Regulation of Drosophila embryonic tracheogenesis by dVHL and hypoxia.
ABSTRACT: The tracheal system of Drosophila melanogaster is an interconnected network of gas-filled epithelial tubes that develops during embryogenesis and functions as the main gas-exchange organ in the larva. Larval tracheal cells respond to hypoxia by activating a program of branching and growth driven by HIF-1alpha/sima-dependent expression of the breathless (btl) FGF receptor. By contrast, the ability of the developing embryonic tracheal system to respond to hypoxia and integrate hard-wired branching programs with sima-driven tracheal remodeling is not well understood. Here we show that embryonic tracheal cells utilize the conserved ubiquitin ligase dVHL to control the HIF-1 alpha/sima hypoxia response pathway, and identify two distinct phases of tracheal development with differing hypoxia sensitivities and outcomes: a relatively hypoxia-resistant 'early' phase during which sima activity conflicts with normal branching and stunts migration, and a relatively hypoxia-sensitive 'late' phase during which the tracheal system uses the dVHL/sima/btl pathway to drive increased branching and growth. Mutations in the archipelago (ago) gene, which antagonizes btl transcription, re-sensitize early embryos to hypoxia, indicating that their relative resistance can be reversed by elevating activity of the btl promoter. These findings reveal a second type of tracheal hypoxic response in which Sima activation conflicts with developmental tracheogenesis, and identify the dVHL and ago ubiquitin ligases as key determinants of hypoxia sensitivity in tracheal cells. The identification of an early stage of tracheal development that is vulnerable to hypoxia is an important addition to models of the invertebrate hypoxic response.
Project description:The Drosophila melanogaster gene archipelago (ago) encodes the F-box/WD-repeat protein substrate specificity factor for an SCF (Skp/Cullin/F-box)-type polyubiquitin ligase that inhibits tumor-like growth by targeting proteins for degradation by the proteasome. The Ago protein is expressed widely in the fly embryo and larva and promotes degradation of pro-proliferative proteins in mitotically active cells. However the requirement for Ago in post-mitotic developmental processes remains largely unexplored. Here we show that Ago is an antagonist of the physiologic response to low oxygen (hypoxia). Reducing Ago activity in larval muscle cells elicits enhanced branching of nearby tracheal terminal cells in normoxia. This tracheogenic phenotype shows a genetic dependence on sima, which encodes the HIF-1? subunit of the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor dHIF and its target the FGF ligand branchless (bnl), and is enhanced by depletion of the Drosophila Von Hippel Lindau (dVHL) factor, which is a subunit of an oxygen-dependent ubiquitin ligase that degrades Sima/HIF-1? protein in metazoan cells. Genetic reduction of ago results in constitutive expression of some hypoxia-inducible genes in normoxia, increases the sensitivity of others to mild hypoxic stimulus, and enhances the ability of adult flies to recover from hypoxic stupor. As a molecular correlate to these genetic data, we find that Ago physically associates with Sima and restricts Sima levels in vivo. Collectively, these findings identify Ago as a required element of a circuit that suppresses the tracheogenic activity of larval muscle cells by antagonizing the Sima-mediated transcriptional response to hypoxia.
Project description:A blood cell type termed crystal cell in Drosophila functions in clotting and wound healing and requires Notch for specification and maintenance. We report that crystal cells express elevated levels of Sima protein orthologous to mammalian hypoxia-inducible factor-? (Hif-?) even under conditions of normal oxygen availability. In these platelet-like crystal cells, Sima activates full-length Notch receptor signaling via a noncanonical, ligand-independent mechanism that promotes hemocyte survival during both normal hematopoietic development and hypoxic stress. This interaction initiates in early endosomes, is independent of Hif-? (?ang? in Drosophila), and does not activate hypoxia response targets. Studies in vertebrate myeloid cells have shown a similar up-regulation of Hif-? protein in well-oxygenated environments. This study provides a mechanistic paradigm for Hif-?/Notch interaction that may be conserved in mammals.
Project description:Low-oxygen tolerance is supported by an adaptive response that includes a coordinate shift in metabolism and the activation of a transcriptional program that is driven by the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway. The precise contribution of HIF-1a in the adaptive response, however, has not been determined. Here, we investigate how HIF influences hypoxic adaptation throughout Drosophila melanogaster development. We find that hypoxic-induced transcriptional changes are comprised of HIF-dependent and HIF-independent pathways that are distinct and separable. We show that normoxic set-points of carbohydrate metabolites are significantly altered in sima mutants and that these animals are unable to mobilize glycogen in hypoxia. Furthermore, we find that the estrogen-related receptor (dERR), which is a global regulator of aerobic glycolysis in larvae, is required for a competent hypoxic response. dERR binds to dHIFa and participates in the HIF-dependent transcriptional program in hypoxia. In addition, dERR acts in the absence of dHIFa in hypoxia and a significant portion of HIF-independent transcriptional responses can be attributed to dERR actions, including upregulation of glycolytic transcripts. These results indicate that competent hypoxic responses arise from complex interactions between HIF-dependent and -independent mechanisms, and that dERR plays a central role in both of these programs.
