[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Canonical Wnt signaling plays an important role in development and disease, regulating transcription of target genes and stabilizing many proteins phosphorylated by glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3). We observed that the MiT family of transcription factors, which includes the melanoma oncogene MITF (micropthalmia-associated transcription factor) and the lysosomal master regulator TFEB, had the highest phylogenetic conservation of three consecutive putative GSK3 phosphorylation sites in animal proteomes. This finding prompted us to examine the relationship between MITF, endolysosomal biogenesis, and Wnt signaling. Here we report that MITF expression levels correlated with the expression of a large subset of lysosomal genes in melanoma cell lines. MITF expression in the tetracycline-inducible C32 melanoma model caused a marked increase in vesicular structures, and increased expression of late endosomal proteins, such as Rab7, LAMP1, and CD63. These late endosomes were not functional lysosomes as they were less active in proteolysis, yet were able to concentrate Axin1, phospho-LRP6, phospho-beta-catenin, and GSK3 in the presence of Wnt ligands. This relocalization significantly enhanced Wnt signaling by increasing the number of multivesicular bodies into which the Wnt signalosome/destruction complex becomes localized upon Wnt signaling. We also show that the MITF protein was stabilized by Wnt signaling, through the novel C-terminal GSK3 phosphorylations identified here. MITF stabilization caused an increase in multivesicular body biosynthesis, which in turn increased Wnt signaling, generating a positive-feedback loop that may function during the proliferative stages of melanoma. The results underscore the importance of misregulated endolysosomal biogenesis in Wnt signaling and cancer.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Canonical Wnt signaling requires inhibition of Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 (GSK3) activity, but the molecular mechanism by which this is achieved remains unclear. Here, we report that Wnt signaling triggers the sequestration of GSK3 from the cytosol into multivesicular bodies (MVBs), so that this enzyme becomes separated from its many cytosolic substrates. Endocytosed Wnt colocalized with GSK3 in acidic vesicles positive for endosomal markers. After Wnt addition, endogenous GSK3 activity decreased in the cytosol, and GSK3 became protected from protease treatment inside membrane-bounded organelles. Cryoimmunoelectron microscopy showed that these corresponded to MVBs. Two proteins essential for MVB formation, HRS/Vps27 and Vps4, were required for Wnt signaling. The sequestration of GSK3 extended the half-life of many other proteins in addition to β-Catenin, including an artificial Wnt-regulated reporter protein containing GSK3 phosphorylation sites. We conclude that multivesicular endosomes are essential components of the Wnt signal-transduction pathway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vertebrate Crossveinless-2 (CV2) is a secreted protein that can potentiate or antagonize BMP signaling. Through embryological and biochemical experiments we find that: (1) CV2 functions as a BMP4 feedback inhibitor in ventral regions of the Xenopus embryo; (2) CV2 complexes with Twisted gastrulation and BMP4; (3) CV2 is not a substrate for tolloid proteinases; (4) CV2 binds to purified Chordin protein with high affinity (K(D) in the 1 nM range); (5) CV2 binds even more strongly to Chordin proteolytic fragments resulting from Tolloid digestion or to full-length Chordin/BMP complexes; (6) CV2 depletion causes the Xenopus embryo to become hypersensitive to the anti-BMP effects of Chordin overexpression or tolloid inhibition. We propose that the CV2/Chordin interaction may help coordinate BMP diffusion to the ventral side of the embryo, ensuring that BMPs liberated from Chordin inhibition by tolloid proteolysis cause peak signaling levels.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitotic cell division ensures that two daughter somatic cells inherit identical genetic material. Previous work has shown that signaling by the Smad1 transcription factor is terminated by polyubiquitinylation and proteasomal degradation after essential phosphorylations by MAPK and glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3). Here, we show that, unexpectedly, proteins specifically targeted for proteasomal degradation are inherited preferentially by one mitotic daughter during somatic cell division. Experiments with dividing human embryonic stem cells and other mammalian cultured cell lines demonstrated that in many supposedly equal mitoses the segregation of proteins destined for degradation (Smad1 phosphorylated by MAPK and GSK3, phospho-beta-catenin, and total polyubiquitinylated proteins) was asymmetric. Transport of pSmad1 targeted for degradation to the centrosome required functional microtubules. In vivo, an antibody specific for Mad phosphorylated by MAPK showed that this antigen was associated preferentially with one of the two centrosomes in Drosophila embryos at cellular blastoderm stage. We propose that this remarkable cellular property may be explained by the asymmetric inheritance of peripheral centrosomal proteins when centrioles separate and migrate to opposite poles of the cell, so that one mitotic daughter remains pristine. We conclude that many mitotic divisions are unequal, unlike what was previously thought.