Wnt/PCP signaling controls intracellular position of MTOCs during gastrulation convergence and extension movements.
ABSTRACT: During vertebrate gastrulation, convergence and extension cell movements are coordinated with the anteroposterior and mediolateral embryonic axes. Wnt planar cell polarity (Wnt/PCP) signaling polarizes the motile behaviors of cells with respect to the anteroposterior embryonic axis. Understanding how Wnt/PCP signaling mediates convergence and extension (C&E) movements requires analysis of the mechanisms employed to alter cell morphology and behavior with respect to embryonic polarity. Here, we examine the interactions between the microtubule cytoskeleton and Wnt/PCP signaling during zebrafish gastrulation. First, we assessed the location of the centrosome/microtubule organizing center (MTOC) relative to the cell nucleus and the body axes, as a marker of cell polarity. The intracellular position of MTOCs was polarized, perpendicular to the plane of the germ layers, independently of Wnt/PCP signaling. In addition, this position became biased posteriorly and medially within the plane of the germ layers at the transition from mid- to late gastrulation and from slow to fast C&E movements. This depends on intact Wnt/PCP signaling through Knypek (Glypican4/6) and Dishevelled components. Second, we tested whether microtubules are required for planar cell polarization. Once the planar cell polarity is established, microtubules are not required for accumulation of Prickle at the anterior cell edge. However, microtubules are needed for cell-cell contacts and initiation of its anterior localization. Reciprocal interactions occur between Wnt/PCP signaling and microtubule cytoskeleton during C&E gastrulation movements. Wnt/PCP signaling influences the polarity of the microtubule cytoskeleton and, conversely, microtubules are required for the asymmetric distribution of Wnt/PCP pathway components.
Project description:Gastrulation is a fundamental morphogenetic event that requires polarised cell behaviours for coordinated asymmetric cell movements. Wnt/PCP signalling plays a critical role in this process. Dishevelled is an important conserved scaffold protein that relays Wnt/PCP signals from membrane receptors to the modulation of cytoskeleton organisation. However, it remains unclear how its activity is regulated for the activation of downstream effectors. Here, we report that Lurap1 is a Dishevelled-interacting protein that regulates Wnt/PCP signalling in convergence and extension movements during vertebrate gastrulation. Its loss-of-function leads to enhanced Dishevelled membrane localisation and increased JNK activity. In maternal-zygotic lurap1 mutant zebrafish embryos, cell polarity and directional movement are disrupted. Time-lapse analyses indicate that Lurap1, Dishevelled, and JNK functionally interact to orchestrate polarised cellular protrusive activity, and Lurap1 is required for coordinated centriole/MTOC positioning in movement cells. These findings demonstrate that Lurap1 functions to regulate cellular polarisation and motile behaviours during gastrulation movements.
Project description:During vertebrate gastrulation, Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling orchestrates polarized cell behaviors underlying convergence and extension (C&E) movements to narrow embryonic tissues mediolaterally and lengthen them anteroposteriorly. Here, we have identified Gpr125, an adhesion G protein-coupled receptor, as a novel modulator of the Wnt/PCP signaling system. Excess Gpr125 impaired C&E movements and the underlying cell and molecular polarities. Reduced Gpr125 function exacerbated the C&E and facial branchiomotor neuron (FBMN) migration defects of embryos with reduced Wnt/PCP signaling. At the molecular level, Gpr125 recruited Dishevelled to the cell membrane, a prerequisite for Wnt/PCP activation. Moreover, Gpr125 and Dvl mutually clustered one another to form discrete membrane subdomains, and the Gpr125 intracellular domain directly interacted with Dvl in pull-down assays. Intriguingly, Dvl and Gpr125 were able to recruit a subset of PCP components into membrane subdomains, suggesting that Gpr125 may modulate the composition of Wnt/PCP membrane complexes. Our study reveals a role for Gpr125 in PCP-mediated processes and provides mechanistic insight into Wnt/PCP signaling.
