Transcription profiling of Xenopus embryos in which fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling was inhibited by two different dominant negative FGF receptors
ABSTRACT: Genes regulated by the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling pathway were indentified in the early development of the amphibian Xenopus laevis by comparing gene expression in control embryos and embryos in which FGF signalling was inhibited by two different dominant negative FGF receptors.
Project description:Genes regulated by the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling pathway were indentified in the early development of the amphibian Xenopus laevis by comparing gene expression in control embryos and embryos in which FGF signalling was inhibited by two different dominant negative FGF receptors.
Project description:The Eph family of receptor tyrosine kinases regulates numerous biological processes. To examine the biochemical and developmental contributions of specific structural motifs within Eph receptors, wild-type or mutant forms of the EphA4 receptor were ectopically expressed in developing Xenopus embryos. Wild-type EphA4 and a mutant lacking both the SAM domain and PDZ binding motif were constitutively tyrosine phosphorylated in vivo and catalytically active in vitro. EphA4 induced loss of cell adhesion, ventro-lateral protrusions, and severely expanded posterior structures in Xenopus embryos. Moreover, mutation of a conserved SAM domain tyrosine to phenylalanine (Y928F) enhanced the ability of EphA4 to induce these phenotypes, suggesting that the SAM domain may negatively regulate some aspects of EphA4 activity in Xenopus. Analysis of double mutants revealed that the Y928F EphA4 phenotypes were dependent on kinase activity; juxtamembrane sites of tyrosine phosphorylation and SH2 domain-binding were required for cell dissociation, but not for posterior protrusions. The induction of protrusions and expansion of posterior structures is similar to phenotypic effects observed in Xenopus embryos expressing activated FGFR1. Furthermore, the budding ectopic protrusions induced by EphA4 express FGF-8, FGFR1, and FGFR4a. In addition, antisense morpholino oligonucleotide-mediated loss of FGF-8 expression in vivo substantially reduced the phenotypic effects in EphA4Y928F expressing embryos, suggesting a connection between Eph and FGF signaling.
Project description:Centrins (Cetns) are highly conserved, widely expressed, and multifunctional Ca(2+)-binding eukaryotic signature proteins best known for their roles in ciliogenesis and as critical components of the global genome nucleotide excision repair system. Two distinct Cetn subtypes, Cetn2-like and Cetn3-like, have been recognized and implicated in a range of cellular processes. In the course of morpholino-based loss of function studies in Xenopus laevis, we have identified a previously unreported Cetn2-specific function, namely in fibroblast growth factor (FGF) mediated signaling, specifically through the regulation of FGF and FGF receptor RNA levels. Cetn2 was found associated with the RNA polymerase II binding sites of the Cetn2-regulated FGF8 and FGFR1a genes, but not at the promoter of a gene (BMP4) whose expression was altered indirectly in Cent2 morphant embryos. These observations point to a previously unexpected role of Cetn2 in the regulation of gene expression and embryonic development.
Project description:A cDNA encoding the precursor of a bombesinlike peptide was isolated from brain of Xenopus laevis. The predicted end product resembles neuromedin B, which was originally isolated from mammalian spinal cord. The mRNA for this precursor was also present in gastrointestinal tract and in ovaries. Moreover, it could be detected in early embryos (stage 2 and stage 10) of X. laevis. These findings suggest novel roles for peptides of the bombesin family in oocyte maturation and early amphibian development.
Project description:Reference genes are essential for gene expression analysis when using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Xenopus laevis is a popular amphibian model for studying vertebrate embryogenesis and development. Further, X. laevis is ideal for studying thyroid signaling due to its thyroid dependent metamorphosis, a stage comparable to birth in humans. When using PCR based studies, a primary concern is the choice of reference genes. Commonly used references are eef1a1, odc1, rpl8, and actnB, although there is a lack of ad hoc reference genes for X. laevis. Here, we used previously published RNA-seq data on different X. laevis stages and identified the top 14 candidate genes with respect to their expression levels as a function of developmental stage and degree of variation. We further evaluated the stability of these and other candidate genes using RT-qPCR on various stages including the unfertilised eggs, whole embryos during early development and brains during late development. We used four different statistical software packages: deltaCT, geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper. We report optimized reference gene pair combinations for studying development (early whole embryos), brains at later stages (metamorphosis and adult), and thyroid signalling. These reference gene pairs are suitable for studying different aspects of X. laevis development and organogenesis.