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2008 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling pathways are essential for embryonic patterning, and they are disturbed in a wide spectrum of diseases, including cancer. An unresolved question is how the different Wnt pathways are supported and regulated. We previously established that the postsynaptic density 95/disc-large/zona occludens (PDZ) protein syntenin binds to syndecans, Wnt coreceptors, and known stimulators of protein kinase C (PKC)alpha and CDC42 activity. Here, we show that syntenin also interacts with the C-terminal PDZ binding motif of several Frizzled Wnt receptors, without compromising the recruitment of Dishevelled, a key downstream Wnt-signaling component. Syntenin is coexpressed with cognate Frizzled during early development in Xenopus. Overexpression and down-regulation of syntenin disrupt convergent extension movements, supporting a role for syntenin in noncanonical Wnt signaling. Syntenin stimulates c-jun phosphorylation and modulates Frizzled 7 signaling, in particular the PKCalpha/CDC42 noncanonical Wnt signaling cascade. The syntenin-Frizzled 7 binding mode indicates syntenin can accommodate Frizzled 7-syndecan complexes. We propose that syntenin is a novel component of the Wnt signal transduction cascade and that it might function as a direct intracellular link between Frizzled and syndecans.
Full-text · Article · May 2008 · Molecular biology of the cell
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The DNA-binding transcription factor Smad-interacting protein-1 (Sip1) (also named Zfhx1b/ZEB2) plays essential roles in vertebrate embryogenesis. In Xenopus, XSip1 is essential at the gastrula stage for neural tissue formation, but the precise molecular mechanisms that underlie this process have not been fully identified yet. Here we show that XSip1 functions as a transcriptional repressor during neural induction. We observed that constitutive activation of BMP signaling prevents neural induction by XSip1 but not the inhibition of several epidermal genes. We provide evidence that XSip1 binds directly to the BMP4 proximal promoter and modulates its activity. Finally, by deletion and mutational analysis, we show that XSip1 possesses multiple repression domains and that CtBPs contribute to its repression activity. Consistent with this, interference with XCtBP function reduced XSip1 neuralizing activity. These results suggest that Sip1 acts in neural tissue formation through direct repression of BMP4 but that BMP-independent mechanisms are involved as well. Our data also provide the first demonstration of the importance of CtBP binding in Sip1 transcriptional activity in vivo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurons and glial cells differentiate from common multipotent precursors in the vertebrate retina. We have identified a novel member of the hairy/Enhancer of split [E(spl)] gene family in Xenopus, XHes2, as a regulator to bias retinal precursor cells towards a glial fate. XHes2 expression is predominantly restricted to sensory organ territories, including the retina. Using in vivo lipofection in the optic vesicle, we found that XHes2 overexpression dramatically increases gliogenesis at the expense of neurogenesis. This increase in glial cells correlates with a delayed cell cycle withdrawal of some retinal progenitors. In addition, birthdating experiments suggest that XHes2 deviates some early born cell types towards a glial fate that would normally have given rise to neurons. Conversely, a significant inhibition of glial differentiation is observed upon XHes2 loss of function. The gliogenic activity of XHes2 relies on its ability to inhibit neuronal differentiation by at least two distinct mechanisms: it not only negatively regulates XNgnr1 and NeuroD transcription, but it also physically interacts with a subset of proneural bHLH proteins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Notch signaling has been shown to play a role in cell fate decisions in the Xenopus pronephros anlagen. Here, we show that the Xenopus Hairy-related transcription factor (HRT) gene XHRT1, and the Hairy/Enhancer of split (HES) genes Xhairy1, Xhairy2b, esr9 and esr10, have distinct restricted dynamic expression patterns during pronephros development, and that their expression is regulated by Notch. XHRT1, which is the earliest and strongest gene expressed in the pronephric region, is initially transcribed predominantly in the forming glomus, where it is downregulated by antisense morpholino oligonucleotide inhibition of xWT1. Later, it is activated in the most dorsoanterior part of the pronephros anlagen that gives rise to the proximal tubules. In agreement with this dynamic expression profile, we found that early