Project description:Synaptic structure and activity are sensitive to environmental alterations. Modulation of synaptic morphology and function is often induced by signals from glia. However, the process by which glia mediate synaptic responses to environmental perturbations such as hypoxia remains unknown. Here, we report that, in the mutant for Trachealess (Trh), the Drosophila homolog for NPAS1 and NPAS3, smaller synaptic boutons form clusters named satellite boutons appear at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), which is induced by the reduction of internal oxygen levels due to defective tracheal branches. Thus, the satellite bouton phenotype in the trh mutant is suppressed by hyperoxia, and recapitulated in wild-type larvae raised under hypoxia. We further show that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1?/Similar (Sima) is critical in mediating hypoxia-induced satellite bouton formation. Sima upregulates the level of the Wnt/Wingless (Wg) signal in glia, leading to reorganized microtubule structures within presynaptic sites. Finally, hypoxia-induced satellite boutons maintain normal synaptic transmission at the NMJs, which is crucial for coordinated larval locomotion.
Project description:Adaptation to hypoxia depends on a conserved ?/? heterodimeric transcription factor called Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF), whose ?-subunit is regulated by oxygen through different concurrent mechanisms. In this study, we have identified the RNA binding protein dMusashi, as a negative regulator of the fly HIF homologue Sima. Genetic interaction assays suggested that dMusashi participates of the HIF pathway, and molecular studies carried out in Drosophila cell cultures showed that dMusashi recognizes a Musashi Binding Element in the 3' UTR of the HIF? transcript, thereby mediating its translational repression in normoxia. In hypoxic conditions dMusashi is downregulated, lifting HIF? repression and contributing to trigger HIF-dependent gene expression. Analysis performed in mouse brains revealed that murine Msi1 protein physically interacts with HIF-1? transcript, suggesting that the regulation of HIF by Msi might be conserved in mammalian systems. Thus, Musashi is a novel regulator of HIF that inhibits responses to hypoxia specifically when oxygen is available.
Project description:Cellular and systemic responses to low oxygen levels are principally mediated by Hypoxia Inducible Factors (HIFs), a family of evolutionary conserved heterodimeric transcription factors, whose alpha- and beta-subunits belong to the bHLH-PAS family. In normoxia, HIF? is hydroxylated by specific prolyl-4-hydroxylases, targeting it for proteasomal degradation, while in hypoxia the activity of these hydroxylases decreases due to low oxygen availability, leading to HIF? accumulation and expression of HIF target genes. To identify microRNAs required for maximal HIF activity, we conducted an overexpression screen in Drosophila melanogaster, evaluating the induction of a HIF transcriptional reporter. miR-190 overexpression enhanced HIF-dependent biological responses, including terminal sprouting of the tracheal system, while in miR-190 loss of function embryos the hypoxic response was impaired. In hypoxic conditions, miR-190 expression was upregulated and required for induction of HIF target genes by directly inhibiting the HIF prolyl-4-hydroxylase Fatiga. Thus, miR-190 is a novel regulator of the hypoxia response that represses the oxygen sensor Fatiga, leading to HIF? stabilization and enhancement of hypoxic responses.
Project description:Fibroblast growth factors (FGF) are essential signaling proteins that regulate diverse cellular functions in developmental and metabolic processes. In Drosophila, the FGF homolog, branchless (bnl) is expressed in a dynamic and spatiotemporally restricted pattern to induce branching morphogenesis of the trachea, which expresses the Bnl-receptor, breathless (btl). Here we have developed a new strategy to determine bnl- expressing cells and study their interactions with the btl-expressing cells in the range of tissue patterning during Drosophila development. To enable targeted gene expression specifically in the bnl expressing cells, a new LexA based bnl enhancer trap line was generated using CRISPR/Cas9 based genome editing. Analyses of the spatiotemporal expression of the reporter in various embryonic stages, larval or adult tissues and in metabolic hypoxia, confirmed its target specificity and versatility. With this tool, new bnl expressing cells, their unique organization and functional interactions with the btl-expressing cells were uncovered in a larval tracheoblast niche in the leg imaginal discs, in larval photoreceptors of the developing retina, and in the embryonic central nervous system. The targeted expression system also facilitated live imaging of simultaneously labeled Bnl sources and tracheal cells, which revealed a unique morphogenetic movement of the embryonic bnl- source. Migration of bnl- expressing cells may create a dynamic spatiotemporal pattern of the signal source necessary for the directional growth of the tracheal branch. The genetic tool and the comprehensive profile of expression, organization, and activity of various types of bnl-expressing cells described in this study provided us with an important foundation for future research investigating the mechanisms underlying Bnl signaling in tissue morphogenesis.
