The origin of bmp16, a novel Bmp2/4 relative, retained in teleost fish genomes.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Whole genome sequences have allowed us to have an overview of the evolution of gene repertoires. The target of the present study, the TGFbeta superfamily, contains many genes involved in vertebrate development, and provides an ideal system to explore the relationships between evolution of gene repertoires and that of developmental programs. RESULTS:As a result of a bioinformatic survey of sequenced vertebrate genomes, we identified an uncharacterized member of the TGFbeta superfamily, designated bmp16, which is confined to teleost fish species. Our molecular phylogenetic study revealed a high affinity of bmp16 to the Bmp2/4 subfamily. Importantly, further analyses based on the maximum-likelihood method unambiguously ruled out the possibility that this teleost-specific gene is a product of teleost-specific genome duplication. This suggests that the absence of a bmp16 ortholog in tetrapods is due to a secondary loss. In situ hybridization showed embryonic expression of the zebrafish bmp16 in the developing swim bladder, heart, tail bud, and ectoderm of pectoral and median fin folds in pharyngula stages, as well as gut-associated expression in 5-day embryos. CONCLUSION:Comparisons of expression patterns revealed (1) the redundancy of bmp16 expression with its homologs in presumably plesiomorphic expression domains, such as the fin fold, heart, and tail bud, which might have permitted its loss in the tetrapod lineage, and (2) the loss of craniofacial expression and gain of swim bladder expression of bmp16 after the gene duplication between Bmp2, -4 and -16. Our findings highlight the importance of documenting secondary changes of gene repertoires and expression patterns in other gene families.
Project description:The teleost swim bladder is assumed a homolog of the tetrapod lung. Both swim bladder and lung are developmental targets of persistent aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR(2)) agonists; in zebrafish (Danio rerio) the swim bladder fails to inflate with exposure to 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB126). The mechanism for this effect is unknown, but studies have suggested roles of cytochrome P450 1 (CYP1) and cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox-2) in some Ahr-mediated developmental effects in zebrafish. We determined relationships between swim bladder inflation and CYP1 and Cox-2 mRNA expression in PCB126-exposed zebrafish embryos. We also examined effects on ?-catenin dependent transcription, histological effects, and Ahr2 dependence of the effect of PCB126 on swim bladder using morpholinos targeting ahr2. One-day-old embryos were exposed to waterborne PCB126 or carrier (DMSO) for 24h and then held in clean water until day 4, a normal time for swim bladder inflation. The effects of PCB126 were concentration-dependent with EC(50) values of 1.4 to 2.0 nM for induction of the CYP1s, 3.7 and 5.1 nM (or higher) for cox-2a and cox-2b induction, and 2.5 nM for inhibition of swim bladder inflation. Histological defects included a compaction of the developing bladder. Ahr2-morpholino treatment rescued the effect of PCB126 (5 nM) on swim bladder inflation and blocked induction of CYP1A, cox-2a, and cox-2b. With 2nM PCB126 approximately 30% of eleutheroembryos(3) failed to inflate the swim bladder, but there was no difference in CYP1 or cox-2 mRNA expression between those embryos and embryos showing inflated swim bladder. Our results indicate that PCB126 blocks swim bladder inflation via an Ahr2-mediated mechanism. This mechanism seems independent of CYP1 or cox-2 mRNA induction but may involve abnormal development of swim bladder cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In most modern bony fishes (teleosts) hearing improvement is often correlated with a close morphological relationship between the swim bladder or other gas-filled cavities and the saccule or more rarely with the utricle. A connection of an accessory hearing structure to the third end organ, the lagena, has not yet been reported. A recent study in the Asian cichlid Etroplus maculatus provided the first evidence that a swim bladder may come close to the lagena. Our study was designed to uncover the swim bladder-inner ear relationship in this species. We used a new approach by applying a combination of two high-resolution techniques, namely microtomographic (microCT) imaging and histological serial semithin sectioning, providing the basis for subsequent three-dimensional reconstructions. Prior to the morphological study, we additionally measured auditory evoked potentials at four frequencies (0.5, 1, 2, 3 kHz) to test the hearing abilities of the fish. RESULTS: E. maculatus revealed