Identification of candidate genes for human pituitary development by EST analysis.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The pituitary is a critical neuroendocrine gland that is comprised of five hormone-secreting cell types, which develops in tandem during the embryonic stage. Some essential genes have been identified in the early stage of adenohypophysial development, such as PITX1, FGF8, BMP4 and SF-1. However, it is likely that a large number of signaling molecules and transcription factors essential for determination and terminal differentiation of specific cell types remain unidentified. High-throughput methods such as microarray analysis may facilitate the measurement of gene transcriptional levels, while Expressed sequence tag (EST) sequencing, an efficient method for gene discovery and expression level analysis, may no-redundantly help to understand gene expression patterns during development. RESULTS: A total of 9,271 ESTs were generated from both fetal and adult pituitaries, and assigned into 961 gene/EST clusters in fetal and 2,747 in adult pituitary by homology analysis. The transcription maps derived from these data indicated that developmentally relevant genes, such as Sox4, ST13 and ZNF185, were dominant in the cDNA library of fetal pituitary, while hormones and hormone-associated genes, such as GH1, GH2, POMC, LHbeta, CHGA and CHGB, were dominant in adult pituitary. Furthermore, by using RT-PCR and in situ hybridization, Sox4 was found to be one of the main transcription factors expressed in fetal pituitary for the first time. It was expressed at least at E12.5, but decreased after E17.5. In addition, 40 novel ESTs were identified specifically in this tissue. CONCLUSION: The significant changes in gene expression in both tissues suggest a distinct and dynamic switch between embryonic and adult pituitaries. All these data along with Sox4 should be confirmed to further understand the community of multiple signaling pathways that act as a cooperative network that regulates maturation of the pituitary. It was also suggested that EST sequencing is an efficient means of gene discovery.
Project description:The entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and its symbiotic bacterium, Photorhabdus luminescens, are important biological control agents of insect pests. This nematode-bacterium-insect association represents an emerging tripartite model for research on mutualistic and parasitic symbioses. Elucidation of mechanisms underlying these biological processes may serve as a foundation for improving the biological control potential of the nematode-bacterium complex. This large-scale expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis effort enables gene discovery and development of microsatellite markers. These ESTs will also aid in the annotation of the upcoming complete genome sequence of H. bacteriophora.A total of 31,485 high quality ESTs were generated from cDNA libraries of the adult H. bacteriophora TTO1 strain. Cluster analysis revealed the presence of 3,051 contigs and 7,835 singletons, representing 10,886 distinct EST sequences. About 72% of the distinct EST sequences had significant matches (E value < 1e-5) to proteins in GenBank's non-redundant (nr) and Wormpep190 databases. We have identified 12 ESTs corresponding to 8 genes potentially involved in RNA interference, 22 ESTs corresponding to 14 genes potentially involved in dauer-related processes, and 51 ESTs corresponding to 27 genes potentially involved in defense and stress responses. Comparison to ESTs and proteins of free-living nematodes led to the identification of 554 parasitic nematode-specific ESTs in H. bacteriophora, among which are those encoding F-box-like/WD-repeat protein theromacin, Bax inhibitor-1-like protein, and PAZ domain containing protein. Gene Ontology terms were assigned to 6,685 of the 10,886 ESTs. A total of 168 microsatellite loci were identified with primers designable for 141 loci.A total of 10,886 distinct EST sequences were identified from adult H. bacteriophora cDNA libraries. BLAST searches revealed ESTs potentially involved in parasitism, RNA interference, defense responses, stress responses, and dauer-related processes. The putative microsatellite markers identified in H. bacteriophora ESTs will enable genetic mapping and population genetic studies. These genomic resources provide the material base necessary for genome annotation, microarray development, and in-depth gene functional analysis.
