The alpha1 isoform of the Na+/K+ ATPase is up-regulated in dedifferentiated progenitor cells that mediate lens and retina regeneration in adult newts.
ABSTRACT: Adult newts are able to regenerate their retina and lens after injury or complete removal through transdifferentiation of the pigmented epithelial tissues of the eye. This process needs to be tightly controlled, and several different mechanisms are likely to be recruited for this function. The Na(+)/K(+) ATPase is a transmembrane protein that establishes electrochemical gradients through the transport of Na(+) and K(+) and has been implicated in the modulation of key cellular processes such as cell division, migration and adhesion. Even though it is expressed in all cells, its isoform composition varies with cell type and is tightly controlled during development and regeneration. In the present study we characterize the expression pattern of Na(+)/K(+) ATPase alpha1 in the adult newt eye and during the process of lens and retina regeneration. We show that this isoform is up-regulated in undifferentiated cells during transdifferentiation. Such change in composition could be one of the mechanisms that newt cells utilize to modulate this process.
Project description:The ability to reprogram in vivo a somatic cell after differentiation is quite limited. One of the most impressive examples of such a process is transdifferentiation of pigmented epithelial cells (PECs) to lens cells during lens regeneration in newts. However, very little is known of the molecular events that allow newt cells to transdifferentiate. Histone B4 is an oocyte-type linker histone that replaces the somatic-type linker histone H1 during reprogramming mediated by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). We found that B4 is expressed and required during transdifferentiation of PECs. Knocking down of B4 decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis, which resulted in considerable smaller lens. Furthermore, B4 knockdown altered gene expression of key genes of lens differentiation and nearly abolished expression of gamma-crystallin. These data are the first to show expression of oocyte-type linker histone in somatic cells and its requirement in newt lens transdifferentiation and suggest that transdifferentiation in newts might share common strategies with reprogramming after SCNT.
Project description:Newts have the ability to repeatedly regenerate their lens even during ageing. However, it is unclear whether this regeneration reflects an undisturbed genetic activity. To answer this question, we compared the transcriptomes of lenses, irises and tails from aged newts that had undergone lens regeneration 19 times with the equivalent tissues from young newts that had never experienced lens regeneration. Our analysis indicates that repeatedly regenerated lenses showed a robust transcriptional program comparable to young never-regenerated lenses. In contrast, the tail, which was never regenerated, showed gene expression signatures of ageing. Our analysis strongly suggests that, with respect to gene expression, the regenerated lenses have not deviated from a robust transcriptional program even after multiple events of regeneration throughout the life of the newt. In addition, our study provides a new paradigm in biology, and establishes the newt as a key model for the study of regeneration in relation to ageing.
Project description:The newt, a urodele amphibian, has an outstanding ability- even as an adult -to regenerate a functional retina through reprogramming and proliferation of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, even though the neural retina is completely removed from the eye by surgery. It remains unknown how the newt invented such a superior mechanism. Here we show that disability of RPE cells to regenerate the retina brings about a symptom of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), even in the newt. When Pax6, a transcription factor that is re-expressed in reprogramming RPE cells, is knocked down in transgenic juvenile newts, these cells proliferate but eventually give rise to cell aggregates that uniformly express alpha smooth muscle actin, Vimentin and N-cadherin, the markers of myofibroblasts which are a major component of the sub-/epi-retinal membranes in PVR. Our current study demonstrates that Pax6 is an essential factor that directs the fate of reprogramming RPE cells toward the retinal regeneration. The newt may have evolved the ability of retinal regeneration by modifying a mechanism that underlies the RPE-mediated retinal disorders.
