Cell signaling and transcription factor genes expressed during whole body regeneration in a colonial chordate.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The restoration of adults from fragments of blood vessels in botryllid ascidians (termed whole body regeneration [WBR]) represents an inimitable event in the chordates, which is poorly understood on the mechanistic level. RESULTS:To elucidate mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, a subtracted EST library for early WBR stages was previously assembled, revealing 76 putative genes belonging to major signaling pathways, including Notch/Delta, JAK/STAT, protein kinases, nuclear receptors, Ras oncogene family members, G-Protein coupled receptor (GPCR) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) signaling. RT-PCR on selected transcripts documented specific up-regulation in only regenerating fragments, pointing to a broad activation of these signaling pathways at onset of WBR. The followed-up expression pattern of seven representative transcripts from JAK/STAT signaling (Bl-STAT), the Ras oncogene family (Bl-Rap1A, Bl-Rab-33), the protein kinase family (Bl-Mnk), Bl-Cnot, Bl-Slit and Bl-Bax inhibitor, revealed systemic and site specific activations during WBR in a sub-population of circulatory cells. CONCLUSION:WBR in the non-vertebrate chordate Botrylloides leachi is a multifaceted phenomenon, presided by a complex array of cell signaling and transcription factors. Above results, provide a first insight into the whole genome molecular machinery of this unique regeneration process, and reveal the broad participation of cell signaling and transcription factors in the process. While regeneration involves the participation of specific cell populations, WBR signals are systemically expressed at the organism level.
Project description:Regenerative capacity differs greatly between animals. In vertebrates regenerative abilities are highly limited and tissue or organ specific. However the closest related chordate to the vertebrate clade, Botrylloides leachi, can undergo whole body regeneration (WBR). Therefore, research on WBR in B. leachi has focused on pathways known to be important for regeneration in vertebrates. To obtain a comprehensive vision of this unique process we have carried out the first de novo transcriptome sequencing for multiple stages of WBR occurring in B. leachi. The identified changes in gene expression during B. leachi WBR offer novel insights into this remarkable ability to regenerate.The transcriptome of B. leachi tissue undergoing WBR were analysed using differential gene expression, gene ontology and pathway analyses. We observed up-regulation in the expression of genes involved in wound healing and known developmental pathways including WNT, TGF-? and Notch, during the earliest stages of WBR. Later in WBR, the expression patterns in several pathways required for protein synthesis, biogenesis and the organisation of cellular components were up-regulated.While the genes expressed early on are characteristic of a necessary wound healing response to an otherwise lethal injury, the subsequent vast increase in protein synthesis conceivably sustains the reestablishment of the tissue complexity and body axis polarity within the regenerating zooid. We have, for the first time, provided a global overview of the genes and their corresponding pathways that are modulated during WBR in B. leachi.
Project description:Regeneration in adult chordates is confined to a few model cases and terminates in restoration of restricted tissues and organs. Here, we study the unique phenomenon of whole body regeneration (WBR) in the colonial urochordate Botrylloides leachi in which an entire adult zooid is restored from a miniscule blood vessel fragment. In contrast to all other documented cases, regeneration is induced systemically in blood vessels. Multiple buds appear simultaneously in newly established regeneration niches within vasculature fragments, stemming from composites of pluripotent blood cells and terminating in one functional zooid. We found that retinoic acid (RA) regulates diverse developmental aspects in WBR. The homologue of the RA receptor and a retinaldehyde dehydrogenase-related gene were expressed specifically in blood cells within regeneration niches and throughout bud development. The addition of RA inhibitors as well as RNA interference knockdown experiments resulted in WBR arrest and bud malformations. The administration of all-trans RA to blood vessel fragments resulted in doubly accelerated regeneration and multibud formation, leading to restored colonies with multiple zooids. The Botrylloides system differs from known regeneration model systems by several fundamental criteria, including epimorphosis without the formation of blastema and the induction of a "multifocal regeneration niche" system. This is also to our knowledge the first documented case of WBR from circulating blood cells that restores not only the soma, but also the germ line. This unique Botrylloides WBR process could serve as a new in vivo model system for regeneration, suggesting that RA signaling may have had ancestral roles in body restoration events.
Project description:Colonial ascidians are the only chordates able to undergo whole body regeneration (WBR), during which entire new bodies can be regenerated from small fragments of blood vessels. Here, we show that during the early stages of WBR in Botrylloides diegensis, proliferation occurs only in small, blood-borne cells that express integrin-alpha-6 (IA6), pou3 and vasa. WBR cannot proceed when proliferating IA6+ cells are ablated with Mitomycin C, and injection of a single IA6+ Candidate stem cell can rescue WBR after ablation. Lineage tracing using EdU-labeling demonstrates that donor-derived IA6+ Candidate stem cells directly give rise to regenerating tissues. Inhibitors of either Notch or canonical Wnt signaling block WBR and reduce proliferation of IA6+ Candidate stem cells, indicating that these two pathways regulate their activation. In conclusion, we show that IA6+ Candidate stem cells are responsible for whole body regeneration and give rise to regenerating tissues.
