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Keratin, type II; cytokeratin 8/18; EndoA antibody - Brulet, P. / Kemler, R.; Institut Pasteur

RRID:AB_531826

Progressive Recruitment of Mesenchymal Progenitors Reveals a Time-Dependent Process of Cell Fate Acquisition in Mouse and Human Nephrogenesis.

  • Lindström NO
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Jun 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mammalian nephrons arise from a limited nephron progenitor pool through a reiterative inductive process extending over days (mouse) or weeks (human) of kidney development. Here, we present evidence that human nephron patterning reflects a time-dependent process of recruitment of mesenchymal progenitors into an epithelial nephron precursor. Progressive recruitment predicted from high-resolution image analysis and three-dimensional reconstruction of human nephrogenesis was confirmed through direct visualization and cell fate analysis of mouse kidney organ cultures. Single-cell RNA sequencing of the human nephrogenic niche provided molecular insights into these early patterning processes and predicted developmental trajectories adopted by nephron progenitor cells in forming segment-specific domains of the human nephron. The temporal-recruitment model for nephron polarity and patterning suggested by direct analysis of human kidney development provides a framework for integrating signaling pathways driving mammalian nephrogenesis.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - C6/A11224(United Kingdom)

The cJUN NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway promotes genome stability and prevents tumor initiation.

  • Girnius N
  • Elife
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in women. Analysis of breast cancer genomic DNA indicates frequent loss-of-function mutations in components of the cJUN NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway. Since JNK signaling can promote cell proliferation by activating the AP1 transcription factor, this apparent association of reduced JNK signaling with tumor development was unexpected. We examined the effect of JNK deficiency in the murine breast epithelium. Loss of JNK signaling caused genomic instability and the development of breast cancer. Moreover, JNK deficiency caused widespread early neoplasia and rapid tumor formation in a murine model of breast cancer. This tumor suppressive function was not mediated by a role of JNK in the growth of established tumors, but by a requirement of JNK to prevent tumor initiation. Together, these data identify JNK pathway defects as 'driver' mutations that promote genome instability and tumor initiation.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - Investigator()
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - DK107220()
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - DK112698()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK092062(United States)

Myoepithelial Cells of Submucosal Glands Can Function as Reserve Stem Cells to Regenerate Airways after Injury.

  • Tata A
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cells demonstrate plasticity following injury, but the extent of this phenomenon and the cellular mechanisms involved remain underexplored. Using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) and lineage tracing, we uncover that myoepithelial cells (MECs) of the submucosal glands (SMGs) proliferate and migrate to repopulate the airway surface epithelium (SE) in multiple injury models. Specifically, SMG-derived cells display multipotency and contribute to basal and luminal cell types of the SMGs and SE. Ex vivo expanded MECs have the potential to repopulate and differentiate into SE cells when grafted onto denuded airway scaffolds. Significantly, we find that SMG-like cells appear on the SE of both extra- and intra-lobular airways of large animal lungs following severe injury. We find that the transcription factor SOX9 is necessary for MEC plasticity in airway regeneration. Because SMGs are abundant and present deep within airways, they may serve as a reserve cell source for enhancing human airway regeneration.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R00 HL127181()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - DK59630(United States)
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - U01 ES017219()

Taste bud-derived BDNF maintains innervation of a subset of TrkB-expressing gustatory nerve fibers.

  • Tang T
  • Mol. Cell. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Apr 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Taste receptor cells transduce different types of taste stimuli and transmit this information to gustatory neurons that carry it to the brain. Taste receptor cells turn over continuously in adulthood, requiring constant new innervation from nerve fibers. Therefore, the maintenance of innervation to taste buds is an active process mediated by many factors, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Specifically, 40% of taste bud innervation is lost when Bdnf is removed during adulthood. Here we speculated that not all gustatory nerve fibers express the BDNF receptor, TrkB, resulting in subsets of neurons that vary in their response to BDNF. However, it is also possible that the partial loss of innervation occurred because the Bdnf gene was not effectively removed. To test these possibilities, we first determined that not all gustatory nerve fibers express the TrkB receptor in adult mice. We then verified the efficiency of Bdnf removal specifically in taste buds of K14-CreER:Bdnf mice and found that Bdnf expression was reduced to 1%, indicating efficient Bdnf gene recombination. BDNF removal resulted in a 55% loss of TrkB-expressing nerve fibers, which was greater than the loss of P2X3-positive fibers (39%), likely because taste buds were innervated by P2X3+/TrkB- fibers that were unaffected by BDNF removal. We conclude that gustatory innervation consists of both TrkB-positive and TrkB-negative taste fibers and that BDNF is specifically important for maintaining TrkB-positive innervation to taste buds. In addition, although taste bud size was not affected by inducible Bdnf removal, the expression of the γ subunit of the ENaC channel was reduced. So, BDNF may regulate expression of some molecular components of taste transduction pathways.

The cJUN NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway contributes to mouse mammary gland remodeling during involution.

  • Girnius N
  • Cell Death Differ.
  • 2018 Mar 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Involution returns the lactating mammary gland to a quiescent state after weaning. The mechanism of involution involves collapse of the mammary epithelial cell compartment. To test whether the cJUN NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signal transduction pathway contributes to involution, we established mice with JNK deficiency in the mammary epithelium. We found that JNK is required for efficient involution. JNK deficiency did not alter the STAT3/5 or SMAD2/3 signaling pathways that have been previously implicated in this process. Nevertheless, JNK promotes the expression of genes that drive involution, including matrix metalloproteases, cathepsins, and BH3-only proteins. These data demonstrate that JNK has a key role in mammary gland involution post lactation.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK107220()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK112698()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - P30 ES000210(United States)

A novel role for cilia-dependent sonic hedgehog signaling during submandibular gland development.

  • Elliott KH
  • Dev. Dyn.
  • 2018 Mar 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Submandibular glands (SMGs) are specialized epithelial structures which generate saliva necessary for mastication and digestion. Loss of SMGs can lead to inflammation, oral lesions, fungal infections, problems with chewing/swallowing, and tooth decay. Understanding the development of the SMG is important for developing therapeutic options for patients with impaired SMG function. Recent studies have suggested Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling in the epithelium plays an integral role in SMG development; however, the mechanism by which Shh influences gland development remains nebulous. RESULTS: Using the Kif3af/f ;Wnt1-Cre ciliopathic mouse model to prevent Shh signal transduction by means of the loss of primary cilia in neural crest cells, we report that mesenchymal Shh activity is necessary for gland development. Furthermore, using a variety of murine transgenic lines with aberrant mesenchymal Shh signal transduction, we determine that loss of Shh activity, by means of loss of the Gli activator, rather than gain of Gli repressor, is sufficient to cause the SMG aplasia. Finally, we determine that loss of the SMG correlates with reduced Neuregulin1 (Nrg1) expression and lack of innervation of the SMG epithelium. CONCLUSIONS: Together, these data suggest a novel mechanistic role for mesenchymal Shh signaling during SMG development. Developmental Dynamics 247:818-831, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - HD068546(United States)
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R01 DE023804()

The transcription factor Phox2b distinguishes between oral and non-oral sensory neurons in the geniculate ganglion.

  • Ohman-Gault L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Many basic characteristics of gustatory neurons remain unknown, partly due to the absence of specific markers. Some neurons in the geniculate ganglion project to taste regions in the oral cavity, whereas others innervate the outer ear. We hypothesized that the transcription factor Phox2b would identify oral cavity-projecting neurons in the geniculate ganglion. To test this possibility, we characterized mice in which Phox2b-Cre mediated gene recombination labeled neurons with tdTomato. Nerve labeling revealed that all taste neurons projecting through the chorda tympani (27%) and greater superficial petrosal nerves (15%) expressed Phox2b during development, whereas non-oral somatosensory neurons (58%) in the geniculate ganglion did not. We found tdTomato-positive innervation within all taste buds. Most (57%) of the fungiform papillae had labeled innervation only in taste buds, whereas 43% of the fungiform papillae also had additional labeled innervation to the papilla epithelium. Chorda tympani nerve transection eliminated all labeled innervation to taste buds, but most of the additional innervation in the fungiform papillae remained. Some of these additional fibers also expressed tyrosine hydroxylase, suggesting a sympathetic origin. Consistent with this, both sympathetic and parasympathetic fibers innervating blood vessels and salivary glands contained tdTomato labeling. Phox2b-tdTomato labels nerve fascicles in the tongue of the developing embryo and demonstrates a similar stereotyped branching pattern DiI-labeling.

