GATA factors regulate proliferation, differentiation, and gene expression in small intestine of mature mice.
ABSTRACT: GATA transcription factors regulate proliferation, differentiation, and gene expression in multiple organs. GATA4 is expressed in the proximal 85% of the small intestine and regulates the jejunal-ileal gradient in absorptive enterocyte gene expression. GATA6 is co-expressed with GATA4 but also is expressed in the ileum; its function in the mature small intestine is unknown.We investigated the function of GATA6 in small intestine using adult mice with conditional, inducible deletion of Gata6, or Gata6 and Gata4, specifically in the intestine.In ileum, deletion of Gata6 caused a decrease in crypt cell proliferation and numbers of enteroendocrine and Paneth cells, an increase in numbers of goblet-like cells in crypts, and altered expression of genes specific to absorptive enterocytes. In contrast to ileum, deletion of Gata6 caused an increase in numbers of Paneth cells in jejunum and ileum. Deletion of Gata6 and Gata4 resulted in a jejunal and duodenal phenotype that was nearly identical to that in the ileum after deletion of Gata6 alone, revealing common functions for GATA6 and GATA4.GATA transcription factors are required for crypt cell proliferation, secretory cell differentiation, and absorptive enterocyte gene expression in the small intestinal epithelium.
Project description:Studies of adult mice lacking either GATA4 or GATA6 in the small intestine demonstrate roles for these factors in small intestinal biology. Deletion of Gata4 in the adult mouse intestine revealed an essential role for GATA4 in jejunal function. Deletion of Gata6 in the adult mouse ileum alters epithelial cell types and ileal enterocyte gene expression. The effect of deletion of Gata4 or Gata6 alone during embryonic small intestinal development, however, has not been examined. We recently demonstrated that loss of both factors in double conditional knockout embryos causes severe defects in jejunal development. Therefore, the goal of this study is to provide phenotypic analysis of the small intestine of single Gata4 and Gata6 conditional knockout embryos.Villin-Cre was used to delete Gata4 or Gata6 in the developing intestinal epithelium. Elimination of either GATA4 or GATA6 in the jejunum, where these factors are co-expressed, caused changes in enterocyte and enteroendocrine cell gene expression. Ectopic expression of markers of the ileal-specific bile acid metabolism pathway was induced in GATA4-deficient jejunum but not in GATA6-deficient jejunum. A subtle increase in goblet cells was also identified in jejunum of both mutants. In GATA6-deficient embryonic ileum, villus length was altered, and enterocyte gene expression was perturbed including ectopic expression of the colon marker Car1. Goblet cells were increased, and enteroendocrine cells were decreased.Overall, we show that aspects of the phenotypes observed in the small intestine of adult Gata4 and Gata6 conditional knockout mice emerge during development. The effect of eliminating GATA6 from the developing ileum was greater than that of eliminating either GATA4 or GATA6 from the developing jejunum likely reflecting functional redundancy between these factors in the jejunum. Although GATA4 and GATA6 functions overlap, our data also suggest unique functions for GATA4 and GATA6 within the developing intestine. GATA4 likely operates independently of GATA6 within the jejunum to regulate jejunal versus ileal enterocyte identity and consequently jejunal physiology. GATA6 likely regulates enteroendocrine cell differentiation cell autonomously whereas GATA4 affects this population indirectly.
Project description:GATA4 is expressed in the proximal 85% of small intestine where it promotes a proximal intestinal ('jejunal') identity while repressing a distal intestinal ('ileal') identity, but its molecular mechanisms are unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that GATA4 promotes a jejunal versus ileal identity in mouse intestine by directly activating and repressing specific subsets of absorptive enterocyte genes by modulating the acetylation of histone H3, lysine 27 (H3K27), a mark of active chromatin, at sites of GATA4 occupancy. Global analysis of mouse jejunal epithelium showed a statistically significant association of GATA4 occupancy with GATA4-regulated genes. Occupancy was equally distributed between down- and up-regulated targets, and occupancy sites showed a dichotomy of unique motif over-representation at down- versus up-regulated genes. H3K27ac enrichment at GATA4-binding loci that mapped to down-regulated genes (activation targets) was elevated, changed little upon conditional Gata4 deletion, and was similar to control ileum, whereas H3K27ac enrichment at GATA4-binding loci that mapped to up-regulated genes (repression targets) was depleted, increased upon conditional Gata4 deletion, and approached H3K27ac enrichment in wild-type control ileum. These data support the hypothesis that GATA4 both activates and represses intestinal genes, and show that GATA4 represses an ileal program of gene expression in the proximal small intestine by inhibiting the acetylation of H3K27.
