Wnt/beta-catenin and noncanonical Wnt signaling interact in tissue evagination in the simple eumetazoan Hydra.
ABSTRACT: In and evaginations of 2D cell sheets are major shape generating processes in animal development. They result from directed movement and intercalation of polarized cells associated with cell shape changes. Work on several bilaterian model organisms has emphasized the role of noncanonical Wnt signaling in cell polarization and movement. However, the molecular processes responsible for generating tissue and body shape in ancestral, prebilaterian animals are unknown. We show that noncanonical Wnt signaling acts in mass tissue movements during bud and tentacle evagination and regeneration in the cnidarian polyp Hydra. The wnt5, wnt8, frizzled2 (fz2), and dishevelled-expressing cell clusters define the positions, where bud and tentacle evaginations are initiated; wnt8, fz2, and dishevelled remain up-regulated in those epithelial cells, undergoing cell shape changes during the entire evagination process. Downstream of wnt and dsh expression, JNK activity is required for the evagination process. Multiple ectopic wnt5, wnt8, fz2, and dishevelled-expressing centers and the subsequent evagination of ectopic tentacles are induced throughout the body column by activation of Wnt/beta-Catenin signaling. Our results indicate that integration of axial patterning and tissue morphogenesis by the coordinated action of canonical and noncanonical Wnt pathways was crucial for the evolution of eumetazoan body plans.
Project description:Noncanonical Wnts are largely believed to act as permissive cues for vertebrate cell movement via Frizzled (Fz). In addition to Fz, Wnt ligands are known to regulate neurite outgrowth through an alternative receptor related to tyrosine kinase (Ryk). However, Wnt-Ryk signaling during embryogenesis is less well characterized. In this study, we report a role for Wnt5b as an instructive cue to regulate gastrulation movements through Ryk. In zebrafish, Ryk deficiency impairs Wnt5b-induced Ca(2+) activity and directional cell movement. Wnt5b-Ryk signaling promotes polarized cell protrusions. Upon Wnt5b stimulation, Fz2 but not Ryk recruits Dishevelled to the cell membrane, suggesting that Fz2 and Ryk mediate separate pathways. Using co-culture assays to generate directional Wnt5b cues, we demonstrate that Ryk-expressing cells migrate away from the Wnt5b source. We conclude that full-length Ryk conveys Wnt5b signals in a directional manner during gastrulation.
Project description:Thickening and the subsequent invagination of the epithelium are an important initial step in ectodermal organ development. Ikk? has been shown to play a critical role in controlling epithelial growth, since Ikk? mutant mice show protrusions (evaginations) of incisor tooth, whisker and hair follicle epithelium rather than invagination. We show here that mutation of the Interferon regulatory factor (Irf) family, Irf6 also results in evagination of incisor epithelium. In common with Ikk? mutants, Irf6 mutant evagination occurs in a NF-?B-independent manner and shows the same molecular changes as those in Ikk? mutants. Irf6 thus also plays a critical role in regulating epithelial invagination. In addition, we also found that canonical Wnt signaling is upregulated in evaginated incisor epithelium of both Ikk? and Irf6 mutant embryos.
Project description:Short germ embryos elongate their primary body axis by consecutively adding segments from a posteriorly located growth zone. Wnt signalling is required for axis elongation in short germ arthropods, including Tribolium castaneum, but the precise functions of the different Wnt receptors involved in this process are unclear. We analysed the individual and combinatorial functions of the three Wnt receptors, Frizzled-1 (Tc-Fz1), Frizzled-2 (Tc-Fz2) and Frizzled-4 (Tc-Fz4), and their co-receptor Arrow (Tc-Arr) in the beetle Tribolium. Knockdown of gene function and expression analyses revealed that Frizzled-dependent Wnt signalling occurs anteriorly in the growth zone in the presegmental region (PSR). We show that simultaneous functional knockdown of the Wnt receptors Tc-fz1 and Tc-fz2 via RNAi resulted in collapse of the growth zone and impairment of embryonic axis elongation. Although posterior cells of the growth zone were not completely abolished, Wnt signalling within the PSR controls axial elongation at the level of pair-rule patterning, Wnt5 signalling and FGF signalling. These results identify the PSR in Tribolium as an integral tissue required for the axial elongation process, reminiscent of the presomitic mesoderm in vertebrates. Knockdown of Tc-fz1 alone interfered with the formation of the proximo-distal and the dorso-ventral axes during leg development, whereas no effect was observed with single Tc-fz2 or Tc-fz4 RNAi knockdowns. We identify Tc-Arr as an obligatory Wnt co-receptor for axis elongation, leg distalisation and segmentation. We discuss how Wnt signalling is regulated at the receptor and co-receptor levels in a dose-dependent fashion.