Canonical Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Regulates Postnatal Mouse Epididymal Development But Does Not Affect Epithelial Cell Differentiation.

  • Kumar M
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The epithelial lining of the epididymis establishes an optimal environment in which spermatozoa acquire the ability to fertilize an oocyte. This highly specialized organ develops from a simple embryonic tube known as the Wolffian duct (WD). How the simple columnar epithelium of WD acquires the complex features of the adult epididymal epithelium is currently unclear. During these first few weeks after birth, the epididymal epithelium undergoes major changes and by 5 weeks consists of four different cell types. The main objective of this study was to evaluate potential roles of Wnt signaling during postnatal epididymal development and differentiation. To analyze the activity of Wnt signaling during postnatal development, we evaluated the epididymis of TCFGFP mice, a Wnt reporter mouse model. Wnt signaling activity as indicated by green fluorescent protein expression was detected in the whole epididymis of TCFGFP mice during the first 2 weeks of life but was localized only to the caput region by 5 weeks of age. Using a genetic cell lineage tracing approach, we showed that all four of the epididymal epithelial cell types originated from the simple columnar epithelium of WD. To delineate the functional significance of epithelial Wnt signaling in epididymal development and differentiation, we generated a mouse model in which β-catenin (Ctnnb1) was specifically ablated from the epididymal epithelium upon administration of doxycycline. Genetic suppression of epithelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibited epididymal development by affecting cell proliferation but had no effect on epithelial cell differentiation.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS041218(United States)

mTORC1 Activation during Repeated Regeneration Impairs Somatic Stem Cell Maintenance.

  • Haller S
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Dec 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

The balance between self-renewal and differentiation ensures long-term maintenance of stem cell (SC) pools in regenerating epithelial tissues. This balance is challenged during periods of high regenerative pressure and is often compromised in aged animals. Here, we show that target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling is a key regulator of SC loss during repeated regenerative episodes. In response to regenerative stimuli, SCs in the intestinal epithelium of the fly and in the tracheal epithelium of mice exhibit transient activation of TOR signaling. Although this activation is required for SCs to rapidly proliferate in response to damage, repeated rounds of damage lead to SC loss. Consistently, age-related SC loss in the mouse trachea and in muscle can be prevented by pharmacologic or genetic inhibition, respectively, of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling. These findings highlight an evolutionarily conserved role of TOR signaling in SC function and identify repeated rounds of mTORC1 activation as a driver of age-related SC decline.

Funding information:
  • BLRD VA - I01 BX002324()
  • NCRR NIH HHS - UL1 RR024989(United States)
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL132996()
  • NIA NIH HHS - K99 AG041764()
  • NIA NIH HHS - P01 AG036695()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R00 AG041764()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG047497()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG047820()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R37 AG023806()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK100342()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK113144()

JNK Promotes Epithelial Cell Anoikis by Transcriptional and Post-translational Regulation of BH3-Only Proteins.

  • Girnius N
  • Cell Rep
  • 2017 Nov 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Developmental morphogenesis, tissue injury, and oncogenic transformation can cause the detachment of epithelial cells. These cells are eliminated by a specialized form of apoptosis (anoikis). While the processes that contribute to this form of cell death have been studied, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we tested the role of the cJUN NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway using murine models with compound JNK deficiency in mammary and kidney epithelial cells. These studies demonstrated that JNK is required for efficient anoikis in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, JNK-promoted anoikis required pro-apoptotic members of the BCL2 family of proteins. We show that JNK acts through a BAK/BAX-dependent apoptotic pathway by increasing BIM expression and phosphorylating BMF, leading to death of detached epithelial cells.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS069861(United States)

Varying Susceptibility of the Female Mammary Gland to In Utero Windows of BPA Exposure.

  • Hindman AR
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In utero exposure to the endocrine disrupting compound bisphenol A (BPA) is known to disrupt mammary gland development and increase tumor susceptibility in rodents. It is unclear whether different periods of in utero development might be more susceptible to BPA exposure. We exposed pregnant CD-1 mice to BPA at different times during gestation that correspond to specific milestones of in utero mammary gland development. The mammary glands of early-life and adult female mice, exposed in utero to BPA, were morphologically and molecularly (estrogen receptor-α and Ki67) evaluated for developmental abnormalities. We found that BPA treatment occurring before mammary bud invasion into the mesenchyme [embryonic day (E)12.5] incompletely resulted in the measured phenotypes of mammary gland defects. Exposing mice up to the point at which the epithelium extends into the precursor fat pad (E16.5) resulted in a nearly complete BPA phenotype and exposure during epithelial extension (E15.5 to E18.5) resulted in a partial phenotype. Furthermore, the relative differences in phenotypes between exposure windows highlight the substantial correlations between early-life molecular changes (estrogen receptor-α and Ki67) in the stroma and the epithelial elongation defects in mammary development. These data further implicate BPA action in the stroma as a critical mediator of epithelial phenotypes.

β-catenin is required for taste bud cell renewal and behavioral taste perception in adult mice.

  • Gaillard D
  • PLoS Genet.
  • 2017 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Taste stimuli are transduced by taste buds and transmitted to the brain via afferent gustatory fibers. Renewal of taste receptor cells from actively dividing progenitors is finely tuned to maintain taste sensitivity throughout life. We show that conditional β-catenin deletion in mouse taste progenitors leads to rapid depletion of progenitors and Shh+ precursors, which in turn causes taste bud loss, followed by loss of gustatory nerve fibers. In addition, our data suggest LEF1, TCF7 and Wnt3 are involved in a Wnt pathway regulatory feedback loop that controls taste cell renewal in the circumvallate papilla epithelium. Unexpectedly, taste bud decline is greater in the anterior tongue and palate than in the posterior tongue. Mutant mice with this regional pattern of taste bud loss were unable to discern sweet at any concentration, but could distinguish bitter stimuli, albeit with reduced sensitivity. Our findings are consistent with published reports wherein anterior taste buds have higher sweet sensitivity while posterior taste buds are better tuned to bitter, and suggest β-catenin plays a greater role in renewal of anterior versus posterior taste buds.

Sparse genetic tracing reveals regionally specific functional organization of mammalian nociceptors.

  • Olson W
  • Elife
  • 2017 Oct 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The human distal limbs have a high spatial acuity for noxious stimuli but a low density of pain-sensing neurites. To elucidate mechanisms underlying regional differences in processing nociception, we sparsely traced non-peptidergic nociceptors across the body using a newly generated MrgprdCreERT2 mouse line. We found that mouse plantar paw skin is also innervated by a low density of Mrgprd+ nociceptors, while individual arbors in different locations are comparable in size. Surprisingly, the central arbors of plantar paw and trunk innervating nociceptors have distinct morphologies in the spinal cord. This regional difference is well correlated with a heightened signal transmission for plantar paw circuits, as revealed by both spinal cord slice recordings and behavior assays. Taken together, our results elucidate a novel somatotopic functional organization of the mammalian pain system and suggest that regional central arbor structure could facilitate the "enlarged representation" of plantar paw regions in the CNS.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - K12 GM081259()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F31 NS092297()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS083702()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS094224()

Sonic hedgehog from both nerves and epithelium is a key trophic factor for taste bud maintenance.