Project description:Oncogenic K-RAS has been difficult to target and currently there is no K-RAS-based targeted therapy available for patients suffering from K-RAS-driven lung adenocarcinoma (AC). Alternatively, targeting K-RAS-downstream effectors, K-RAS-cooperating signaling pathways or cancer hallmarks, such as tumor-promoting inflammation, has been shown to be a promising therapeutic strategy. Since the JAK-STAT pathway is considered to be a central player in inflammation-mediated tumorigenesis, we investigated here the implication of JAK-STAT signaling and the therapeutic potential of JAK1/2 inhibition in K-RAS-driven lung AC. Our data showed that JAK1 and JAK2 are activated in human lung AC and that increased activation of JAK-STAT signaling correlated with disease progression and K-RAS activity in human lung AC. Accordingly, administration of the JAK1/2 selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor ruxolitinib reduced proliferation of tumor cells and effectively reduced tumor progression in immunodeficient and immunocompetent mouse models of K-RAS-driven lung AC. Notably, JAK1/2 inhibition led to the establishment of an antitumorigenic tumor microenvironment, characterized by decreased levels of tumor-promoting chemokines and cytokines and reduced numbers of infiltrating myeloid derived suppressor cells, thereby impairing tumor growth. Taken together, we identified JAK1/2 inhibition as promising therapy for K-RAS-driven lung AC.
Project description:Unlike mammals, zebrafish can regenerate a damaged retina. This remarkable regenerative response is mediated by Müller glia (MG) that undergo a reprogramming event that drives their proliferation and the generation of multipotent progenitors for retinal repair. The mechanisms that drive MG reprogramming are poorly understood. Here, we report that Leptin and Gp130-coupled receptors, acting via a Jak/Stat signaling pathway, stimulate MG reprogramming and progenitor formation in the injured retina. Importantly, we find that ascl1a gene expression, which drives MG reprogramming in fish and mammals, is regulated in a Jak/Stat-dependent manner and requires consensus Stat-binding sites for injury-dependent activation. Finally, we identify cytokines that are induced by retinal injury and exhibit a remarkable synergy in their ability to activate Jak/Stat signaling and MG reprogramming in the uninjured retina. Our study not only furthers our understanding of retina regeneration in zebrafish but also suggests new strategies for awakening retina regeneration in mammals.
Project description:Many tissues in higher animals undergo dynamic homeostatic growth, wherein damaged or aged cells are replaced by the progeny of resident stem cells. To maintain homeostasis, stem cells must respond to tissue needs. Here we show that in response to damage or stress in the intestinal (midgut) epithelium of adult Drosophila, multiple EGFR ligands and rhomboids (intramembrane proteases that activate some EGFR ligands) are induced, leading to the activation of EGFR signaling in intestinal stem cells (ISCs). Activation of EGFR signaling promotes ISC division and midgut epithelium regeneration, thereby maintaining tissue homeostasis. ISCs defective in EGFR signaling cannot grow or divide, are poorly maintained, and cannot support midgut epithelium regeneration after enteric infection by the bacterium Pseudomonas entomophila. Furthermore, ISC proliferation induced by Jak/Stat signaling is dependent upon EGFR signaling. Thus the EGFR/Ras/MAPK signaling pathway plays central, essential roles in ISC maintenance and the feedback system that mediates intestinal homeostasis.
Project description:Oncogenic mutations in Ras deregulate cell death and proliferation to cause cancer in a significant number of patients. Although normal Ras signaling during development has been well elucidated in multiple organisms, it is less clear how oncogenic Ras exerts its effects. Furthermore, cancers with oncogenic Ras mutations are aggressive and generally resistant to targeted therapies or chemotherapy. We identified the exocytosis component Sec15 as a synthetic suppressor of oncogenic Ras in an in vivo Drosophila mosaic screen. We found that oncogenic Ras elevates exocytosis and promotes the export of the pro-apoptotic ligand Eiger (Drosophila TNF). This blocks tumor cell death and stimulates overgrowth by activating the JNK-JAK-STAT non-autonomous proliferation signal from the neighboring wild-type cells. Inhibition of Eiger/TNF exocytosis or interfering with the JNK-JAK-STAT non-autonomous proliferation signaling at various steps suppresses oncogenic Ras-mediated overgrowth. Our findings highlight important cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic roles of exocytosis during oncogenic growth and provide a new class of synthetic suppressors for targeted therapy approaches.
Project description:Regeneration of fragmented Drosophila imaginal discs occurs in an epimorphic manner involving local cell proliferation at the wound site. After disc fragmentation, cells at the wound site activate a restoration program through wound healing, regenerative cell proliferation, and repatterning of the tissue. However, the interplay of signaling cascades driving these early reprogramming steps is not well-understood. Here, we profiled the transcriptome of regenerating cells in the early phase within 24 h after wounding. We found that JAK/STAT signaling becomes activated at the wound site and promotes regenerative cell proliferation in cooperation with Wingless (Wg) signaling. In addition, we showed that the expression of Drosophila insulin-like peptide 8 (dilp8), which encodes a paracrine peptide to delay the onset of pupariation, is controlled by JAK/STAT signaling in early regenerating discs. Our findings suggest that JAK/STAT signaling plays a pivotal role in coordinating regenerative disc growth with organismal developmental timing.
Project description:A population of satellite cells exists in skeletal muscle. These cells are thought to be primarily responsible for postnatal muscle growth and injury-induced muscle regeneration. The Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling cascade has a crucial role in regulating myogenesis. In rodent skeletal muscle, STAT3 is essential for satellite cell migration and myogenic differentiation, regulating the expression of myogenic factors. The aim of the present study was to investigate and compare the expression profile of JAK/STAT family members, using cultured primary human skeletal muscle cells.Near confluent proliferating myoblasts were induced to differentiate for 1, 5 or 10 days. During these developmental stages, members of the JAK/STAT family were examined, along with factors known to regulate myogenesis. We demonstrate the phosphorylation of JAK1 and STAT1 only during myoblast proliferation, while JAK2 and STAT3 phosphorylation increases during differentiation. These increases were correlated with the upregulation of genes associated with muscle maturation and hypertrophy.Taken together, these results provide insight into JAK/STAT signaling in human skeletal muscle development, and confirm recent observations in rodents.