Project description:Excess alcohol use is known to promote development of aggressive tumors in various tissues in human patients, but the cause of alcohol promotion of tumor aggressiveness is not clearly understood. We used an animals model of fetal alcohol exposure that is known to promote tumor development and determined if alcohol programs the pituitary to acquire aggressive prolactin-secreting tumors. Our results show that pituitaries of fetal alcohol-exposed rats produced increased levels of intra-pituitary aromatase protein and plasma estrogen, enhanced pituitary tissue growth, and upon estrogen challenge developed prolactin-secreting tumors (prolactinomas) that were hemorrhagic and often penetrated into the surrounding tissue. Pituitary tumors of fetal alcohol-exposed rats produced higher levels of hemorrhage-associated genes and proteins and multipotency genes and proteins. Cells of pituitary tumor of fetal alcohol exposed rat grew into tumor spheres in ultra-low attachment plate, expressed multipotency genes, formed an increased number of colonies, showed enhanced cell migration, and induced solid tumors following inoculation in immunodeficient mice. These data suggest that fetal alcohol exposure programs the pituitary to develop aggressive prolactinoma after estrogen treatment possibly due to increase in stem cell niche within the tumor microenvironment.
Project description:Cocaine-and Amphetamine Regulated Transcript (CART) peptide is expressed in the brain, endocrine and neuroendocrine systems and secreted into the serum. It is thought to play a role in regulation of hypothalamic pituitary functions. Here we report a spatial and temporal analysis of Cart expression in the pituitaries of adult and developing normal and mutant mice with hypopituitarism. We found that Prop1 is not necessary for initiation of Cart expression in the fetal pituitary at e14.5, but it is required indirectly for maintenance of Cart expression in the postnatal anterior pituitary gland. Pou1f1 deficiency has no effect on Cart expression before or after birth. There is no 1:1 correspondence between CART and any particular cell type. In neonates, CART is detected primarily in non-proliferating, POU1F1-positive cells. CART is also found in some cells that express TSH and GH suggesting a correspondence with committed progenitors of the POU1F1 lineage. In summary, we have characterized the normal temporal and cell specific expression of CART in mouse development and demonstrate that postnatal CART expression in the pituitary gland requires PROP1.
Project description:We recently showed that Xq26.3 microduplications cause X-linked acrogigantism (X-LAG). X-LAG patients mainly present with growth hormone and prolactin-secreting adenomas and share a minimal duplicated region containing at least four genes. GPR101 was the only gene highly expressed in their pituitary lesions, but little is known about its expression patterns. In this work, GPR101 transcripts were characterized in human tissues by 5'-Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE) and RNAseq, while the putative promoter was bioinformatically predicted. We investigated GPR101 mRNA and protein expression by RT-quantitative PCR (qPCR), whole-mount in situ hybridization, and immunostaining, in human, rhesus monkey, rat and zebrafish. We identified four GPR101 isoforms characterized by different 5'-untranslated regions (UTRs) and a common 6.1kb long 3'UTR. GPR101 expression was very low or absent in almost all adult human tissues examined, except for specific brain regions. Strong GPR101 staining was observed in human fetal pituitary and during adolescence, whereas very weak/absent expression was detected during childhood and adult life. In contrast to humans, adult monkey and rat pituitaries expressed GPR101, but in different cell types. Gpr101 is expressed in the brain and pituitary during rat and zebrafish development; in rat pituitary, Gpr101 is expressed only after birth and shows sexual dimorphism. This study shows that different GPR101 transcripts exist and that the brain is the major site of GPR101 expression across different species, although divergent species- and temporal-specific expression patterns are evident. These findings suggest an important role for GPR101 in brain and pituitary development and likely reflect the very different growth, development and maturation patterns among species.
Project description:Growth-hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas (GHomas) account for approximately 20% of all pituitary neoplasms. However, the pathogenesis of GHomas remains to be elucidated. To explore the possible pathogenesis of GHomas, we used bead-based fiber-optic arrays to examine the gene expression in five GHomas and compared them to three healthy pituitaries. Four differentially expressed genes were chosen randomly for validation by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. We then performed pathway analysis on the identified differentially expressed genes using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes. Array analysis showed significant increases in the expression of 353 genes and 206 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and decreases in 565 genes and 29 ESTs. Bioinformatic analysis showed that the genes HIGD1B, HOXB2, ANGPT2, HPGD and BTG2 may play an important role in the tumorigenesis and progression of GHomas. Pathway analysis showed that the wingless-type signaling pathway and extracellular-matrix receptor interactions may play a key role in the tumorigenesis and progression of GHomas. Our data suggested that there are numerous aberrantly expressed genes and pathways involved in the pathogenesis of GHomas. Bead-based fiber-optic arrays combined with pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes appear to be a valid method for investigating the pathogenesis of tumors.