  • Castillo-Azofeifa D
  • Development
  • 2017 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The integrity of taste buds is intimately dependent on an intact gustatory innervation, yet the molecular nature of this dependency is unknown. Here, we show that differentiation of new taste bud cells, but not progenitor proliferation, is interrupted in mice treated with a hedgehog (Hh) pathway inhibitor (HPI), and that gustatory nerves are a source of sonic hedgehog (Shh) for taste bud renewal. Additionally, epithelial taste precursor cells express Shh transiently, and provide a local supply of Hh ligand that supports taste cell renewal. Taste buds are minimally affected when Shh is lost from either tissue source. However, when both the epithelial and neural supply of Shh are removed, taste buds largely disappear. We conclude Shh supplied by taste nerves and local taste epithelium act in concert to support continued taste bud differentiation. However, although neurally derived Shh is in part responsible for the dependence of taste cell renewal on gustatory innervation, neurotrophic support of taste buds likely involves a complex set of factors.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - P30 DC004657()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC000566()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC012383()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC012675()

F4/80+ Macrophages Contribute to Clearance of Senescent Cells in the Mouse Postpartum Uterus.

  • Egashira M
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cellular senescence, defined as an irreversible cell cycle arrest, exacerbates the tissue microenvironment. Our previous study demonstrated that mouse uterine senescent cells were physiologically increased according to gestational days and that their abnormal accumulation was linked to the onset of preterm delivery. We hypothesized that there is a mechanism for removal of senescent cells after parturition to maintain uterine function. In the current study, we noted abundant uterine senescent cells and their gradual disappearance in wild-type postpartum mice. F4/80+ macrophages were present specifically around the area rich in senescent cells. Depletion of macrophages in the postpartum mice using anti-F4/80 antibody enlarged the area of senescent cells in the uterus. We also found excessive uterine senescent cells and decreased second pregnancy success rate in a preterm birth model using uterine p53-deleted mice. Furthermore, a decrease in F4/80+ cells and an increase in CD11b+ cells with a senescence-associated inflammatory microenvironment were observed in the p53-deleted uterus, suggesting that uterine p53 deficiency affects distribution of the macrophage subpopulation, interferes with senescence clearance, and promotes senescence-induced inflammation. These findings indicate that the macrophage is a key player in the clearance of uterine senescent cells to maintain postpartum uterine function.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)

Transcriptome analyses of taste organoids reveal multiple pathways involved in taste cell generation.

  • Ren W
  • Sci Rep
  • 2017 Jun 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Taste cells undergo constant turnover throughout life; however, the molecular mechanisms governing taste cell generation are not well understood. Using RNA-Seq, we systematically surveyed the transcriptome landscape of taste organoids at different stages of growth. Our data show the staged expression of a variety of genes and identify multiple signaling pathways underlying taste cell differentiation and taste stem/progenitor cell proliferation. For example, transcripts of taste receptors appear only or predominantly in late-stage organoids. Prior to that, transcription factors and other signaling elements are upregulated. RNA-Seq identified a number of well-characterized signaling pathways in taste organoid cultures, such as those involving Wnt, bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), Notch, and Hedgehog (Hh). By pharmacological manipulation, we demonstrate that Wnt, BMPs, Notch, and Hh signaling pathways are necessary for taste cell proliferation, differentiation and cell fate determination. The temporal expression profiles displayed by taste organoids may also lead to the identification of currently unknown transducer elements underlying sour, salt, and other taste qualities, given the staged expression of taste receptor genes and taste transduction elements in cultured organoids.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - P30 DC011735()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC013807()

Active Touch and Self-Motion Encoding by Merkel Cell-Associated Afferents.

  • Severson KS
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Touch perception depends on integrating signals from multiple types of peripheral mechanoreceptors. Merkel-cell associated afferents are thought to play a major role in form perception by encoding surface features of touched objects. However, activity of Merkel afferents during active touch has not been directly measured. Here, we show that Merkel and unidentified slowly adapting afferents in the whisker system of behaving mice respond to both self-motion and active touch. Touch responses were dominated by sensitivity to bending moment (torque) at the base of the whisker and its rate of change and largely explained by a simple mechanical model. Self-motion responses encoded whisker position within a whisk cycle (phase), not absolute whisker angle, and arose from stresses reflecting whisker inertia and activity of specific muscles. Thus, Merkel afferents send to the brain multiplexed information about whisker position and surface features, suggesting that proprioception and touch converge at the earliest neural level.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS050274()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS034814()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS089652()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R35 NS097344()

Repression of Interstitial Identity in Nephron Progenitor Cells by Pax2 Establishes the Nephron-Interstitium Boundary during Kidney Development.

  • Naiman N
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 May 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The kidney contains the functional units, the nephrons, surrounded by the renal interstitium. Previously we discovered that, once Six2-expressing nephron progenitor cells and Foxd1-expressing renal interstitial progenitor cells form at the onset of kidney development, descendant cells from these populations contribute exclusively to the main body of nephrons and renal interstitial tissues, respectively, indicating a lineage boundary between the nephron and renal interstitial compartments. Currently it is unclear how lineages are regulated during kidney organogenesis. We demonstrate that nephron progenitor cells lacking Pax2 fail to differentiate into nephron cells but can switch fates into renal interstitium-like cell types. These data suggest that Pax2 function maintains nephron progenitor cells by repressing a renal interstitial cell program. Thus, the lineage boundary between the nephron and renal interstitial compartments is maintained by the Pax2 activity in nephron progenitor cells during kidney organogenesis.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK094933()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R37 DK054364()
  • NIH HHS - R21 OD021437()

BMP7 Induces Uterine Receptivity and Blastocyst Attachment.

  • Monsivais D
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In women, the window of implantation is limited to a brief 2- to 3-day period characterized by optimal levels of circulating ovarian hormones and a receptive endometrium. Although the window of implantation is assumed to occur 8 to 10 days after ovulation in women, molecular markers of endometrial receptivity are necessary to determine optimal timing prior to embryo transfer. Previous studies showed that members of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family are expressed in the uterus necessary for female fertility; however, the role of BMP7 during implantation and in late gestation is not known. To determine the contribution of BMP7 to female fertility, we generated Bmp7flox/flox-Pgr-cre+/- [BMP7 conditional knockout (cKO)] mice. We found that absence of BMP7 in the female reproductive tract resulted in subfertility due to uterine defects. At the time of implantation, BMP7 cKO females displayed a nonreceptive endometrium with elevated estrogen-dependent signaling. These implantation-related defects also affected decidualization and resulted in decreased expression of decidual cell markers such as Wnt4, Cox2, Ereg, and Bmp2. We also observed placental abnormalities in pregnant Bmp7 cKO mice, including excessive parietal trophoblast giant cells and absence of a mature placenta at 10.5 days post coitum. To establish possible redundant roles of BMP5 and BMP7 during pregnancy, we generated double BMP5 knockout/BMP7 cKO [BMP5/7 double knockout (DKO)] mice; however, we found that the combined deletion had no additive disruptive effect on fertility. Our studies indicate that BMP7 is an important factor during the process of implantation that contributes to healthy embryonic development.

Funding information:
  • Cancer Research UK - 11832(United Kingdom)
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD032067(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - K12 GM084897(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008307(United States)

Position- and Hippo signaling-dependent plasticity during lineage segregation in the early mouse embryo.

