopia with increased axial length and altered scleral collagen fiber structure during postnatal development in mice. Thus, the A2AR may be important in normal refractive development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ambient lighting is essential for ocular development in many species, however, disruption in diurnal lighting cycle can affect the development in refraction and axial growth of the eye. This study investigated the effects of prolonged daily lighting on refraction and various optical components of the eye by raising C57BL/6 mice under three different light/dark cycles (18/6, 12/12 and 6/18). Egr-1 mRNA expression, apoptosis and histology of the retina and size of the scleral fibrils were evaluated in these three lighting cycles. Results showed that there was a trend of myopic development, increasing vitreous chamber depth and thinning of the retina in eyes from 6/18 to 18/6 groups. Retinal Egr-1 mRNA expression and diameter of scleral fibrils were reduced with the prolongation of daily lighting from 6/18 to 18/6. However, retinal apoptosis was not detected in all the groups. These results suggest that prolonged lighting can induce axial myopia in inbred mice. This model, which uses mice with similar genetic backgrounds, provides an alternative to the currently available models and therefore is useful for evaluation of refractive errors caused by changes in environmental illumination.
No preview · Article · Nov 2009 · Photochemistry and Photobiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe a wild-type guinea pig strain with an incidence of spontaneous axial myopia, minimal pupil responses, lack of accommodation, and apparently normal spatial vision. Such a strain is of interest because it may permit the exploration of defective emmetropization and mapping of the underlying quantitative trait loci.
Twenty-eight guinea pigs were selected from 220 animals based on binocular myopia (exceeding -1.50 diopter [D]) or anisometropia (difference between both eyes exceeding 10 D) at 4 weeks of age. Refractions and pupil responses were measured with eccentric infrared photoretinoscopy, corneal curvature by modified conventional keratometer, and axial lengths by A-scan ultrasonography once a week. Twenty-one guinea pigs were raised under a normal 12-hour light/12-hour dark cycle. From a sample of 18 anisometropic guinea pigs, 11 were raised under normal light cycle and 7 were raised in the dark to determine the extent to which visual input guides emmetropization. Spatial vision was tested in an automated optomotor drum.
In 10 guinea pigs with myopia in both eyes, refractive errors ranged from -15.67 D to -1.50 D at 3 weeks with a high interocular correlation (R = 0.82); axial length and corneal curvature grew almost linearly over time. Strikingly, two patterns of recovery were observed in anisometropic guinea pigs: in 12 (67%) anisometropia persisted, and in 6 (33%) it declined over time. These ratios remained similar in dark-reared guinea pigs. Unlike published strains, all guinea pigs of this strain showed weak pupil responses and no signs of accommodation but up to 3 cyc/deg of spatial resolution.
This strain of guinea pigs has spontaneous axial refractive errors that may be genetically or epigenetically determined. Interestingly, it differs from other published strains that show no refractive errors, vivid accommodation, or pupil responses.