activation of Notch favors glomus, whereas only later activation promotes proximal tubule formation. We show that, among the bHLH-O factors tested, only XHRT1 efficiently inhibits distal tubule and duct formation, and that only its translational inhibition causes a reduction of the expression of proximal tubule and glomus markers. Using domain swap experiments, we found that the XHRT1 C-terminal region is crucial for its activity. Together, our results provide evidence that XHRT1 plays an important role in glomerular development and early proximodistal patterning that is distinct from those of the other pronephric bHLH repressors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The zinc finger/homeo-domain transcription factor (zfh x 1) family in vertebrates consists of two members, deltaEF1 and SIP1. They have been proposed to display antagonistic activities in the interpretation of Smad-dependent TGFbeta signaling during mesoderm formation. We cloned Xenopus deltaEF1 cDNA, analyzed the expression profile of the gene, and compared the inducing and interacting properties of the protein to that of XSIP1. Whereas XSIP1 RNA is selectively expressed in the early developing nervous system, we show that XdeltaEF1 gene transcription is only activated during neurulation and that its expression is restricted to the paraxial mesoderm. From early tail bud stage, XdeltaEF1 and XSIP1 are coexpressed in migratory cranial neural crest, in the retina, and in the neural tube. Overproduction of XdeltaEF1 in RNA-injected embryos, like that of XSIP1, reduced the expression of BMP-dependent genes but only XSIP1 has the ability to induce neural markers. We find that XdeltaEF1 and XSIP1 can both form complexes, although with different efficiency, with Smad3, with the coactivators p300 and pCAF, and with the corepressor CtBP1. Together, these results indicate that deltaEF1 and SIP1 do not function as antagonists during Xenopus early embryogenesis but do display different repression efficiencies and interaction properties.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2006 · Developmental Dynamics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: XHRT1 is a member of the HRT/Hey protein subfamily that are known as Notch effectors. XHRT1 is expressed in the developing floor plate and encodes a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription repressor. Here, we show that XHRT1 misexpression in the neural plate inhibits differentiation of neural precursor cells and thus may be important for floor plate cells to prevent them from adopting a neuronal fate. Deletion analysis indicated that inhibition of differentiation by XHRT1 requires the DNA-binding bHLH motif and either the Orange domain or the C-terminal region. XHRT1 could efficiently homodimerize and heterodimerize with hairy proteins. Among those hairy genes, Xhairy2b shows extensive overlap of expression with XHRT1 in floor plate precursors and may be a biologically relevant XHRT1 partner. Dimerization is mediated through both the bHLH and downstream sequences, the Orange domain being particularly important for the efficiency of the interaction. Using chimeric constructs between XHRT1 and the ESR9 bHLH-O protein that does not interact with Xhairy1 and Xhairy2b, we found that both the bHLH domain and downstream sequences of XHRT1 were required for heterodimerization with Xhairy2b, while only the XHRT1 sequences downstream of the Orange domain are required for the interaction with Xhairy1. Together, these results suggest that XHRT1 plays a role in floor plate cell development and highlight the importance of the Orange and downstream sequences in dimerization and in the selection of the bHLH partners.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2005 · Developmental Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hairy-related transcription factors (HRTs) constitute a recently identified subfamily of basic-helix-loop-helix transcription factors containing an Orange domain (bHLH-O factors). As compared to the related HES proteins, HRTs exhibit distinct DNA-binding activities in vitro and the molecular mechanisms underlying their transcriptional activity remain poorly understood. We have identified here the sequence "ggCACGTGcc" as predominant binding site for Xenopus HRT1 (XHRT1). In transiently transfected 3T3 cells, XHRT1 represses the expression of a luciferase reporter gene under the control of multimerized XHRT1 binding sites. Deletion analysis indicated that repression by XHRT1 requires the presence of the DNA-binding bHLH motif and the Orange domain. However, the presence of the sequence motif YRPWGTEIGAF located at the very C-terminus of XHRT1 is dispensable. Accordingly, the groucho co-repressor, which is known to mediate transcriptional repression by HES factors through binding their C-terminal WRPW sequence, does not recognize the related YRPW motif present in the C-terminal part of XHRT1 significantly in vitro. As the C-terminus of HRTs is well conserved, our observation indicates that this part of HRTs, unlike the corresponding part of HES proteins, does not recruit the groucho co-repressor efficiently.