Project description:The zebrafish kidney marrow is considered to be the organ of definitive hematopoiesis, analogous to the mammalian bone marrow. We have sequenced 26,143 ESTs and isolated 304 cDNAs with putative full-length ORF from a zebrafish kidney marrow cDNA library. The ESTs formed 7,742 assemblies, representing both previously identified zebrafish ESTs (56%) and recently discovered zebrafish ESTs (44%). About 30% of these EST assemblies have orthologues in humans, including 1,282 disease-associated genes in the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database. Comparison of the effective and regulatory molecules related to erythroid functions across species suggests a good conservation from zebrafish to human. Interestingly, both embryonic and adult zebrafish globin genes showed higher homology to the human embryonic globin genes than to the human fetal/adult ones, consistent with evo-devo correlation hypothesis. In addition, conservation of a whole set of transcription factors involved in globin gene switch suggests the regulatory network for such remodeling mechanism existed before the divergence of the teleost and the ancestor of mammals. We also carried out whole-mount mRNA in situ hybridization assays for 493 cDNAs and identified 80 genes (16%) with tissue-specific expression during the first five days of zebrafish development. Twenty-six of these genes were specifically expressed in hematopoietic or vascular tissues, including three previously unidentified zebrafish genes: coro1a, nephrosin, and dab2. Our results indicate that conserved genetic programs regulate vertebrate hematopoiesis and vasculogenesis, and support the role of the zebrafish as an important animal model for studying both normal development and the molecular pathogenesis of human blood diseases.
Project description:Hepatic glutathione S-transferase activities were determined with the substrates 1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene and 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene. Sexual differentiation of glutathione S-transferase activities is not evident during the prepubertal period, but glutathione conjugation with 1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene is 2-3-fold greater in adult males than in females. Glutathione conjugation with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene is slightly higher in adult males than adult females. No change in activity was observed after postpubertal gonadectomy of males or females. Neonatal castration of males results in a significant decrease in glutathione conjugation with 1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene. Hypophysectomy, or hypophysectomy followed by gonadectomy did result in significantly higher glutathione S-transferase activities in both sexes. These increases can be reversed by implanting an adult male or female pituitary or four prepubertal pituitaries under the kidney capsule. Postpubertal sexual differentiation of glutathione S-transferase activities is neither dependent on pituitary sexual differentiation nor pituitary maturation. Prolactin concentrations are inversely related to glutathione S-transferase activities in hypophysectomized rats with or without ectopic pituitaries. Somatotropin exogenously administered to hypophysectomized rats results in decreased glutathione S-transferase activities, whereas prolactin has no effect. Adult male rats treated neonatally with monosodium l-glutamate to induce arcuate nucleus lesions of the hypothalamus have decreased glutathione S-transferase activities towards 1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene and decreased somatotropin concentrations. Our experiments suggests that sexual differentiation of hepatic glutathione S-transferase is a result of a hypothalamic inhibiting factor in the male (absent in the female). This postpubertally expressed inhibiting factor acts on the pituitary to prevent secretion of a pituitary inhibiting factor (autonomously secreted by the female), resulting in higher glutathione S-transferase activities in the adult male than the adult female.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways are involved in the genesis of multiple tumors; however, their role in pituitary tumorigenesis is mostly unknown.<h4>Objective</h4>This study evaluated gene and protein expression of Wnt pathways in pituitary tumors and whether these expression correlate to clinical outcome.<h4>Materials and methods</h4>Genes of the WNT canonical pathway: activating ligands (WNT11, WNT4, WNT5A), binding inhibitors (DKK3, sFRP1), ?-catenin (CTNNB1), ?-catenin degradation complex (APC, AXIN1, GSK3?), inhibitor of ?-catenin degradation complex (AKT1), sequester of ?