  • Posfai E
  • Elife
  • 2017 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The segregation of the trophectoderm (TE) from the inner cell mass (ICM) in the mouse blastocyst is determined by position-dependent Hippo signaling. However, the window of responsiveness to Hippo signaling, the exact timing of lineage commitment and the overall relationship between cell commitment and global gene expression changes are still unclear. Single-cell RNA sequencing during lineage segregation revealed that the TE transcriptional profile stabilizes earlier than the ICM and prior to blastocyst formation. Using quantitative Cdx2-eGFP expression as a readout of Hippo signaling activity, we assessed the experimental potential of individual blastomeres based on their level of Cdx2-eGFP expression and correlated potential with gene expression dynamics. We find that TE specification and commitment coincide and occur at the time of transcriptional stabilization, whereas ICM cells still retain the ability to regenerate TE up to the early blastocyst stage. Plasticity of both lineages is coincident with their window of sensitivity to Hippo signaling.

De-repression of the RAC activator ELMO1 in cancer stem cells drives progression of TGFβ-deficient squamous cell carcinoma from transition zones.

  • McCauley HA
  • Elife
  • 2017 Feb 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Squamous cell carcinomas occurring at transition zones are highly malignant tumors with poor prognosis. The identity of the cell population and the signaling pathways involved in the progression of transition zone squamous cell carcinoma are poorly understood, hence representing limited options for targeted therapies. Here, we identify a highly tumorigenic cancer stem cell population in a mouse model of transitional epithelial carcinoma and uncover a novel mechanism by which loss of TGFβ receptor II (Tgfbr2) mediates invasion and metastasis through de-repression of ELMO1, a RAC-activating guanine exchange factor, specifically in cancer stem cells of transition zone tumors. We identify ELMO1 as a novel target of TGFβ signaling and show that restoration of Tgfbr2 results in a complete block of ELMO1 in vivo. Knocking down Elmo1 impairs metastasis of carcinoma cells to the lung, thereby providing insights into the mechanisms of progression of Tgfbr2-deficient invasive transition zone squamous cell carcinoma.

Differential Wnt signaling activity limits epithelial gland development to the anti-mesometrial side of the mouse uterus.

  • Goad J
  • Dev. Biol.
  • 2017 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

In mice, implantation always occurs towards the antimesometrial side of the uterus, while the placenta develops at the mesometrial side. What determines this particular orientation of the implanting blastocyst remains unclear. Uterine glands are critical for implantation and pregnancy. In this study, we showed that uterine gland development and active Wnt signaling activity is limited to the antimesometrial side of the uterus. Dkk2, a known antagonist of Wnt signaling, is only present at the mesometrial side of the uterus. Imaging of whole uterus, thick uterine sections (100-1000µm), and individual glands revealed that uterine glands are simple tubes with branches that are directly connected to the luminal epithelium and are only present towards the antimesometrial side of the uterus. By developing a unique mouse model targeting the uterine epithelium, we demonstrated that Wnt/β-catenin signaling is essential for prepubertal gland formation and normal implantation, but dispensable for postpartum gland development and regeneration. Our results for the first time have provided a probable explanation for the antimesometrial bias for implantation.

Interspecies Chimerism with Mammalian Pluripotent Stem Cells.

  • Wu J
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jan 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Interspecies blastocyst complementation enables organ-specific enrichment of xenogenic pluripotent stem cell (PSC) derivatives. Here, we establish a versatile blastocyst complementation platform based on CRISPR-Cas9-mediated zygote genome editing and show enrichment of rat PSC-derivatives in several tissues of gene-edited organogenesis-disabled mice. Besides gaining insights into species evolution, embryogenesis, and human disease, interspecies blastocyst complementation might allow human organ generation in animals whose organ size, anatomy, and physiology are closer to humans. To date, however, whether human PSCs (hPSCs) can contribute to chimera formation in non-rodent species remains unknown. We systematically evaluate the chimeric competency of several types of hPSCs using a more diversified clade of mammals, the ungulates. We find that naïve hPSCs robustly engraft in both pig and cattle pre-implantation blastocysts but show limited contribution to post-implantation pig embryos. Instead, an intermediate hPSC type exhibits higher degree of chimerism and is able to generate differentiated progenies in post-implantation pig embryos.

α3 Chains of type V collagen regulate breast tumour growth via glypican-1.

  • Huang G
  • Nat Commun
  • 2017 Jan 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pericellular α3(V) collagen can affect the functioning of cells, such as adipocytes and pancreatic β cells. Here we show that α3(V) chains are an abundant product of normal mammary gland basal cells, and that α3(V) ablation in a mouse mammary tumour model inhibits mammary tumour progression by reducing the proliferative potential of tumour cells. These effects are shown to be primarily cell autonomous, from loss of α3(V) chains normally produced by tumour cells, in which they affect growth by enhancing the ability of cell surface proteoglycan glypican-1 to act as a co-receptor for FGF2. Thus, a mechanism is presented for microenvironmental influence on tumour growth. α3(V) chains are produced in both basal-like and luminal human breast tumours, and its expression levels are tightly coupled with those of glypican-1 across breast cancer types. Evidence indicates α3(V) chains as potential targets for inhibiting tumour growth and as markers of oncogenic transformation.

The Cellular and Synaptic Architecture of the Mechanosensory Dorsal Horn.

  • Abraira VE
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jan 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The deep dorsal horn is a poorly characterized spinal cord region implicated in processing low-threshold mechanoreceptor (LTMR) information. We report an array of mouse genetic tools for defining neuronal components and functions of the dorsal horn LTMR-recipient zone (LTMR-RZ), a role for LTMR-RZ processing in tactile perception, and the basic logic of LTMR-RZ organization. We found an unexpectedly high degree of neuronal diversity in the LTMR-RZ: seven excitatory and four inhibitory subtypes of interneurons exhibiting unique morphological, physiological, and synaptic properties. Remarkably, LTMRs form synapses on between four and 11 LTMR-RZ interneuron subtypes, while each LTMR-RZ interneuron subtype samples inputs from at least one to three LTMR classes, as well as spinal cord interneurons and corticospinal neurons. Thus, the LTMR-RZ is a somatosensory processing region endowed with a neuronal complexity that rivals the retina and functions to pattern the activity of ascending touch pathways that underlie tactile perception.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR028832()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - P30 DA035756()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA034022()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R21 DA023643()
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R01 DE022750()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F32 NS077836()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P01 NS079419()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS072030()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R35 NS097344()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - T32 NS007292()

Mutant KRAS Enhances Tumor Cell Fitness by Upregulating Stress Granules.

  • Grabocka E
  • Cell
  • 2016 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

There is growing evidence that stress-coping mechanisms represent tumor cell vulnerabilities that may function as therapeutically beneficial targets. Recent work has delineated an integrated stress adaptation mechanism that is characterized by the formation of cytoplasmic mRNA and protein foci, termed stress granules (SGs). Here, we demonstrate that SGs are markedly elevated in mutant KRAS cells following exposure to stress-inducing stimuli. The upregulation of SGs by mutant KRAS is dependent on the production of the signaling lipid molecule 15-deoxy-delta 12,14 prostaglandin J2 (15-d-PGJ2) and confers cytoprotection against stress stimuli and chemotherapeutic agents. The secretion of 15-d-PGJ2 by mutant KRAS cells is sufficient to enhance SG formation and stress resistance in cancer cells that are wild-type for KRAS. Our findings identify a mutant KRAS-dependent cell non-autonomous mechanism that may afford the establishment of a stress-resistant niche that encompasses different tumor subclones. These results should inform the design of strategies to eradicate tumor cell communities.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - F32 CA139922()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA016087()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA055360()

A Simple Mechanical Procedure to Create Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency in Mouse.