Project description:Genes encoding Wnt ligands are crucial in body patterning and are highly conserved among metazoans. Given their conservation at the protein-coding level, it is likely that changes in where and when these genes are active are important in generating evolutionary variations. However, we lack detailed knowledge about how their deployment has diverged. Here, we focus on four Wnt subfamilies (Wnt2, Wnt5, Wnt7, and Wnt8) in mammalian and avian species, consisting of a paralogous gene pair in each, believed to have duplicated in the last common ancestor of vertebrates. We use three-dimensional imaging to capture expression patterns in detail and carry out systematic comparisons. We find evidence of greater divergence between these subgroup paralogues than the respective orthologues, consistent with some level of subfunctionalization/neofunctionalization in the common vertebrate ancestor that has been conserved. However, there were exceptions; in the case of chick Wnt2b, individual sites were shared with both mouse Wnt2 and Wnt2b. We also find greater divergence, between paralogues and orthologues, in some subfamilies (Wnt2 and Wnt8) compared to others (Wnt5 and Wnt7) with the more highly similar expression patterns showing more extensive expression in more structures in the embryo. Wnt8 genes were most restricted and most divergent. Major sites of expression for all subfamilies include CNS, limbs, and facial region, and in general there were more similarities in gene deployment in these territories with divergent patterns featuring more in organs such as heart and gut. A detailed comparison of gene expression patterns in the limb showed similarities in overall combined domains across species with notable differences that may relate to lineage-specific morphogenesis.
Project description:The outer segments of vertebrate rod photoreceptors are renewed every 10 d. Outer segment components are transported from the site of synthesis in the inner segment through the connecting cilium, followed by assembly of the highly ordered discs. Two models of assembly of discrete discs involving either successive fusion events between intracellular rhodopsin-bearing vesicles or the evagination of the plasma membrane followed by fusion of adjacent evaginations have been proposed. Here we use immuno-electron microscopy and electron tomography to show that rhodopsin is transported from the inner to the outer segment via the ciliary plasma membrane, subsequently forming successive evaginations that "zipper" up proximally, but at their leading edges are free to make junctions containing the protocadherin, PCDH21, with the inner segment plasma membrane. Given the physical dimensions of the evaginations, coupled with likely instability of the membrane cortex at the distal end of the connecting cilium, we propose that the evagination occurs via a process akin to blebbing and is not driven by actin polymerization. Disassembly of these junctions is accompanied by fusion of the leading edges of successive evaginations to form discrete discs. This fusion is topologically different to that mediated by the membrane fusion proteins, SNAREs, as initial fusion is between exoplasmic leaflets, and is accompanied by gain of the tetraspanin rim protein, peripherin.
Project description:Wnt5a is a representative ligand that activates the Wnt/beta-catenin-independent pathway, resulting in the regulation of cell adhesion, migration, and polarity, but its molecular mechanism is poorly understood. This report shows that Dishevelled (Dvl) binds to adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene product, and this binding is enhanced by Wnt5a. Dvl was involved in the stabilization of the plus end dynamics of microtubules as well as APC. Frizzled2 (Fz2) was present with Wnt5a at the leading edge of migrating cells and formed a complex with APC through Dvl. Fz2 also interacted with integrins at the leading edge, and Dvl and APC associated with and activated focal adhesion kinase and paxillin. The binding of APC to Dvl enhanced the localization of paxillin to the leading edge and was involved in Wnt5a-dependent focal adhesion turnover. Furthermore, this new Wnt5a signalling pathway was important for the epithelial morphogenesis in the three-dimensional culture. These results suggest that the functional and physical interaction of Dvl and APC is involved in Wnt5a/Fz2-dependent focal adhesion dynamics during cell migration and epithelial morphogenesis.