Project description:Understanding the molecular mechanisms that promote successful tissue regeneration is critical for continued advancements in regenerative medicine. Vertebrate amphibian tadpoles of the species Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis have remarkable abilities to regenerate their tails following amputation, through the coordinated activity of numerous growth factor signalling pathways, including the Wnt, Fgf, Bmp, Notch and TGF-? pathways. Little is known, however, about the events that act upstream of these signalling pathways following injury. Here, we show that Xenopus tadpole tail amputation induces a sustained production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during tail regeneration. Lowering ROS levels, using pharmacological or genetic approaches, reduces the level of cell proliferation and impairs tail regeneration. Genetic rescue experiments restored both ROS production and the initiation of the regenerative response. Sustained increased ROS levels are required for Wnt/?-catenin signalling and the activation of one of its main downstream targets, fgf20 (ref. 7), which, in turn, is essential for proper tail regeneration. These findings demonstrate that injury-induced ROS production is an important regulator of tissue regeneration.
Project description:The Notch signaling pathway functions in a number of processes during embryologic development, especially the maintenance or aquisition of cell fate. We purturb the Notch signalling pathway in embryonic Xenopus laevis in order to 1) better characterize the downstream targets of Notch signalling, and 2) determine the extent to which early embryos can recover from transient purturbations to critical signalling pathways, if at all. Xenopus laevis embryos were unilaterally injected at the two cell stage with either GFP, GFP and ICD (Notch intracellular domain, an up-regulator of the Notch pathway), or GFP and DBM (domain-binding mutant, a downregulator of the Notch pathway). At stages 18, 28, and 38, for each injection, pooled total RNA from 10 embryos was extracted. Extraction was performed for three biological replicates for each time/injection condition. cDNA from total RNA was hybridized on Affymetrix Xenopus laevis Genome 2.0 arrays.
Project description:Signal transduction through the FGF receptor is essential for the specification of the vertebrate body plan. Blocking the FGF pathway in early Xenopus embryos inhibits mesoderm induction and results in truncation of the anterior-posterior axis. The Drosophila gene sprouty encodes an antagonist of FGF signaling, which is transcriptionally induced by the pathway, but whose molecular functions are poorly characterized. We have cloned Xenopus sprouty2 and show that it is expressed in a similar pattern to known FGFs and is dependent on the FGF/Ras/MAPK pathway for its expression. Overexpression of Xsprouty2 in both embryos and explant assays results in the inhibition of the cell movements of convergent extension. Although blocking FGF/Ras/MAPK signaling leads to an inhibition of mesodermal gene expression, these markers are unaffected by Xsprouty2, indicating that mesoderm induction and patterning occurs normally in these embryos. Finally, using Xenopus oocytes we show that Xsprouty2 is an intracellular antagonist of FGF-dependent calcium signaling. These results provide evidence for at least two distinct FGF-dependent signal transduction pathways: a Sprouty-insensitive Ras/MAPK pathway required for the transcription of most mesodermal genes, and a Sprouty-sensitive pathway required for coordination of cellular morphogenesis.
Project description:Robust and efficient protocols for fertilization and early embryo care of Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis are essential for experimental success, as well as maintenance and propagation of precious animal stocks. The rapid growth of the National Xenopus Resource has required effective implementation and optimization of these protocols. Here, we discuss the procedures used at the National Xenopus Resource, which we found helpful for generation and early upkeep of Xenopus embryos and tadpoles.
Project description:The Heartless (Htl) FGF receptor is required for the differentiation of a variety of mesodermal tissues in the Drosophila embryo, yet its ligand is not known. Here we identify two new FGF genes, thisbe (ths) and pyramus (pyr), which probably encode the elusive ligands for this receptor. The two genes exhibit dynamic patterns of expression in epithelial tissues adjacent to Htl-expressing mesoderm derivatives, including the neurogenic ectoderm, stomadeum, and hindgut. Embryos that lack ths+ and pyr+ exhibit defects related to those seen in htl mutants, including delayed mesodermal migration during gastrulation and a loss of cardiac tissues and hindgut musculature. The misexpression of Ths in wild-type and mutant embryos suggests that FGF signaling is required for both cell migration and the transcriptional induction of cardiac gene expression. The characterization of htl and ths regulatory DNAs indicates that high levels of the maternal Dorsal gradient directly activate htl expression, whereas low levels activate ths. It is therefore possible to describe FGF signaling and other aspects of gastrulation as a direct manifestation of discrete threshold readouts of the Dorsal gradient.