  • Afsharkhamseh N
  • J Vis Exp
  • 2016 Nov 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) is a state of malfunction or loss of limbal epithelial stem cells, after which the corneal epithelium is replaced with conjunctiva. Patients suffer from recurrent corneal defects, pain, inflammation, and loss of vision. Previously, a murine model of LSCD was described and compared to two other models. The goal was to produce a consistent mouse model of LSCD that both mimics the phenotype in humans and lasts long enough to make it possible to study the disease pathophysiology and to evaluate new treatments. Here, the technique is described in more detail. A motorized tool with a rotating burr has been designed to remove the rust rings from the corneal surface or to smooth the pterygium bed in patients. It is a suitable device to create the desired LSCD model. It is a readily available, easy-to-use tool with a fine tip that makes it appropriate for working on small eyes, as in mice. Its application prevents unnecessary trauma to the eye and it does not result in unwanted injuries, as often is the case with chemical injury models. As opposed to a blunt scraper, it removes the epithelium with the basement membrane. In this protocol, the limbal area was abraded two times, and then the whole corneal epithelium was shaved from limbus to limbus. To avoid stroma injury, care was taken not to brush the corneal surface once the epithelium was already removed.

Funding information:
  • NIAAA NIH HHS - T32AA007573(United States)

Insulin-Like Growth Factors Are Expressed in the Taste System, but Do Not Maintain Adult Taste Buds.

  • Biggs BT
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2016 Feb 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Growth factors regulate cell growth and differentiation in many tissues. In the taste system, as yet unknown growth factors are produced by neurons to maintain taste buds. A number of growth factor receptors are expressed at greater levels in taste buds than in the surrounding epithelium and may be receptors for candidate factors involved in taste bud maintenance. We determined that the ligands of eight of these receptors were expressed in the E14.5 geniculate ganglion and that four of these ligands were expressed in the adult geniculate ganglion. Of these, the insulin-like growth factors (IGF1, IGF2) were expressed in the ganglion and their receptor, insulin-like growth factor receptor 1 (IGF1R), were expressed at the highest levels in taste buds. To determine whether IGF1R regulates taste bud number or structure, we conditionally eliminated IGF1R from the lingual epithelium of mice using the keratin 14 (K14) promoter (K14-Cre::Igf1rlox/lox). While K14-Cre::Igf1rlox/lox mice had significantly fewer taste buds at P30 compared with control mice (Igf1rlox/lox), this difference was not observed by P80. IGF1R removal did not affect taste bud size or cell number, and the number of phospholipase C β2- (PLCβ2) and carbonic anhydrase 4- (Car4) positive taste receptor cells did not differ between genotypes. Taste buds at the back of the tongue fungiform taste field were larger and contained more cells than those at the tongue tip, and these differences were diminished in K14-Cre::Igf1rlox/lox mice. The epithelium was thicker at the back versus the tip of the tongue, and this difference was also attenuated in K14-Cre::Igf1rlox/lox mice. We conclude that, although IGFs are expressed at high levels in the taste system, they likely play little or no role in maintaining adult taste bud structure. IGFs have a potential role in establishing the initial number of taste buds, and there may be limits on epithelial thickness in the absence of IGF1R signaling.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH090963(United States)

Simple Epithelial Keratins.

  • Strnad P
  • Meth. Enzymol.
  • 2016 Jan 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Simple epithelial keratins (SEKs) are the cytoplasmic intermediate filament proteins of single-layered and glandular epithelial cells as found in the liver, pancreas, intestine, and lung. SEKs have broad cytoprotective functions, which are facilitated by dynamic posttranslational modifications and interaction with associated proteins. SEK filaments are composed of obligate heteropolymers of type II (K7, K8) and type I (K18-K20, K23) keratins. The multifaceted roles of SEKs are increasingly appreciated due to findings obtained from transgenic mouse models and human studies that identified SEK variants in several digestive diseases. Reorganization of the SEK network into aggregates called Mallory-Denk bodies (MDBs) is characteristic for specific liver disorders such as alcoholic and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. To spur further research on SEKs, we here review the methods and potential caveats of their isolation as well as possibilities to study them in cell culture. The existing transgenic SEK mouse models, their advantages and potential drawbacks are discussed. The tools to induce MDBs, ways of their visualization and quantification, as well as the possibilities to detect SEK variants in humans are summarized.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - (United Kingdom)

Hedgehog signaling regulates FOXA2 in esophageal embryogenesis and Barrett's metaplasia.

  • Wang DH
  • J. Clin. Invest.
  • 2014 Sep 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Metaplasia can result when injury reactivates latent developmental signaling pathways that determine cell phenotype. Barrett's esophagus is a squamous-to-columnar epithelial metaplasia caused by reflux esophagitis. Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is active in columnar-lined, embryonic esophagus and inactive in squamous-lined, adult esophagus. We showed previously that Hh signaling is reactivated in Barrett's metaplasia and overexpression of Sonic hedgehog (SHH) in mouse esophageal squamous epithelium leads to a columnar phenotype. Here, our objective was to identify Hh target genes involved in Barrett's pathogenesis. By microarray analysis, we found that the transcription factor Foxa2 is more highly expressed in murine embryonic esophagus compared with postnatal esophagus. Conditional activation of Shh in mouse esophageal epithelium induced FOXA2, while FOXA2 expression was reduced in Shh knockout embryos, establishing Foxa2 as an esophageal Hh target gene. Evaluation of patient samples revealed FOXA2 expression in Barrett's metaplasia, dysplasia, and adenocarcinoma but not in esophageal squamous epithelium or squamous cell carcinoma. In esophageal squamous cell lines, Hh signaling upregulated FOXA2, which induced expression of MUC2, an intestinal mucin found in Barrett's esophagus, and the MUC2-processing protein AGR2. Together, these data indicate that Hh signaling induces expression of genes that determine an intestinal phenotype in esophageal squamous epithelial cells and may contribute to the development of Barrett's metaplasia.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R03 NS087359(United States)

Dysregulated estrogen receptor signaling in the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis leads to ovarian epithelial tumorigenesis in mice.

  • Laws MJ
  • PLoS Genet.
  • 2014 Mar 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

The etiology of ovarian epithelial cancer is poorly understood, mainly due to the lack of an appropriate experimental model for studying the onset and progression of this disease. We have created a mutant mouse model in which aberrant estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) signaling in the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis leads to ovarian epithelial tumorigenesis. In these mice, termed ERαd/d, the ERα gene was conditionally deleted in the anterior pituitary, but remained intact in the hypothalamus and the ovary. The loss of negative-feedback regulation by estrogen (E) at the level of the pituitary led to increased production of luteinizing hormone (LH) by this tissue. Hyperstimulation of the ovarian cells by LH resulted in elevated steroidogenesis, producing high circulating levels of steroid hormones, including E. The ERαd/d mice exhibited formation of palpable ovarian epithelial tumors starting at 5 months of age with 100% penetrance. By 15 months of age, 80% of ERαd/d mice die. Besides proliferating epithelial cells, these tumors also contained an expanded population of luteinized stromal cells, which acquire the ability to express P450 aromatase and synthesize E locally. In response to the elevated levels of E, the ERα signaling was accentuated in the ovarian epithelial cells of ERαd/d mice, triggering increased ERα-dependent gene expression, abnormal cell proliferation, and tumorigenesis. Consistent with these findings, treatment of ERαd/d mice with letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, markedly reduced circulating E and ovarian tumor volume. We have, therefore, developed a unique animal model, which serves as a useful tool for exploring the involvement of E-dependent signaling pathways in ovarian epithelial tumorigenesis.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R21NS073585-01A1(United States)

Differential BMP signaling controls formation and differentiation of multipotent preplacodal ectoderm progenitors from human embryonic stem cells.