Project description:The mechanism by which hypoxia induces gene transcription involves the inhibition of HIF-1alpha (hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha subunit) PHD (prolyl hydroxylase) activity, which prevents the VHL (von Hippel-Lindau)-dependent targeting of HIF-1alpha to the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway. HIF-1alpha thus accumulates and promotes gene transcription. In the present study, first we provide direct biochemical evidence for the presence of a conserved hypoxic signalling pathway in Drosophila melanogaster. An assay for 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases was developed using Drosophila embryonic and larval homogenates as a source of enzyme. Drosophila PHD has a low substrate specificity and hydroxylates key proline residues in the ODD (oxygen-dependent degradation) domains of human HIF-1alpha and Similar, the Drosophila homologue of HIF-1alpha. The enzyme promotes human and Drosophila [(35)S]VHL binding to GST (glutathione S-transferase)-ODD-domain fusion protein. Hydroxylation is enhanced by proteasomal inhibitors and was ascertained using an anti-hydroxyproline antibody. Secondly, by using transgenic flies expressing a fusion protein that combined an ODD domain and the green fluorescent protein (ODD-GFP), we analysed the hypoxic cascade in different embryonic and larval tissues. Hypoxic accumulation of the reporter protein was observed in the whole tracheal tree, but not in the ectoderm. Hypoxic stabilization of ODD-GFP in the ectoderm was restored by inducing VHL expression in these cells. These results show that Drosophila tissues exhibit different sensitivities to hypoxia.
Project description:While studying the developmental functions of the Drosophila dopamine synthesis pathway genes, we noted interesting and unexpected mutant phenotypes in the developing trachea, a tubule network that has been studied as a model for branching morphogenesis. Specifically, Punch (Pu) and pale (ple) mutants with reduced dopamine synthesis show ectopic/aberrant migration, while Catecholamines up (Catsup) mutants that over-express dopamine show a characteristic loss of migration phenotype. We also demonstrate expression of Punch, Ple, Catsup and dopamine in tracheal cells. The dopamine pathway mutant phenotypes can be reproduced by pharmacological treatments of dopamine and a pathway inhibitor 3-iodotyrosine (3-IT), implicating dopamine as a direct mediator of the regulatory function. Furthermore, we show that these mutants genetically interact with components of the endocytic pathway, namely shibire/dynamin and awd/nm23, that promote endocytosis of the chemotactic signaling receptor Btl/FGFR. Consistent with the genetic results, the surface and total cellular levels of a Btl-GFP fusion protein in the tracheal cells and in cultured S2 cells are reduced upon dopamine treatment, and increased in the presence of 3-IT. Moreover, the transducer of Btl signaling, MAP kinase, is hyper-activated throughout the tracheal tube in the Pu mutant. Finally we show that dopamine regulates endocytosis via controlling the dynamin protein level.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), especially HIF-1? and HIF-2?, are key mediators of the adaptive response to hypoxic stress and play essential roles in maintaining lung homeostasis. Human and animal genetics studies confirm that abnormal HIF correlates with pulmonary vascular pathology and chronic lung diseases, but it remains unclear whether endothelial cell HIF production is essential for microvascular health. The large airway has an ideal circulatory bed for evaluating histological changes and physiology in genetically modified rodents. METHODS:The tracheal microvasculature of mice, with conditionally deleted or overexpressed HIF-1? or HIF-2?, was evaluated for anatomy, perfusion, and permeability. Angiogenic signaling studies assessed vascular changes attributable to dysregulated HIF expression. An orthotopic tracheal transplantation model further evaluated the contribution of individual HIF isoforms in airway endothelial cells. RESULTS:The genetic deletion of Hif-2? but not Hif-1? caused tracheal endothelial cell apoptosis, diminished pericyte coverage, reduced vascular perfusion, defective barrier function, overlying epithelial abnormalities, and subepithelial fibrotic remodeling. HIF-2? promoted microvascular integrity in airways through endothelial angiopoietin-1/TIE2 signaling and Notch activity. In functional tracheal transplants, HIF-2? deficiency in airway donors accelerated graft microvascular loss, whereas HIF-2? or angiopoietin-1 overexpression prolonged transplant microvascular perfusion. Augmented endothelial HIF-2? in transplant donors promoted airway microvascular integrity and diminished alloimmune inflammation. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings reveal that the constitutive expression of endothelial HIF-2? is required for airway microvascular health.