a complex swim bladder-inner ear connection in which a bipartite swim bladder extension contacts the upper as well as the lower parts of each inner ear, a condition not observed in any other teleost species studied so far. The gas-filled part of the extension is connected to the lagena via a thin bony lamella and is firmly attached to this bony lamella with connective material. The second part of the extension, a pad-like structure, approaches the posterior and horizontal semicircular canals and a recessus located posterior to the utricle. CONCLUSIONS: Our study is the first detailed report of a link between the swim bladder and the lagena in a teleost species. We suggest that the lagena has an auditory function in this species because the most intimate contact exists between the swim bladder and this end organ. The specialized attachment of the saccule to the cranial bone and the close proximity of the swim bladder extension to the recessus located posterior to the utricle indicate that the saccule and the utricle also receive parallel inputs from the swim bladder extension. We further showed that a combination of non-destructive microCT imaging with histological analyses on the same specimen provides a powerful tool to decipher and interpret fine structures and to compensate for methodological artifacts.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Successful blastocyst implantation requires the differentiation of human endometrial stromal cells (HESC), a process known as decidualization. Activin A, a transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) superfamily member, enhances HESC decidualization and localizes to decidual cells in human endometrium. Other TGFbeta superfamily members, including BMP2, BMP4, BMP7, GDF5, GDF8, GDF11, TGFbetas and Nodal, may also play a role during decidualization. This study aimed to identify these TGFbeta family members in human endometrium, and to determine whether they are involved in human decidualization. METHODS: Protein localization of TGFbeta family members was examined in secretory phase human endometrium and first trimester decidua by immunohistochemistry. mRNA expression was examined in HESC. Activin inhibitors (Activin-M108A/SB431542) with differing specificities for the other TGFbeta members under consideration were applied during HESC decidualization in vitro. The secretion levels of potential TGFbeta superfamily members were measured during decidualization, and recombinant proteins added to examine their effect. RESULTS: This study has identified BMP2, BMP4, BMP7, GDF5, GDF8 and GDF11 but not Nodal in secretory phase human endometrium, but only BMP2, GDF5 and TGFbeta1 protein were detected in decidual cells. All ligands except Nodal were expressed by cultured HESC. Both inhibitors significantly reduced decidualization validating the role of activin, but potentially also other TGFbeta members, during decidualization. BMP2 and TGFbeta1 secretion increased during HESC decidualisation and exogenous administration of these proteins significantly enhanced decidualization in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: Like activin, BMP2 and TGFbeta1 are likely to be involved in HESC decidualization. This is the first study to identify and localize BMP4, BMP7, GDF5, GDF8 and GDF11 in secretory phase human endometrium. Understanding the factors critical for the implantation process is needed for improving fertility and pregnancy outcomes.
Project description:Variation in fin shape and size contributes to the outstanding morphological diversity of teleost fishes, but the regulation of fin growth has not yet been studied extensively outside the zebrafish model. A previous gene expression study addressing the ornamental elongations of unpaired fins in the African cichlid fish Neolamprologus brichardi identified three genes (cx43, mmp9 and sema3d) with strong and consistent expression differences between short and elongated fin regions. Remarkably, the expression patterns of these genes were not consistent with inferences on their regulatory interactions in zebrafish. Here, we identify a gene expression network (GRN) comprising cx43, mmp9, and possibly also sema3d by a stepwise approach of identifying co-expression modules and predicting their upstream regulators. Among the transcription factors (TFs) predicted as potential upstream regulators of 11 co-expressed genes, six TFs (foxc1, foxp1, foxd3, myc, egr2, irf8) showed expression patterns consistent with their cooperative transcriptional regulation of the gene network. Some of these TFs have already been implicated in teleost fish fin regeneration and formation. We particularly discuss the potential function of foxd3 as driver of the network and its role in the unexpected gene expression correlations observed in N. brichardi.