Project description:During vertebrate gastrulation, convergence and extension movements elongate embryonic tissues anteroposteriorly and narrow them mediolaterally. Planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling is essential for mediolateral cell elongation underlying these movements, but how this polarity arises is poorly understood. We analyzed the elongation, orientation and migration behaviors of lateral mesodermal cells undergoing convergence and extension movements in wild-type zebrafish embryos and mutants for the Wnt/PCP core component Vangl2 (Trilobite). We demonstrate that Vangl2 function is required at the time when cells transition to a highly elongated and mediolaterally aligned body. vangl2 mutant cells fail to undergo this transition and to migrate along a straight path with high net speed towards the dorsal midline. Instead, vangl2 mutant cells exhibit an anterior/animal pole bias in cell body alignment and movement direction, suggesting that PCP signaling promotes effective dorsal migration in part by suppressing anterior/animalward cell polarity and movement. Endogenous Vangl2 protein accumulates at the plasma membrane of mesenchymal converging cells at the time its function is required for mediolaterally polarized cell behavior. Heterochronic cell transplantations demonstrated that Vangl2 cell membrane accumulation is stage dependent and regulated by both intrinsic factors and an extracellular signal, which is distinct from PCP signaling or other gastrulation regulators, including BMP and Nodals. Moreover, mosaic expression of fusion proteins revealed enrichment of Vangl2 at the anterior cell edges of highly mediolaterally elongated cells. These results demonstrate that the dynamic Vangl2 intracellular distribution is coordinated with and necessary for the changes in convergence and extension cell behaviors during gastrulation.
Project description:Embryonic morphogenesis is driven by a suite of cell behaviours, including coordinated shape changes, cellular rearrangements and individual cell migrations, whose molecular determinants are largely unknown. In the zebrafish, Dani rerio, trilobite mutant embryos have defects in gastrulation movements and posterior migration of hindbrain neurons. Here, we have used positional cloning to demonstrate that trilobite mutations disrupt the transmembrane protein Strabismus (Stbm)/Van Gogh (Vang), previously associated with planar cell polarity (PCP) in Drosophila melanogaster, and PCP and canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signalling in vertebrates. Our genetic and molecular analyses argue that during gastrulation, trilobite interacts with the PCP pathway without affecting canonical Wnt signalling. Furthermore, trilobite may regulate neuronal migration independently of PCP molecules. We show that trilobite mediates polarization of distinct movement behaviours. During gastrulation convergence and extension movements, trilobite regulates mediolateral cell polarity underlying effective intercalation and directed dorsal migration at increasing velocities. In the hindbrain, trilobite controls effective migration of branchiomotor neurons towards posterior rhombomeres. Mosaic analyses show trilobite functions cell-autonomously and non-autonomously in gastrulae and the hindbrain. We propose Trilobite/Stbm mediates cellular interactions that confer directionality on distinct movements during vertebrate embryogenesis.
Project description:Most epithelial cells polarize along the axis of the tissue, a feature known as planar cell polarity (PCP). The initiation of PCP requires cell-cell signaling via the noncanonical Wnt/PCP pathway. Additionally, changes in the cytoskeleton both facilitate and reflect this polarity. We have identified CLAMP/Spef1 as a novel regulator of PCP signaling. In addition to decorating microtubules (MTs) and the ciliary rootlet, a pool of CLAMP localizes at the apical cell cortex. Depletion of CLAMP leads to the loss of PCP protein asymmetry, defects in cilia polarity, and defects in the angle of cell division. Additionally, depletion of CLAMP leads to a loss of the atypical cadherin-like molecule Celrs2, suggesting that CLAMP facilitates the stabilization of junctional interactions responsible for proper PCP protein localization. Depletion of CLAMP also affects the polarized organization of MTs. We hypothesize that CLAMP facilitates the establishment of cell polarity and promotes the asymmetric accumulation of MTs downstream of the establishment of proper PCP.
Project description:Recent genetic studies in Drosophila identified a novel non-canonical Wnt pathway, the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, that signals via JNK to control epithelial cell polarity in Drosophila. Most recently, a pathway regulating convergent extension movements during gastrulation in vertebrate embryos has been shown to be a vertebrate equivalent of the PCP pathway. However, it is not known whether the JNK pathway functions in this non-canonical Wnt pathway to regulate convergent extension movements in vertebrates. In addition, it is not known whether JNK is in fact activated by Wnt stimulation. Here we show that Wnt5a is capable of activating JNK in cultured cells, and present evidence that the JNK pathway mediates the action of Wnt5a to regulate convergent extension movements in Xenopus. Our results thus demonstrate that the non-canonical Wnt/JNK pathway is conserved in both vertebrate and invertebrate and define that JNK has an activity to regulate morphogenetic cell movements.
