Transcription profiling of Xenopus embryonic posterior mesoderm controls and Derriere depleted embryos
ABSTRACT: Left-right axis determination is a fundamental and conserved developmental process, with consequences for human pathology. At the molecular level, this process requires at least two centers of nodal-type TGFbeta signals: the first center, containing nodal/Xn; Microarrays were used to determine differences in gene expression in posterior mesoderm of Xenopus embryos. We compared controls and Derriere depleted embryos. Experiment Overall Design: Microarrays were used to determine differences in gene expression in posterior mesoderm of Xenopus embryos. We compared controls and embryos depleted of Derriere protein using MO oligonucleotides.
Project description:Left-right axis determination is a fundamental and conserved developmental process, with consequences for human pathology. At the molecular level, this process requires at least two centers of nodal-type TGFbeta signals: the first center, containing nodal/Xn Microarrays were used to determine differences in gene expression in posterior mesoderm of Xenopus embryos. We compared controls and Derriere depleted embryos. Keywords: loss of function Overall design: Microarrays were used to determine differences in gene expression in posterior mesoderm of Xenopus embryos. We compared controls and embryos depleted of Derriere protein using MO oligonucleotides.
Project description:In this study we have examine the deposition of H3K4me1,H3K4Me3 and H3K27Ac and the Nodal transcription factor, Smad2/3, immediately following zygotic transcription and continuing through gastrulation. We profiled 4 histone modifications (H3K4Me3, H3K27Me3, H3K27AC, H3K4Me1) and one transcription factor smad2/3 (+ chromatin input) using ChIP-Seq, and expression profiles (3' RNA-Seq) for Xenopus tropicalis embryos stage8, stage9 and stage10.5. Furthermore, we have profile two histone modifications (H3K4Me1 and H3K27Ac) in absance of nodal signaling in stage9 Xenopus tropicalis embryos using ChIP-seq and 3-seq
Project description:Background:In cephalochordates (amphioxus), the notochord runs along the dorsal to the anterior tip of the body. In contrast, the vertebrate head is formed anterior to the notochord, as a result of head organizer formation in anterior mesoderm during early development. A key gene for the vertebrate head organizer, goosecoid (gsc), is broadly expressed in the dorsal mesoderm of amphioxus gastrula. Amphioxus gsc expression subsequently becomes restricted to the posterior notochord from the early neurula. This has prompted the hypothesis that a change in expression patterns of gsc led to development of the vertebrate head during chordate evolution. However, molecular mechanisms of head organizer evolution involving gsc have never been elucidated. Results:To address this question, we compared cis-regulatory modules of vertebrate organizer genes between amphioxus, Branchiostoma japonicum, and frogs, Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis. Here we show conservation and diversification of gene regulatory mechanisms through cis-regulatory modules for gsc, lim1/lhx1, and chordin in Branchiostoma and Xenopus. Reporter analysis using Xenopus embryos demonstrates that activation of gsc by Nodal/FoxH1 signal through the 5' upstream region, that of lim1 by Nodal/FoxH1 signal through the first intron, and that of chordin by Lim1 through the second intron, are conserved between amphioxus and Xenopus. However, activation of gsc by Lim1 and Otx through the 5' upstream region in Xenopus are not conserved in amphioxus. Furthermore, the 5' region of amphioxus gsc recapitulated the amphioxus-like posterior mesoderm expression of the reporter gene in transgenic Xenopus embryos. Conclusions:On the basis of this study, we propose a model, in which the gsc gene acquired the cis-regulatory module bound with Lim1 and Otx at its 5' upstream region to be activated persistently in anterior mesoderm, in the vertebrate lineage. Because Gsc globally represses trunk (notochord) genes in the vertebrate head organizer, this cooption of gsc in vertebrates appears to have resulted in inhibition of trunk genes and acquisition of the head organizer and its derivative prechordal plate.
Project description:We screened for differentially expressed genes in the developing notochord using the Affymetrix microarray system in Xenopus laevis. At late gastrula, we dissected four regions from the embryo, anterior mesoderm, posterior mesoderm, notochord and presomitic mesoderm. Three types of comparison were carried out to generate a list of predominantly notochord expressed genes: (1) Posterior mesoderm vs. anterior mesoderm; notochord genes are expected to be increased since the notochord is located in the posterior mesoderm. (2) Posterior mesoderm vs. whole embryos; notochord genes are expected to be increased. (3) Notochord vs. somite. This comparison sub-divided the group of posterior mesodermal genes identified in (1) and (2). All tissues are dissected using tungsten needles. We first dissected dorsal tissue above the archenteron from late gastrula to early neurula. To loosen tissue, we treated the dissected dorsal explant in a 1% cysteine solution (pH 7.4) and removed the neuroectodermal layer. Anterior mesoderm was dissected corresponding to about the anterior one-third of the archenteron roof, and the rest was collected as posterior mesoderm. The posterior mesodermal explant was dissected into notochord and somites, following a clearly visible border between the two tissues. The accuracy of all dissection was confirmed by RT-PCR of marker genes.