-catenin (CDH1), pathway effectors (TCF7, MAPK8, NFAT5), pathway mediators (DVL-1, DVL-2, DVL-3, PRICKLE, VANGL1), target genes (MYB, MYC, WISP2, SPRY1, TP53, CCND1); calcium dependent pathway (PLCB1, CAMK2A, PRKCA, CHP); and planar cell polarity pathway (PTK7, DAAM1, RHOA) were evaluated by QPCR, in 19 GH-, 18 ACTH-secreting, 21 non-secreting (NS) pituitary tumors, and 5 normal pituitaries. Also, the main effectors of canonical (?-catenin), planar cell polarity (JNK), and calcium dependent (NFAT5) Wnt pathways were evaluated by immunohistochemistry.<h4>Results</h4>There are no differences in gene expression of canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways between all studied subtypes of pituitary tumors and normal pituitaries, except for WISP2, which was over-expressed in ACTH-secreting tumors compared to normal pituitaries (4.8x; p = 0.02), NS pituitary tumors (7.7x; p = 0.004) and GH-secreting tumors (5.0x; p = 0.05). ?-catenin, NFAT5 and JNK proteins showed no expression in normal pituitaries and in any of the pituitary tumor subtypes. Furthermore, no association of the studied gene or protein expression was observed with tumor size, recurrence, and progressive disease. The hierarchical clustering showed a regular pattern of genes of the canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways randomly distributed throughout the dendrogram.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our data reinforce previous reports suggesting no activation of canonical Wnt pathway in pituitary tumorigenesis. Moreover, we describe, for the first time, evidence that non-canonical Wnt pathways are also not mis-expressed in the pituitary tumors.
Project description:The anterior pituitary gland plays a central role in regulating various physiological processes, including body growth, reproduction, metabolism and stress response. Here, we perform single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) of 4113 individual cells from human fetal pituitaries. We characterize divergent developmental trajectories with distinct transitional intermediate states in five hormone-producing cell lineages. Corticotropes exhibit an early intermediate state prior to full differentiation. Three cell types of the PIT-1 lineage (somatotropes, lactotropes and thyrotropes) segregate from a common progenitor coexpressing lineage-specific transcription factors of different sublineages. Gonadotropes experience two multistep developmental trajectories. Furthermore, we identify a fetal gonadotrope cell subtype expressing the primate-specific hormone chorionic gonadotropin. We also characterize the cellular heterogeneity of pituitary stem cells and identify a hybrid epithelial/mesenchymal state and an early-to-late state transition. Here, our results provide insights into the transcriptional landscape of human pituitary development, defining distinct cell substates and subtypes and illustrating transcription factor dynamics during cell fate commitment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Acetabularia acetabulum is a giant unicellular green alga whose size and complex life cycle make it an attractive model for understanding morphogenesis and subcellular compartmentalization. The life cycle of this marine unicell is composed of several developmental phases. Juvenile and adult phases are temporally sequential but physiologically and morphologically distinct. To identify genes specific to juvenile and adult phases, we created two subtracted cDNA libraries, one adult-specific and one juvenile-specific, and analyzed 941 randomly chosen ESTs from them. RESULTS:Clustering analysis suggests virtually no overlap between the two libraries. Preliminary expression data also suggests that we were successful at isolating transcripts differentially expressed between the two developmental phases and that many transcripts are specific to one phase or the other. Comparison of our EST sequences against publicly available sequence databases indicates that ESTs from the adult and the juvenile libraries partition into different functional classes. Three conserved sequence elements were common to several of the ESTs and were also found within the genomic sequence of the carbonic anhydrase1 gene from A. acetabulum. To date, these conserved elements are specific to A. acetabulum. CONCLUSIONS:Our data provide strong evidence that adult and juvenile phases in A. acetabulum vary significantly in gene expression. We discuss their possible roles in cell growth and morphogenesis as well as in phase change. We also discuss the potential role of the conserved elements found within the EST sequences in post-transcriptional regulation, particularly mRNA localization and/or stability.