  • Leung AW
  • Dev. Biol.
  • 2013 Jul 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sensory and endoneurocrine tissues as diverse as the lens, the olfactory epithelium, the inner ear, the cranial sensory ganglia, and the anterior pituitary arise from a common pool of progenitors in the preplacodal ectoderm (PPE). Around late gastrulation, the PPE forms at the border surrounding the anterior neural plate, and expresses a unique set of evolutionarily conserved transcription regulators including Six1, Eya 1 and Eya2. Here, we describe the first report to generate and characterize the SIX1(+) PPE cells from human embryonic stem (ES) cells by adherent differentiation. Before forming PPE cells, differentiating cultures first expressed the non-neural ectoderm specific transcriptional factors TFAP2A, GATA2, GATA3, DLX3, and DLX5, which are crucial in establishing the PPE competence. We demonstrated that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) activity plays a transient but essential role in inducing expression of these PPE competence factors and eventually the PPE cells. Interestingly, we found that attenuating BMP signaling after establishing the competence state induces anterior placode precursors. By manipulating BMP and hedgehog signaling pathways, we further differentiate these precursors into restricted lineages including the lens placode and the oral ectoderm (pituitary precursor) cells. Finally, we also show that sensory neurons can be generated from human PPE cells, demonstrating the multipotency of the human ES-derived PPE cells.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01-HG-004885(United States)

Intrinsic cues and hormones control mouse mammary epithelial tree size.

  • Diaz-Guerra E
  • FASEB J.
  • 2012 Sep 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Organ size control is a long-standing question in biology. In mammals, using conditional cell ablation, two mutually exclusive mechanisms involving either intrinsic or extrinsic programs have been described to control organ size. The mammary gland is an ideal model for such studies, since it undergoes size and morphological changes during puberty and pregnancy. The role of stem cells in controlling mammary epithelial tree size is unclear, although mammary stem cells are able to reconstitute a functional organ on transplantation. Here, we show that mammary gland cellularity was strictly dependent on mammary stem cell number, even following a 20-fold expansion of the mammary stem cell pool at puberty and transient 3-fold expansions with each pregnancy. In addition, the expansion of the mammary stem cell pool was hormone dependent, as demonstrated by female bilateral ovariectomies during puberty and transplants of male-derived cells into female recipients. In these transplants, apart from a mammary stem cell expansion, we also observed the donor cells reconstituting functional mammary glands, developing alveolar structures, and secreting milk after the recipient's parturition. Taken together, these data suggest that in the mammary gland, there is a third organ size control mechanism, combining intrinsic cues throughout the organism's lifetime, with extrinsic hormone signals at particular developmental windows (puberty, pregnancy), where an expansion of the mammary stem cell pool occurs. This mechanism might have strong implications for the understanding of mammary tumorigenesis, since the expansion of the mammary stem cell pool precedes the generation of breast tumors.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - T32 AG000271(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS052559(United States)

PI3K/AKT pathway regulates phosphorylation of steroid receptors, hormone independence and tumor differentiation in breast cancer.

  • Riggio M
  • Carcinogenesis
  • 2012 Mar 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Using a model of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA)-induced mouse mammary tumors that transit through different stages of hormone dependence, we previously reported that the activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT (protein kinase B) pathway is critical for the growth of hormone-independent (HI) mammary carcinomas but not for the growth of hormone-dependent (HD) mammary carcinomas. The objective of this work was to explore whether the activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway is responsible for the changes in tumor phenotype and for the transition to autonomous growth. We found that the inhibition of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway suppresses HI tumor growth. In addition, we were able to induce mammary tumors in mice in the absence of MPA by inoculating HD tumor cells expressing a constitutively active form of AKT1, myristoylated AKT1 (myrAKT1). These tumors were highly differentiated and displayed a ductal phenotype with laminin-1 and cytokeratin 8 expression patterns typical of HI tumors. Furthermore, myrAKT1 increased the tumor growth of IBH-6 and IBH-7 human breast cancer cell lines. In the estrogen-dependent IBH-7 cell line, myrAKT1 induced estrogen-independent growth accompanied by the expression of the adhesion markers focal adhesion kinase and E-cadherin. Finally, we found that cells expressing myrAKT1 exhibited increased phosphorylation of the progesterone receptor at Ser190 and Ser294 and of the estrogen receptor α at Ser118 and Ser167, independently of exogenous MPA or estrogen supply. Our results indicate that the activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway promotes tissue architecture remodeling and the activation of steroid receptors.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL-67840(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007413(United States)

Lingual and palatal gustatory afferents each depend on both BDNF and NT-4, but the dependence is greater for lingual than palatal afferents.

  • Patel AV
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurons of the geniculate ganglion innervate taste buds located in two spatially distinct targets, the tongue and palate. About 50% of these neurons die in Bdnf(-/-) mice and Ntf4/5(-/-) mice. Bdnf(-/-)/Ntf4/5(-/-) double mutants lose 90-95% of geniculate ganglion neurons. To determine whether different subpopulations are differentially influenced by neurotrophins, we quantified neurons from two ganglion subpopulations separately and remaining taste buds at birth within each target field in wild-type, Bdnf(-/-), Ntf4/5(-/-), and Bdnf(-/-)/Ntf4/5(-/-) mice. In wild-type mice the same number of neurons innervated the anterior tongue and soft palate and each target contained the same number of taste buds. Compared to wild-type mice, Bdnf(-/-) mice showed a 50% reduction in geniculate neurons innervating the tongue and a 28% loss in neurons innervating the soft palate. Ntf4/5(-/-) mice lost 58% of the neurons innervating the tongue and 41% of the neurons innervating the soft palate. Taste bud loss was not as profound in the NT-4 null mice compared to BDNF-null mice. Tongues of Bdnf(-/-)/Ntf4/5(-/-) mice were innervated by 0 to 4 gustatory neurons and contained 3 to 16 taste buds at birth, indicating that some taste buds remain even when all innervation is lost. Thus, gustatory neurons are equally dependent on BDNF and NT-4 expression for survival, regardless of what peripheral target they innervate. However, taste buds are more sensitive to BDNF than NT-4 removal.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R03 MH073806(United States)

Downregulation of miRNA-200c links breast cancer stem cells with normal stem cells.

  • Shimono Y
  • Cell
  • 2009 Aug 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Human breast tumors contain a breast cancer stem cell (BCSC) population with properties reminiscent of normal stem cells. We found 37 microRNAs that were differentially expressed between human BCSCs and nontumorigenic cancer cells. Three clusters, miR-200c-141, miR-200b-200a-429, and miR-183-96-182 were downregulated in human BCSCs, normal human and murine mammary stem/progenitor cells, and embryonal carcinoma cells. Expression of BMI1, a known regulator of stem cell self-renewal, was modulated by miR-200c. miR-200c inhibited the clonal expansion of breast cancer cells and suppressed the growth of embryonal carcinoma cells in vitro. Most importantly, miR-200c strongly suppressed the ability of normal mammary stem cells to form mammary ducts and tumor formation driven by human BCSCs in vivo. The coordinated downregulation of three microRNA clusters and the similar functional regulation of clonal expansion by miR-200c provide a molecular link that connects BCSCs with normal stem cells.

Genome-wide reduction in H3K9 acetylation during human embryonic stem cell differentiation.

  • Krejcí J
  • J. Cell. Physiol.
  • 2009 Jun 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Epigenetic marks are important factors regulating the pluripotency and differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). In this study, we analyzed H3K9 acetylation, an epigenetic mark associated with transcriptionally active chromatin, during endoderm-like differentiation of hESCs. ChIP-on-chip analysis revealed that differentiation results in a genome-wide decrease in promoter H3K9 acetylation. Among the 24,659 promoters analyzed, only 117 are likely to be involved in pluripotency, while 25 acetylated promoters are likely to be responsible for endoderm-like differentiation. In pluripotent hESCs, the chromosomes with the highest absolute levels of H3K9 acetylation are chromosomes 1, 6, 2, 17, 11, and 12 (listed in order of decreasing acetylation). Chromosomes 17, 19, 11, 20, 22, and 12 are the most prone to differentiation-related changes (both increased acetylation and deacetylation). When chromosome size (in Mb) was accounted for, the highest H3K9 acetylation levels were found on chromosome 19, 17, 6, 12, 11, and 1, and the greatest differentiation-associated decreases in H3K9 acetylation occurred on chromosomes 19, 17, 11, 12, 16, and 1. The gene density and size of individual chromosomes were strongly correlated with the levels of H3K9 acetylation. Our analyses point to chromosomes 11, 12, 17, and 19 as being critical for hESC pluripotency and endoderm-like differentiation. J. Cell. Physiol. 219: 677-687, 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Lineage specific composition of cyclin D-CDK4/CDK6-p27 complexes reveals distinct functions of CDK4, CDK6 and individual D-type cyclins in differentiating cells of embryonic origin.