Project description:The response of ectodermal explants, neuralized by noggin and treated with cycloheximide, following activation of hormone-inducible zic1 injected into the parent embryos compared to those from beta globin injected embryos as controls, is expected to provide information on the direct targets of the Zic1 transcription factor. Experiment Overall Design: Activation of zic1 in ectodermal explants following inhibition of new protein synthesis allowed the direct targets of zic1 to be identified by comparison with controls. After RNA extraction, purification and checks with PCR with actin primers for any mesoderm contamination samples were prepared for hybridization to Xenopus laevis Affymetrix GeneChip arrays.
Project description:Induction and patterning of the mesodermal germ layer is a key early step of vertebrate embryogenesis. We report that FoxD3 function in the Xenopus gastrula is essential for dorsal mesodermal development and for Nodal expression in the Spemann organizer. In embryos and explants, FoxD3 induced mesodermal genes, convergent extension movements and differentiation of axial tissues. Engrailed-FoxD3, but not VP16-FoxD3, was identical to native FoxD3 in mesoderm-inducing activity, indicating that FoxD3 functions as a transcriptional repressor to induce mesoderm. Antagonism of FoxD3 with VP16-FoxD3 or morpholino-knockdown of FoxD3 protein resulted in a complete block to axis formation, a loss of mesodermal gene expression, and an absence of axial mesoderm, indicating that transcriptional repression by FoxD3 is required for mesodermal development. FoxD3 induced mesoderm in a non-cell-autonomous manner, indicating a role for secreted inducing factors in the response to FoxD3. Consistent with this mechanism, FoxD3 was necessary and sufficient for the expression of multiple Nodal-related genes, and inhibitors of Nodal signaling blocked mesoderm induction by FoxD3. Therefore, FoxD3 is required for Nodal expression in the Spemann organizer and this function is essential for dorsal mesoderm formation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Nodal signalling is an absolute requirement for normal mesoderm and endoderm formation in vertebrate embryos, yet the transcriptional networks acting directly downstream of Nodal and the extent to which they are conserved is largely unexplored, particularly in vivo. Eomesodermin also plays a role in patterning mesoderm and endoderm in vertebrates, but its mechanisms of action, and how it interacts with the Nodal signalling pathway are still unclear. RESULTS:Using a combination of ChIP-seq and expression analysis we identify direct targets of Smad2, the effector of Nodal signalling in blastula stage zebrafish embryos, including many novel target genes. Through comparison of these data with published ChIP-seq data in human, mouse and Xenopus we show that the transcriptional network driven by Smad2 in mesoderm and endoderm is conserved in these vertebrate species. We also show that Smad2 and zebrafish Eomesodermin a (Eomesa) bind common genomic regions proximal to genes involved in mesoderm and endoderm formation, suggesting Eomesa forms a general component of the Smad2 signalling complex in zebrafish. Combinatorial perturbation of Eomesa and Smad2-interacting factor Foxh1 results in loss of both mesoderm and endoderm markers, confirming the role of Eomesa in endoderm formation and its functional interaction with Foxh1 for correct Nodal signalling. Finally, we uncover a novel, role for Eomesa in repressing ectodermal genes in the early blastula. CONCLUSION:Our data demonstrate that evolutionarily conserved developmental functions of Nodal signalling occur through maintenance of the transcriptional network directed by Smad2. This network is modulated by Eomesa in zebrafish which acts to promote mesoderm and endoderm formation in combination with Nodal signalling, whilst Eomesa also opposes ectoderm gene expression. Eomesa therefore regulates the formation of all three germ layers in the early zebrafish embryo.