Project description:Studies have attributed several functions to the Eaf family, including tumor suppression and eye development. Given the potential association between cancer and development, we set forth to explore Eaf1 and Eaf2/U19 activity in vertebrate embryogenesis, using zebrafish. In situ hybridization revealed similar eaf1 and eaf2/u19 expression patterns. Morpholino-mediated knockdown of either eaf1 or eaf2/u19 expression produced similar morphological changes that could be reversed by ectopic expression of target or reciprocal-target mRNA. However, combination of Eaf1 and Eaf2/U19 (Eafs)-morpholinos increased the severity of defects, suggesting that Eaf1 and Eaf2/U19 only share some functional redundancy. The Eafs knockdown phenotype resembled that of embryos with defects in convergence and extension movements. Indeed, knockdown caused expression pattern changes for convergence and extension movement markers, whereas cell tracing experiments using kaeda mRNA showed a correlation between Eafs knockdown and cell migration defects. Cardiac and pancreatic differentiation markers revealed that Eafs knockdown also disrupted midline convergence of heart and pancreatic organ precursors. Noncanonical Wnt signaling plays a key role in both convergence and extension movements and midline convergence of organ precursors. We found that Eaf1 and Eaf2/U19 maintained expression levels of wnt11 and wnt5. Moreover, wnt11 or wnt5 mRNA partially rescued the convergence and extension movement defects occurring in eafs morphants. Wnt11 and Wnt5 converge on rhoA, so not surprisingly, rhoA mRNA more effectively rescued defects than either wnt11 or wnt5 mRNA alone. However, the ectopic expression of wnt11 and wnt5 did not affect eaf1 and eaf2/u19 expression. These data indicate that eaf1 and eaf2/u19 act upstream of noncanonical Wnt signaling to mediate convergence and extension movements.
Project description:During vertebrate gastrulation, convergence and extension (C&E) movements narrow and lengthen the embryonic tissues, respectively. In zebrafish, regional differences of C&E movements have been observed; however, the underlying cell behaviors are poorly understood. Using time-lapse analyses and computational modeling, we demonstrate that C&E of the medial presomitic mesoderm is achieved by cooperation of planar and radial cell intercalations. Radial intercalations preferentially separate anterior and posterior neighbors to promote extension. In knypek;trilobite noncanonical Wnt mutants, the frequencies of cell intercalations are altered and the anteroposterior bias of radial intercalations is lost. This provides evidence for noncanonical Wnt signaling polarizing cell movements between different mesodermal cell layers. We further show using fluorescent fusion proteins that during dorsal mesoderm C&E, the noncanonical Wnt component Prickle localizes at the anterior cell edge, whereas Dishevelled is enriched posteriorly. Asymmetrical localization of Prickle and Dishevelled to the opposite cell edges in zebrafish gastrula parallels their distribution in fly, and suggests that noncanonical Wnt signaling defines distinct anterior and posterior cell properties to bias cell intercalations.
Project description:Signaling by the Wnt family of secreted glycoproteins through their receptors, the frizzled (Fz) family of seven-pass transmembrane proteins, is critical for numerous cell fate and tissue polarity decisions during development.We report a novel role of Wnt signaling in organogenesis using the formation of the islet during pancreatic development as a model tissue. We used the advantages of the zebrafish to visualize and document this process in living embryos and demonstrated that insulin-positive cells actively migrate to form an islet. We used morpholinos (MOs), sequence-specific translational inhibitors, and time-lapse imaging analysis to show that the Wnt-5 ligand and the Fz-2 receptor are required for proper insulin-cell migration in zebrafish. Histological analyses of islets in Wnt5a(-/-) mouse embryos showed that Wnt5a signaling is also critical for murine pancreatic insulin-cell migration.Our results implicate a conserved role of a Wnt5/Fz2 signaling pathway in islet formation during pancreatic development. This study opens the door for further investigation into a role of Wnt signaling in vertebrate organ development and disease.
Project description:Previous mode of action studies identified methionine aminopeptidase 2 (MetAP-2) as the target of the antiangiogenic natural product fumagillin and its drug candidate analog, TNP-470. We report here that TNP-470-mediated MetAP-2 inhibition blocks noncanonical Wnt signaling, which plays a critical role in development, cell differentiation, and tumorigenesis. Consistent with this finding, antisense MetAP-2 morpholino oligonucleotide injection in zebrafish embryos phenocopies gastrulation defects seen in noncanonical Wnt5 loss-of-function zebrafish mutants. MetAP-2 inhibition or depletion blocks signaling downstream of the Wnt receptor Frizzled, but upstream of Calmodulin-dependent Kinase II, RhoA, and c-Jun N-terminal Kinase. Moreover, we demonstrate that TNP-470 does not block the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. Thus, TNP-470 selectively regulates noncanonical over canonical Wnt signaling and provides a unique means to explore and dissect the biological systems mediated by these pathways.