Project description:Background:Teleost paired fins are composed of two endoskeletal domains, proximal and distal radials, and an exoskeletal domain, the fin ray. The zebrafish pectoral fin displays elaborately patterned radials along the anteroposterior (AP) axis. Radials are considered homologous to tetrapod limb skeletons, and their patterning mechanisms in embryonic development are similar to those of limb development. Nevertheless, the pattern along the AP axis in fin rays has not been well described in the zebrafish pectoral fin, although several recent reports have revealed that fin ray development shares some cellular and genetic properties with fin/limb endoskeleton development. Thus, fin ray morphogenesis may involve developmental mechanisms for AP patterning in the fin/limb endoskeleton, and may have a specific pattern along the AP axis. Results:We conducted detailed morphological observations on fin rays and their connection to distal radials by comparing intra- and inter-strain zebrafish specimens. Although the number of fin rays varied, pectoral fin rays could be categorized into three domains along the AP axis, according to the connection between the fin rays and distal radials; additionally, the number of fin rays varied in the posterior part of the three domains. This result was confirmed by observation of the morphogenesis process of fin rays and distal radials, which showed altered localization of distal radials in the middle domain. We also evaluated the expression pattern of lhx genes, which have AP patterning activity in limb development, in fin rays and during distal radial development and found these genes to be expressed during morphogenesis in both fin rays and distal radials. Conclusion:The fin ray and its connection to the endoskeleton are patterned along the AP axis, and the pattern along the AP axis in the fin ray and the radial connection is constructed by the developmental mechanism related to AP patterning in the limb/fin bud. Our results indicate the possibility that the developmental mechanisms of fin rays and their connection are comparable to those of the distal element of the limb skeleton.
Project description:The evolutionary origin of the autopod involved a loss of the fin-fold and associated dermal skeleton with a concomitant elaboration of the distal endoskeleton to form a wrist and digits. Developmental studies, primarily from teleosts and amniotes, suggest a model for appendage evolution in which a delay in the AER-to-fin-fold conversion fuelled endoskeletal expansion by prolonging the function of AER-mediated regulatory networks. Here, we characterize aspects of paired fin development in the paddlefish Polyodon spathula (a non-teleost actinopterygian) and catshark Scyliorhinus canicula (chondrichthyan) to explore aspects of this model in a broader phylogenetic context. Our data demonstrate that in basal gnathostomes, the autopod marker HoxA13 co-localizes with the dermoskeleton component And1 to mark the position of the fin-fold, supporting recent work demonstrating a role for HoxA13 in zebrafish fin ray development. Additionally, we show that in paddlefish, the proximal fin and fin-fold mesenchyme share a common mesodermal origin, and that components of the Shh/LIM/Gremlin/Fgf transcriptional network critical to limb bud outgrowth and patterning are expressed in the fin-fold with a profile similar to that of tetrapods. Together these data draw contrast with hypotheses of AER heterochrony and suggest that limb-specific morphologies arose through evolutionary changes in the differentiation outcome of conserved early distal patterning compartments.
Project description:The diversity of fin morphology within and across fish taxa offers great, but still largely unexplored, opportunities to investigate the proximate mechanisms underlying fin shape variation. Relying on available genetic knowledge brought forth mainly by the comprehensive study of the zebrafish caudal fin, we explored candidate molecular mechanisms for the maintenance and formation of the conspicuously elongated filaments adorning the unpaired fins of the East African "princess cichlid" Neolamprologus brichardi. Via qPCR assays, we detected expression differences of candidate genes between elongated and short regions of intact and regenerating fins. The identified genes include skeletogenic and growth factors (igf2b, fgf3, bmp2 and bmp4), components of the WNT pathway (lef1, wnt5b and wnt10) and a regulatory network determining fin ray segment size and junction (cx43, esco2 and sema3d), as well as other genes with different roles (mmp9, msxb and pea3). Interestingly, some of these genes showed fin specific expression differences which are often neglected in studies of model fish that focus on the caudal fin. Moreover, while the observed expression patterns were generally consistent with zebrafish results, we also detected deviating expression correlations and gene functions.