Project description:In this study, we present data indicating that mammalian stem cell pluripotency-inducing factors are expressed during lens and limb regeneration in newts. The apparent expression even in intact tissues and the ensued regulation during regeneration raises the possibility that these factors might regulate tissue-specific reprogramming and regeneration. Furthermore, these factors should enable us to understand the similarities and differences between animal regeneration in the newt and stem cell strategies in mammals. Developmental Dynamics 238:1613-1616, 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Project description:Amphibians have the remarkable ability to regenerate missing body parts. After complete removal of the eye lens, the dorsal but not the ventral iris will transdifferentiate to regenerate an exact replica of the lost lens. We used reverse-phase nano-liquid chromatography followed by mass spectrometry to detect protein concentrations in dorsal and ventral iris 0, 4, and 8 days post-lentectomy. We performed gene expression comparisons between regeneration and intact timepoints as well as between dorsal and ventral iris.Our analysis revealed gene expression patterns associated with the ability of the dorsal iris for transdifferentiation and lens regeneration. Proteins regulating gene expression and various metabolic processes were enriched in regeneration timepoints. Proteins involved in extracellular matrix, gene expression, and DNA-associated functions like DNA repair formed a regeneration-related protein network and were all up-regulated in the dorsal iris. In addition, we investigated protein concentrations in cultured dorsal (transdifferentiation-competent) and ventral (transdifferentiation-incompetent) iris pigmented epithelial (IPE) cells. Our comparative analysis revealed that the ability of dorsal IPE cells to keep memory of their tissue of origin and transdifferentiation is associated with the expression of proteins that specify the dorso-ventral axis of the eye as well as with proteins found highly expressed in regeneration timepoints, especially 8 days post-lentectomy.The study deepens our understanding in the mechanism of regeneration by providing protein networks and pathways that participate in the process.
Project description:Adult newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) are capable of complete lens regeneration that is mediated through dorsal iris pigment epithelial (IPE) cells transdifferentiation. In contrast, higher vertebrates such as mice demonstrate only limited lens regeneration in the presence of an intact lens capsule with remaining lens epithelial cells. To compare the intrinsic lens regeneration potential of newt IPE versus mouse lens epithelial cells (MLE), we have established a novel culture method that uses cell aggregation before culture in growth factor-reduced Matrigel. Dorsal newt IPE aggregates demonstrated complete lens formation within 1 to 2 weeks of Matrigel culture without basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) supplementation, including the establishment of a peripheral cuboidal epithelial cell layer, and the appearance of central lens fibers that were positive for ?A-crystallin. In contrast, the lens-forming potential of MLE cell aggregates cultured in Matrigel was incomplete and resulted in the formation of defined-size lentoids with partial optical transparency. While the peripheral cell layers of MLE aggregates were nucleated, cells in the center of aggregates demonstrated a nonapoptotic nuclear loss over a time period of 3 weeks that was representative of lens fiber formation. Matrigel culture supplementation with bFGF resulted in higher transparent bigger-size MLE aggregates that demonstrated increased appearance of ?B1-crystallin expression. Our study demonstrates that bFGF is not required for induction of newt IPE aggregate-dependent lens formation in Matrigel, while the addition of bFGF seems to be beneficial for the formation of MLE aggregate-derived lens-like structures. In conclusion, the three-dimensional aggregate culture of IPE and MLE in Matrigel allows to a higher extent than older models the indepth study of the intrinsic lens-forming potential and the corresponding identification of lentogenic factors.
Project description:In species of the frog genus Xenopus, lens regeneration occurs through a process of transdifferentiation, in which cornea epithelial cells presumably undergo dedifferentiation and subsequently redifferentiate to form a new lens. Experimental studies have shown that the retina provides the key signal required to trigger this process once the original lens is removed. A previous study showed that addition of an exogenous fibroblast growth factor (i.e., FGF1 protein) could initiate transdifferentiation of cornea epithelial cells in culture. To determine the role of FGF signaling in X. laevis lens regeneration, we have examined the presence of specific FGFs and their receptors (FGFRs) during this process and evaluated the necessity of FGFR signaling. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analyses reveal that a number of FGF family members are expressed in cornea epithelium and retinal tissues both before and during the process of lens regeneration. Of these, FGF1, FGF8, and FGF9 are expressed principally in retinal tissue and not in the cornea epithelium. Hence, these ligands could represent key signaling factors originating from the retina that trigger regeneration. The results of experiments using an in vitro eye culture system and an FGFR inhibitor (SU5402) suggest that FGFR signaling is required for lens regeneration in Xenopus.