  • Bryja V
  • Cell Prolif.
  • 2008 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: This article is to study the role of G(1)/S regulators in differentiation of pluripotent embryonic cells. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We established a P19 embryonal carcinoma cell-based experimental system, which profits from two similar differentiation protocols producing endodermal or neuroectodermal lineages. The levels, mutual interactions, activities, and localization of G(1)/S regulators were analysed with respect to growth and differentiation parameters of the cells. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that proliferation parameters of differentiating cells correlate with the activity and structure of cyclin A/E-CDK2 but not of cyclin D-CDK4/6-p27 complexes. In an exponentially growing P19 cell population, the cyclin D1-CDK4 complex is detected, which is replaced by cyclin D2/3-CDK4/6-p27 complex following density arrest. During endodermal differentiation kinase-inactive cyclin D2/D3-CDK4-p27 complexes are formed. Neural differentiation specifically induces cyclin D1 at the expense of cyclin D3 and results in predominant formation of cyclin D1/D2-CDK4-p27 complexes. Differentiation is accompanied by cytoplasmic accumulation of cyclin Ds and CDK4/6, which in neural cells are associated with neural outgrowths. Most phenomena found here can be reproduced in mouse embryonic stem cells. In summary, our data demonstrate (i) that individual cyclin D isoforms are utilized in cells lineage specifically, (ii) that fundamental difference in the function of CDK4 and CDK6 exists, and (iii) that cyclin D-CDK4/6 complexes function in the cytoplasm of differentiated cells. Our study unravels another level of complexity in G(1)/S transition-regulating machinery in early embryonic cells.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY008117-20(United States)

Epigenome and chromatin structure in human embryonic stem cells undergoing differentiation.

  • Bártová E
  • Dev. Dyn.
  • 2008 Dec 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Epigenetic histone (H3) modification patterns and the nuclear radial arrangement of select genetic elements were compared in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) before and after differentiation. H3K9 acetylation, H3K9 trimethylation, and H3K79 monomethylation were reduced at the nuclear periphery of differentiated hESCs. Differentiation coincided with centromere redistribution, as evidenced by perinucleolar accumulation of the centromeric markers CENP-A and H3K9me3, central repositioning of centromeres 1, 5, 19, and rearrangement of other centromeres at the nuclear periphery. The radial positions of PML, RARalpha genes, and human chromosomes 10, 12, 15, 17, and 19 remained relatively stable as hESCs differentiated. However, the female inactive H3K27-trimethylated X chromosome occupied a more peripheral nuclear position in differentiated cells. Thus, pluripotent and differentiated hESCs have distinct nuclear patterns of heterochromatic structures (centromeres and inactive X chromosome) and epigenetic marks (H3K9me3, and H3K27me3), while relatively conserved gene density-related radial chromatin distributions are already largely established in undifferentiated hES cells.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - (United States)

Regeneration of the adult thymus is preceded by the expansion of K5+K8+ epithelial cell progenitors and by increased expression of Trp63, cMyc and Tcf3 transcription factors in the thymic stroma.

  • Popa I
  • Int. Immunol.
  • 2007 Nov 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Studies of HIV-1-infected individuals on anti-retroviral therapies and of patients receiving lymphoablating treatments indicate that the thymus retains restorative capacity even in adults. The contributions of the thymic epithelial cells (TECs) to the regeneration of the thymus and the identity of epithelial cell progenitors were evaluated in murine models of transient thymic atrophy followed by a complete regeneration. Using microarray approach, we analyzed the pattern of gene expression in TECs sorted from mice that were depleted of thymocytes by steroid treatment or by irradiation. The initial analysis identified significant increases in the mRNA for cMyc, Trp63 and Tcf3 transcription factors known to be expressed in early epithelial cell progenitors in tissues other than the thymus. Immunohistochemistry showed that in involuted thymuses, the cMyc and Trp63 proteins were expressed in a subset of cortical thymic epithelial cells (cTECs) that were keratin 5 positive (K5(+)), typifying cTEC precursors. Importantly, confocal microscopy established that epithelial cells with the phenotype of putative TEC progenitors (i.e. K5(+)K8(+)) expressed the Trp63 protein and confirmed that K5(+)K8(+) TEC progenitors expanded significantly during atrophy and prior to the thymic regeneration. Thus, our data demonstrated for the first time that critical steps in the recovery of the adult thymus include expansion of TEC progenitors and elevated expression of Trp63, cMyc and Tcf3 transcription factors in the thymic stroma. These results suggest that TEC progenitors could be reactivated in the adult thymus and, therefore, reactivation of TEC progenitors could provide a new approach for thymic reconstitution.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R21 DA034195(United States)

Abnormal development of mouse embryoid bodies lacking p27Kip1 cell cycle regulator.

  • Bryja V
  • Stem Cells
  • 2005 Aug 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cultures of three-dimensional aggregates of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) called embryoid bodies (EBs) provide a valuable system for analyzing molecular mechanisms that regulate differentiation of this unique cell type. Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 (p27) becomes elevated during the differentiation of mouse ESCs (mESCs). In this study, various aspects of differentiation of EBs produced from normal and p27-deficient mESCs were analyzed to address the biological significance of this elevation. It was found that EBs lacking p27 grew significantly bigger, but this was not accompanied by detect-able abnormalities in the activities of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). In most EB cells, downregulation of activating cyclins rather than upregulation of inhibiting p27 is probably responsible for lowering the activity of their CDKs. Abnormalities in the development of specific cell lineages were also observed in p27-deficient EBs. These included elimination of cells positive for cytokeratin endo-A (TROMA-I) and increased proliferation and formation of cavities originating from cells positive for Lewis-X. Our data also suggest that although two different pools of Lewis-X-expressing cells, cluster forming (ESC-like) and cavity forming (neural progenitors), normally exist in EBs, the absence of p27 leads to the enhancement of only the neural pool. No failure was found when the neurogenic capacity of p27-deficient mESCs was tested using various protein markers. Together, our data point to a dual role of p27 in mESCs, with one role being in the regulation of proliferation and the other role in establishing some other aspects of a differentiated phenotype.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - P51RR00168(United States)
  • Wellcome Trust - 067205(United Kingdom)

Neural differentiation of pluripotent mouse embryonal carcinoma cells by retinoic acid: inhibitory effect of serum.

  • Pacherník J
  • Physiol Res
  • 2005 Feb 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

In both embryonal carcinoma (EC) and embryonic stem (ES) cells, the differentiation pathway entered after treatment with retinoic acid (RA) varies as it is based upon different conditions of culture. This study employs mouse EC cells P19 to investigate the effects of serum on RA-induced neural differentiation occurring in a simplified monolayer culture. Cell morphology and expression of lineage-specific molecular markers document that, while non-neural cell types arise after treatment with RA under serum-containing conditions, in chemically defined serum-free media RA induces massive neural differentiation in concentrations of 10(-9) M and higher. Moreover, not only neural (Mash-1) and neuroectodermal (Pax-6), but also endodermal (GATA-4, alpha-fetoprotein) genes are expressed at early stages of differentiation driven by RA under serum-free conditions. Furthermore, as determined by the luciferase reporter assay, the presence or absence of the serum does not affect the activity of the retinoic acid response element (RARE). Thus, mouse EC cells are able to produce neural cells upon exposure to RA even without culture in three-dimensional embryoid bodies (EBs). However, in contrast to standard EBs-involving protocol(s), neural differentiation in monolayer only takes place when complex signaling from serum factors is avoided. This simple and efficient strategy is proposed to serve as a basis for neurodifferentiation studies in vitro.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - 200910GSD-226209-172830(Canada)

Reduced metastasis of transgenic mammary cancer in urokinase-deficient mice.