Project description:Lung injury is one of the pathological hallmarks of most respiratory tract diseases including asthma, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It involves progressive pulmonary tissue damages which are usually irreversible and incurable. Therefore, strategies to facilitate drug development against lung injury are needed. Here, we characterized the zebrafish folate-deficiency (FD) transgenic line that lacks a fully-developed swim bladder. Whole-mount in-situ hybridization revealed comparable distribution patterns of swim bladder tissue markers between wild-type and FD larvae, suggesting a proper development of swim bladder in early embryonic stages. Unexpectedly, neutrophils infiltration was not observed in the defective swim bladder. Microarray analysis revealed a significant increase and decrease of the transcripts for cathepsin L and a cystatin B (CSTB)-like (zCSTB-like) proteins, respectively, in FD larvae. The distribution of cathepsin L and the zCSTB-like transcripts was spatio-temporally specific in developing wild-type embryos and, in appropriate measure, correlated with their potential roles in maintaining swim bladder integrity. Supplementing with 5-formyltetrahydrofolate successfully prevented the swim bladder anomaly and the imbalanced expression of cathepsin L and the zCSTB-like protein induced by folate deficiency. Injecting the purified recombinant zebrafish zCSTB-like protein alleviated FD-induced swim bladder anomaly. We concluded that the imbalanced expression of cathepsin L and the zCSTB-like protein contributed to the swim bladder malformation induced by FD and suggested the potential application of this transgenic line to model the lung injury and ECM remodeling associated with protease/protease inhibitor imbalance.
Project description:Our knowledge regarding microbiota associated with the swim bladder of physostomous, fish with the swim bladder connected to the esophagus via the pneumatic duct, remains largely unknown. The goal of this study was to conduct the first in-depth characterization of the swim bladder-associated microbiota using high-throughput sequencing of the V4 region of the 16 S rRNA gene in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). We observed major differences in bacterial communities composition between swim bladder-associated microbiota and distal intestine digesta microbiota in fish. Whilst bacteria genera, such as Cohnella, Lactococcus and Mycoplasma were more abundant in swim bladder-associated microbiota, Citrobacter, Rhodobacter and Clavibacter were more abundant in distal intestine digesta microbiota. The presumptive metabolic function analysis (PICRUSt) revealed several metabolic pathways to be more abundant in the swim bladder-associated microbiota, including metabolism of carbohydrates, nucleotides and lipoic acid as well as oxidative phosphorylation, cell growth, translation, replication and repair. Distal intestine digesta microbiota showed greater abundance of nitrogen metabolism, amino acid metabolism, biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids and bacterial secretion system. We demonstrated swim bladder harbors a unique microbiota, which composition and metabolic function differ from microbiota associated with the gut in fish.
Project description:odd-skipped related 2 (osr2) encodes a vertebrate ortholog of the Drosophila odd-skipped zinc-finger transcription factor. Osr2 in mouse is required for proper palate, eyelid, and bone development. Zebrafish knock-down experiments have also suggested a role for osr2, along with its paralog osr1, in early pectoral fin specification and pronephric development.We show here that osr2 has a specific function later in development, independent of osr1, in the regulation of sox9a expression and promoting fin chondrogenesis. mRNA in situ hybridization demonstrated osr2 expression in the developing floorplate and later during organogenesis in the pronephros and gut epithelium. In the pectoral fin buds, osr2 was specifically expressed in fin mesenchyme. osr2 knock down in zebrafish embryos disrupted both three and five zinc finger alternatively spliced osr2 isoforms and eliminated wild-type osr2 mRNA. osr2 morphants exhibited normal pectoral fin bud specification but exhibited defective fin chondrogenesis, with loss of differentiated chondrocytes. Defects in chondrogenesis were paralleled by loss of sox9a as well as subsequent col2a1 expression, linking osr2 function to essential regulators of chondrogenesis.The zebrafish odd-skipped related 2 gene regulates sox9a and col2a1 expression in chondrocyte development and is specifically required for zebrafish fin morphogenesis.