Project description:Vertebrate gastrulation involves the coordinated movements of populations of cells. These movements include cellular rearrangements in which cells polarize along their medio-lateral axes leading to cell intercalations that result in elongation of the body axis. Molecular analysis of this process has implicated the non-canonical Wnt/Frizzled signaling pathway that is similar to the planar cell polarity pathway (PCP) in Drosophila. Here we describe a zebrafish mutant, colgate (col), which displays defects in the extension of the body axis and the migration of branchiomotor neurons. Activation of the non-canonical Wnt/PCP pathway in these mutant embryos by overexpressing DeltaNdishevelled, rho kinase2 and van gogh-like protein 2 (vangl2) rescues the extension defects suggesting that col acts as a positive regulator of the non-canonical Wnt/PCP pathway. Further, we show that col normally regulates the caudal migration of nVII facial hindbrain branchiomotor neurons and that the mutant phenotype can be rescued by misexpression of vangl2 independent of the Wnt/PCP pathway. We cloned the col locus and found that it encodes histone deacetylase1 (hdac1). Our previous results and studies by others have implicated hdac1 in repressing the canonical Wnt pathway. Here, we demonstrate novel roles for zebrafish hdac1 in activating non-canonical Wnt/PCP signaling underlying axial extension and in promoting Wnt-independent caudal migration of a subset of hindbrain branchiomotor neurons.
Project description:Wnt factors are a large family of signaling molecules that play important roles in the regulation of cell fate specification, tissue polarity and cell movement. In the nervous system, Wnts also regulates the formation of neuronal connection acting as retrograde signals that regulate the remodeling of the axons prior to the assembly of the presynaptic apparatus. The scaffold protein Dishevelled (Dvl) mimics the effect of Wnt on the neuronal cytoskeleton by increasing the number of stable microtubule along the axon shaft and inducing the formation of looped microtubules (MT) at enlarged growth cones. A divergent Wnt-Dvl canonical pathway which bifurcates downstream of Gsk3beta regulates MT dynamics.Here we show that the Wnt pathway also activates c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) to regulate MT stabilization. Although in the Wnt planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, JNK lays downstream of Rho GTPases, these GTPases are not required for Wnt-mediated MTs stability. Epistatic analyses and pharmacological studies suggest that the Wnt-Dvl signalling regulates the dynamic of the cytoskeleton through two different pathways that lead to inhibition of Gsk3beta and activation of JNK in the same cell.We demonstrate a novel role for JNK in Wnt-mediated MT stability. Wnt-Dvl pathway increases MT stability through a transcription independent mechanism that requires the concomitant inhibition of Gsk3beta and activation of JNK. These studies demonstrate that Wnts can simultaneously activate different signalling pathways to modulate cytoskeleton dynamics.
Project description:Planar cell polarity (PCP) information is a critical determinant of organ morphogenesis. While PCP in bounded epithelial sheets is increasingly well understood, how PCP is organized in tubular and acinar tissues is not. Drosophila egg chambers (follicles) are an acinus-like "edgeless epithelium" and exhibit a continuous, circumferential PCP that does not depend on pathways active in bounded epithelia; this follicle PCP directs formation of an ellipsoid rather than a spherical egg. Here, we apply an imaging algorithm to "unroll" the entire 3D tissue surface and comprehensively analyze PCP onset. This approach traces chiral symmetry breaking to plus-end polarity of microtubules in the germarium, well before follicles form and rotate. PCP germarial microtubules provide chiral information that predicts the direction of whole-tissue rotation as soon as independent follicles form. Concordant microtubule polarity, but not microtubule alignment, requires the atypical cadherin Fat2, which acts at an early stage to translate plus-end bias into coordinated actin-mediated collective cell migration. Because microtubules are not required for PCP or migration after follicle rotation initiates, while dynamic actin and extracellular matrix are, polarized microtubules lie at the beginning of a handoff mechanism that passes early chiral PCP of the cytoskeleton to a supracellular planar polarized extracellular matrix and elongates the organ.
Project description:Cell proliferation has generally been considered dispensable for anteroposterior extension of embryonic axis during vertebrate gastrulation. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3), a conserved controller of cell proliferation, survival and regeneration, is associated with human scoliosis, cancer and Hyper IgE Syndrome. Zebrafish Stat3 was proposed to govern convergence and extension gastrulation movements in part by promoting Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) signaling, a conserved regulator of mediolaterally polarized cell behaviors. Here, using zebrafish stat3 null mutants and pharmacological tools, we demonstrate that cell proliferation contributes to anteroposterior embryonic axis extension. Zebrafish embryos lacking maternal and zygotic Stat3 expression exhibit normal convergence movements and planar cell polarity signaling, but transient axis elongation defect due to insufficient number of cells resulting largely from reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. Pharmacologic inhibition of cell proliferation during gastrulation phenocopied axis elongation defects. Stat3 regulates cell proliferation and axis extension in part via upregulation of Cdc25a expression during oogenesis. Accordingly, restoring Cdc25a expression in stat3 mutants partially suppressed cell proliferation and gastrulation defects. During later development, stat3 mutant zebrafish exhibit stunted growth, scoliosis, excessive inflammation, and fail to thrive, affording a genetic tool to study Stat3 function in vertebrate development, regeneration, and disease.