  • Almholt K
  • Int. J. Cancer
  • 2005 Feb 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

A prominent phenotype of plasmin deficiency in mice is reduced metastasis in the MMTV-PymT transgenic breast cancer model. Proteolytically active plasmin is generated from inactive plasminogen by one of 2 activators, uPA or tPA. We now find that uPA deficiency alone significantly reduces metastasis >7-fold in the MMTV-PymT model. We studied a cohort of 55 MMTV-PymT transgenic mice, either uPA-deficient or wild-type controls. Tumor incidence, latency, growth rate and final primary tumor burden were not significantly affected by uPA deficiency. In contrast, average lung metastasis volume was reduced from 1.58 mm(3) in wild-type controls to 0.21 mm(3) in uPA-deficient mice (p = 0.023). Tumor cell dissemination to brachial lymph nodes was also reduced from 53% (28/53) in wild-type controls to 31% (17/54) in uPA-deficient mice (p = 0.032). Mice without plasminogen display a severe pleiotropic phenotype. By comparison, spontaneous phenotypes are modest in uPA-deficient mice, probably because they still have active tPA. We show that metastasis is strongly and selectively decreased in uPA-deficient mice, suggesting that uPA-directed antimetastatic therapy would be efficacious and have limited side effects.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM053275(United States)

Increased apoptosis in differentiating p27-deficient mouse embryonic stem cells.

  • Bryja V
  • Cell. Mol. Life Sci.
  • 2004 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells, the expression of p27 is elevated when differentiation is induced. Using mES cells lacking p27 we tested the importance of p27 for the regulation of three critical cellular processes: proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Although cell cycle distribution, DNA synthesis, and the activity of key G1/S-regulating cyclin-dependent kinases remained unaltered in p27-deficient ES cells during retinoic acid-induced differentiation, the amounts of cyclin D2 and D3 in such cells were much lower compared with normal mES cells. The onset of differentiation induces apoptosis in p27-deficient cells, the extent of which can be reduced by artificially increasing the level of cyclin D3. We suggest that the role of p27 in at least some differentiation pathways of mES cells is to prevent apoptosis, and that it is not involved in slowing cell cycle progression. We also propose that the pro-survival function of p27 is realized via regulation of metabolism of D-type cyclin(s).

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM069593(United States)

Optimization of the immunohistochemical demonstration of keratins in paraffin wax-embedded mouse skin.

  • Pérez-Martínez C
  • J. Comp. Pathol.
  • 1998 Nov 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to develop an immunoperoxidase technique for the detection of cytokeratins in samples of paraffin wax-embedded adult and fetal skin from NMRI mice, with various antibodies (Troma-1, LL001, 8.60, MCK5, MCK6, AF129) that have been tested mainly on fresh-frozen sections. Each antibody was tested with three different fixatives (10% neutral buffered formalin, Bouin's fluid, and 70% ethanol) and two distinct pretreatments (enzymatic digestion with trypsin, or heat treatment). The best results, in terms of non-specific background labelling, morphological preservation and intensity of specific labelling, were obtained (1) for adult skin, by the use of Bouin's fluid, heat pretreatment and antibodies LL001, MCK5, MCK6 or AF129, and (2) for fetal skin, by the use of 70% ethanol, heat pretreatment and antibody Troma-1. Monoclonal antibody 8.60 gave the best results when the use of 70% ethanol was combined with either enzymatic digestion or heat pretreatment.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - HG000330(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS28059(United States)

Immortalised mouse submandibular epithelial cell lines retain polarised structural and functional properties.

  • Laoide BM
  • J. Cell. Sci.
  • 1996 Dec 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mouse submandibular gland (SMG) is an excellent model for the study of many important biological phenomena such as hormonal regulation of differentiation, neurotransmitter control of secretion, epithelial transport, exocytosis and endocytosis as well as the regulation of mouse SMG specific gene expression, in particular, NGF, EGF and renin. The postnatal development and sexual dimorphism of the mouse gland permits the isolation of male SMGs of different ages, corresponding to different stages of differentiation, particularly with respect to the cytodifferentiation of ductal cell types. We have immortalized SMG epithelial cell lines using mice transgenic for the large T antigen of SV40 or polyoma viruses. Epithelial clusters from the dissected glands were placed in culture and cell lines were established from the immortalized population. Two cell lines, SIMS and SIMP, which retain structural and functional characteristics, are described here. The cell lines are immortalised but not transformed, as judged by the absence of anchorage independent growth potential and the lack of tumour formation in athymic nude mice. Confocal and electron microscopy examination demonstrate that SIMP and SIMS cells express E-cadherin and ZO-1 and have features of polarised epithelial cells. In addition, they form spherical cysts with a wide lumen when grown in type I collagen gels. When grown on a filter support SIMS cells form a tight monolayer, exhibit vectorial transport function and show exclusive Na+, K(+)-ATPase localisation to the basolateral domain. We determined the cell type restricted expression of cytokeratin markers in the mouse SMG in vivo and we demonstrate that SIMS and SIMP cell lines express duct-specific cytokeratins. Finally, the expression of a set of differentiation markers, including EGF, NGF and renin, was detected by RT-PCR and by indirect immunofluorescence staining in these lines. Thus, these polarised ductal cell lines, as well as having important intrinsic properties, represent well characterised mouse epithelial models which, until now, have not been readily available for cellular studies.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - M01 RR020359(United States)
  • NEI NIH HHS - EY-00777(United States)

A keratin of fetal skin is reexpressed in human keratinocytes transformed by SV40 virus or treated with the tumor promoter TPA.

  • Darmon M
  • Exp. Cell Res.
  • 1984 Sep 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

SV40-transformation as well as treatment with tumor promoters produce alterations in morphology, differentiation and keratinization of human keratinocytes. Two cell lines of SV40-transformed keratinocytes and primary cultures of keratinocytes treated with the tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) were found to contain an additional protein of 52.5 kD molecular weight (MW). This protein was identified by its reactivity with the monoclonal antibody TROMA-I as being keratin no. 8, a keratin normally present only in simple epithelia. Since this keratin is present in fetal epidermis but disappears gradually when fetal skin becomes multilayered after week 13 of development (Moll et al., Differentiation 23 (1982) 170. [23]), it suggests that SV40 virus and TPA are able to induce in human keratinocytes the reexpression of fetal characters.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - BB/E004431/1(United Kingdom)
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - HL24103(United States)

Reactivity of monoclonal antibodies against intermediate filament proteins during embryonic development.

  • Kemler R
  • J Embryol Exp Morphol
  • 1981 Aug 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against a preparation of intermediate filaments from trophoblastoma cells were studied for their reactivity pattern during embryonic development and on adult tissue cells. Up to day 12 of embryonic development, epithelial cells of the three germ layers reacted with these mAbs. Later during development and in adult tissues, positive reactions could be observed only with epithelial cells derived from mesoderm and endoderm. Because of their tissue distribution, the proteins reacting with these mAbs might belong to the keratin family of intermediate filaments or they might represent a new group of intermediate filaments.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U01 DK070181(United States)

Monoclonal antibodies against trophectoderm-specific markers during mouse blastocyst formation.

  • Brûlet P
  • Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
  • 1980 Jul 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis has allowed the detection of proteins characteristic of inner cell mass and trophectoderm in mouse blastocyst. Certain of the proteins characterizing trophectoderm copurify with intermediate filaments from trophectoderm and a trophoblastoma cell line. A monoclonal antibody prepared against proteins of these intermediate filaments labels a filament network in trophectoderm but not in inner cell mass cells.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - 5R01MH070370(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS 11323(United States)