No preview · Article · Nov 2004 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hairy-related transcription factor (HRT/Hey) genes encode a novel subfamily of basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors related to the Drosophila hairy and Enhancer-of-split (E(spl)) and the mammalian HES proteins that function as downstream mediators of Notch signaling. Using the yeast two-hybrid approach, a previously uncharacterized protein was identified in Xenopus that interacts with XHRT1 (originally referred to as bc8), one member of the HRT/Hey subclass. This protein is evolutionarily conserved in chordates. It binds to sequences adjacent to the bHLH domain of XHRT1 known as the Orange domain and has been named bc8 Orange interacting protein (BOIP). BOIP shows a rather uniform subcellular localization and is recruited to the nucleus upon binding to XHRT1. In Xenopus, XBOIP mRNA is detected by RNase protection analysis throughout embryogenesis. In the adult, the strongest expression is detected in testis. In the mouse, high levels of BOIP mRNA are also found in adult testis. No expression is detected in the embryo and in any of the other adult organs tested. In situ hybridization revealed that BOIP transcripts were detected almost exclusively in round spermatids and that this expression overlaps with that of Hey1 (HRT1), which is expressed throughout spermatogenesis. In view of the importance of the Orange domain for HRT/Hey function, the newly identified BOIP proteins may serve as regulators specifically of HRT1/Hey1 activity.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2003 · Developmental Dynamics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have isolated a Xenopus homologue of the mammalian hairy and Enhancer of split related gene HRT1. XHRT1 expression in late gastrula and early neurula embryos is restricted to two stripes of cells in the medial neural plate and in dorsal endodermal cells. At later stages, XHRT1 is expressed in the floor plate, in hypochord cells and in the somitogenic and anterior presomitic mesoderm. By tailbud stage, XHRT1 is also highly expressed in the dorsal hindbrain, telencephalon and eye vesicles, olfactory placodes, pronephros, branchial arches and tail fin. We also show that XHRT1 expression in medial neural cells is induced by Notch signaling and that there are differences in the way XHRT1 and other H/E(spl) genes are regulated.
No preview · Article · Dec 2002 · Development Genes and Evolution
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have identified a Xenopus bHLH gene, Xath2, which is the homologue of the murine MATH-2/NEX-1 gene, using a functional expression screening approach. Overexpression of this gene in neurula embryos induces the expression of the N-tubulin neuronal marker but does not stimulate the expression of the X-ngnr-1 and NeuroD proneural genes. Expression of Xath2 begins in stage 32 embryos and is restricted to the dorsal telencephalon. Within the neuroepithelium of the dorsal telencephalon, Xath2 expression is detected in postmitotic cells located more laterally than those expressing several other related bHLH neuronal regulators.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2001 · Mechanisms of Development
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Wnt signaling pathways,are essential for embryonic patterning and are disturbed in a wide spectrum of diseases, including cancer. An unresolved question is how the different Wnt pathways,are supported and regulated. We previously established that the PDZ protein syntenin binds to syndecans, Wnt co-receptors and known stimulators of PKCα and CDC42 activity. Here, we show that syntenin also interacts with the C-terminal PDZ binding motif ofseveral Frizzled Wnt receptors, without compromising the recruitment of Dishevelled, a key downstream ,Wnt-signaling component. Syntenin is co-expressed with cognate Frizzled during early development ,in Xenopus. Overexpression and down-regulation of syntenin disrupt convergent extension movements, supporting a role for syntenin in non-canonical