Project description:Transient asymmetric Nodal signaling in the left lateral plate mesoderm (L LPM) during tailbud/early somitogenesis stages is associated in all vertebrates examined with the development of stereotypical left-right (L-R) organ asymmetry. In Xenopus, asymmetric expression of Nodal-related 1 (Xnr1) begins in the posterior L LPM shortly after the initiation of bilateral perinotochordal expression in the posterior tailbud. The L LPM expression domain rapidly shifts forward to cover much of the flank of the embryo before being progressively downregulated, also in a posterior-to-anterior direction. The mechanisms underlying the initiation and propagation of Nodal/Xnr1 expression in the L LPM, and its transient nature, are not well understood. Removing the posterior tailbud domain prevents Xnr1 expression in the L LPM, consistent with the idea that normal embryos respond to a posteriorly derived asymmetrically acting positive inductive signal. The forward propagation of asymmetric Xnr1 expression occurs LPM-autonomously via planar tissue communication. The shifting is prevented by Nodal signaling inhibitors, implicating an underlying requirement for Xnr1-to-Xnr1 induction. It is also unclear how asymmetric Nodal signals are modulated during L-R patterning. Small LPM grafts overexpressing Xnr1 placed into the R LPM of tailbud embryos induced the expression of the normally L-sided genes Xnr1, Xlefty, and XPitx2, and inverted body situs, demonstrating the late-stage plasticity of the LPM. Orthogonal Xnr1 signaling from the LPM strongly induced Xlefty expression in the midline, consistent with recent findings in the mouse and demonstrating for the first time in another species conservation in the mechanism that induces and maintains the midline barrier. Our findings suggest that there is long-range contralateral communication between L and R LPM, involving Xlefty in the midline, over a substantial period of tailbud embryogenesis, and therefore lend further insight into how, and for how long, the midline maintains a L versus R status in the LPM.
Project description:Eye development is a multistep process that requires specific inductive signals and precise morphogenetic movements, starting early during development in the eye-field, a well-definite region of the anterior neural plate. It has been demonstrated that a gene network of eye field transcription factors (EFTFs) contributes to specify the neural and retinal fate of the eye field. Among these EFTFs, Xrx1 is involved in proliferation and neurogenesis in the eye field and is necessary for the correct development of the retina. By means of Affymetrix microarrays, a high throughput screening was performed, looking for genes that can mediate the function of Xrx1, by comparison of the expression profiles of whole embryos in which the Xrx1 function was either overexpressed or abolished by use of morpholino antisense oligonucleotides. Xenopus laevis embryos were harvested soon after fertilization. 50ng of capped Xrx1 mRNA or 0.5pmol of MoXrx1 antisense oligonucleotides were coinjected with 400ng of GFP synthetic mRNA as a tracer, in both dorsal blastomeres of 4-cells stage embryos. Embryos were let to develop until stage 13, in which the eye field induction steps are active, and selected for correct injection site by fluorescence topographic assessment. RNA was extracted from each single embryo and control PCRs were performed to assess the correct molecular signature of Xrx1 loss- and gain- of function.
Project description:Nodal proteins have crucial roles in mesendoderm formation and left-right patterning during vertebrate development. The molecular mechanisms of signal transduction by Nodal and related ligands, however, are not fully understood. In this paper, we present biochemical and functional evidence that the orphan type I serine/threonine kinase receptor ALK7 acts as a receptor for mouse Nodal and Xenopus Nodal-related 1 (Xnr1). Receptor reconstitution experiments indicate that ALK7 collaborates with ActRIIB to confer responsiveness to Xnr1 and Nodal. Both receptors can independently bind Xnr1. In addition, Cripto, an extracellular protein genetically implicated in Nodal signaling, can independently interact with both Xnr1 and ALK7, and its expression greatly enhances the ability of ALK7 and ActRIIB to respond to Nodal ligands. The Activin receptor ALK4 is also able to mediate Nodal signaling but only in the presence of Cripto, with which it can also interact directly. A constitutively activated form of ALK7 mimics the mesendoderm-inducing activity of Xnr1 in Xenopus embryos, whereas a dominant-negative ALK7 specifically blocks the activities of Nodal and Xnr1 but has little effect on other related ligands. In contrast, a dominant-negative ALK4 blocks all mesoderm-inducing ligands tested, including Nodal, Xnr1, Xnr2, Xnr4, and Activin. In agreement with a role in Nodal signaling, ALK7 mRNA is localized to the ectodermal and organizer regions of Xenopus gastrula embryos and is expressed during early stages of mouse embryonic development. Therefore, our results indicate that both ALK4 and ALK7 can mediate signal transduction by Nodal proteins, although ALK7 appears to be a receptor more specifically dedicated to Nodal signaling.