Project description:The newt, a urodele amphibian, is able to repeatedly regenerate its limbs throughout its lifespan, whereas other amphibians deteriorate or lose their ability to regenerate limbs after metamorphosis. It remains to be determined whether such an exceptional ability of the newt is either attributed to a strategy, which controls regeneration in larvae, or on a novel one invented by the newt after metamorphosis. Here we report that the newt switches the cellular mechanism for limb regeneration from a stem/progenitor-based mechanism (larval mode) to a dedifferentiation-based one (adult mode) as it transits beyond metamorphosis. We demonstrate that larval newts use stem/progenitor cells such as satellite cells for new muscle in a regenerated limb, whereas metamorphosed newts recruit muscle fibre cells in the stump for the same purpose. We conclude that the newt has evolved novel strategies to secure its regenerative ability of the limbs after metamorphosis.
Project description:Pax-6 is a master regulator of eye development and is expressed in the dorsal and ventral iris during newt lens regeneration. We show that expression of Pax-6 during newt lens regeneration coincides with cell proliferation. By knocking down expression of Pax-6 via treatment with morpholinos, we found that proliferation of iris pigment epithelial cells was dramatically reduced both in vitro and in vivo, and, as a result, lens regeneration was significantly retarded. However, induction of dedifferentiation in the dorsal iris was not inhibited. Pax-6 knockdown early in lens regeneration resulted in inhibition of crystallin expression and retardation of lens fiber induction. Once crystallin expression and differentiation of lens fibers has ensued, however, loss of function of Pax-6 did not affect crystallin expression and lens fiber maintenance, even though the effects on proliferation persisted. These results conclusively show that Pax-6 is associated with distinct early events during lens regeneration, namely control of cell proliferation and subsequent lens fiber differentiation.
Project description:Xenopus laevis is among the few species that are capable of fully regenerating a lost lens de novo. This occurs upon removal of the lens, when secreted factors from the retina are permitted to reach the cornea epithelium and trigger it to form a new lens. Although many studies have investigated the retinal factors that initiate lens regeneration, relatively little is known about what factors support this process and make the cornea competent to form a lens. We presently investigate the role of Retinoic acid (RA) signaling in lens regeneration in Xenopus. RA is a highly important morphogen during vertebrate development, including the development of various eye tissues, and has been previously implicated in several regenerative processes as well. For instance, Wolffian lens regeneration in the newt requires active RA signaling. In contrast, we provide evidence here that lens regeneration in Xenopus actually depends on the attenuation of RA signaling, which is regulated by the RA-degrading enzyme CYP26. Using RT-PCR we examined the expression of RA synthesis and metabolism related genes within ocular tissues. We found expression of aldh1a1, aldh1a2, and aldh1a3, as well as cyp26a1 and cyp26b1 in both normal and regenerating corneal tissue. On the other hand, cyp26c1 does not appear to be expressed in either control or regenerating corneas, but it is expressed in the lens. Additionally in the lens, we found expression of aldh1a1 and aldh1a2, but not aldh1a3. Using an inhibitor of CYP26, and separately using exogenous retinoids, as well as RA signaling inhibitors, we demonstrate that CYP26 activity is necessary for lens regeneration to occur. We also find using phosphorylated Histone H3 labeling that CYP26 antagonism reduces cell proliferation in the cornea, and using qPCR we find that exogenous retinoids alter the expression of putative corneal stem cell markers. Furthermore, the Xenopus cornea is composed of an outer layer and inner basal epithelium, as well as a deeper fibrillar layer sparsely populated with cells. We employed antibody staining to visualize the localization of CYP26A, CYP26B, and RALDH1 within these corneal layers. Immunohistochemical staining of these enzymes revealed that all 3 proteins are expressed in both the outer and basal layers. CYP26A appears to be unique in also being present in the deeper fibrillar layer, which may contain cornea stem cells. This study reveals a clear molecular difference between newt and Xenopus lens regeneration, and it implicates CYP26 in the latter regenerative process.