Project description:Patterning of the small intestinal epithelium along its cephalocaudal axis establishes three functionally distinct regions: duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. Efficient nutrient assimilation and growth depend on the proper spatial patterning of specialized digestive and absorptive functions performed by duodenal, jejunal, and ileal enterocytes. When enterocyte function is disrupted by disease or injury, intestinal failure can occur. One approach to alleviate intestinal failure would be to restore lost enterocyte functions. The molecular mechanisms determining regionally defined enterocyte functions, however, are poorly delineated. We previously showed that GATA binding protein 4 (GATA4) is essential to define jejunal enterocytes. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that GATA4 is sufficient to confer jejunal identity within the intestinal epithelium.To test this hypothesis, we generated a novel Gata4 conditional knock-in mouse line and expressed GATA4 in the ileum, where it is absent.We found that GATA4-expressing ileum lost ileal identity. The global gene expression profile of GATA4-expressing ileal epithelium aligned more closely with jejunum and duodenum rather than ileum. Focusing on jejunal vs ileal identity, we defined sets of jejunal and ileal genes likely to be regulated directly by GATA4 to suppress ileal identity and promote jejunal identity. Furthermore, our study implicates GATA4 as a transcriptional repressor of fibroblast growth factor 15 (Fgf15), which encodes an enterokine that has been implicated in an increasing number of human diseases.Overall, this study refines our understanding of an important GATA4-dependent molecular mechanism to pattern the intestinal epithelium along its cephalocaudal axis by elaborating on GATA4's function as a crucial dominant molecular determinant of jejunal enterocyte identity. Microarray data from this study have been deposited into NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo) and are accessible through GEO series accession number GSE75870.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>GATA transcription factors are essential for self-renewal of the small intestinal epithelium. Gata4 is expressed in the proximal 85% of small intestine while Gata6 is expressed throughout the length of small intestine. Deletion of intestinal Gata4 and Gata6 results in an altered proliferation/differentiation phenotype, and an up-regulation of SAM pointed domain containing ETS transcription factor (Spdef), a transcription factor recently shown to act as a tumor suppressor. The goal of this study is to determine to what extent SPDEF mediates the downstream functions of GATA4/GATA6 in the small intestine. The hypothesis to be tested is that intestinal GATA4/GATA6 functions through SPDEF by repressing Spdef gene expression. To test this hypothesis, we defined the functions most likely regulated by the overlapping GATA6/SPDEF target gene set in mouse intestine, delineated the relationship between GATA6 chromatin occupancy and Spdef gene regulation in Caco-2 cells, and determined the extent to which prevention of Spdef up-regulation by Spdef knockout rescues the GATA6 phenotype in conditional Gata6 knockout mouse ileum.<h4>Results</h4>Using publicly available profiling data, we found that 83% of GATA6-regulated genes are also regulated by SPDEF, and that proliferation/cancer is the function most likely to be modulated by this overlapping gene set. In human Caco-2 cells, GATA6 knockdown results in an up-regulation of Spdef gene expression, modeling our mouse Gata6 knockout data. GATA6 occupies a genetic locus located 40 kb upstream of the Spdef transcription start site, consistent with direct regulation of Spdef gene expression by GATA6. Prevention of Spdef up-regulation in conditional Gata6 knockout mouse ileum by the additional deletion of Spdef rescued the crypt cell proliferation defect, but had little effect on altered lineage differentiation or absorptive enterocytes gene expression.<h4>Conclusion</h4>SPDEF is a key, immediate downstream effecter of the crypt cell proliferation function of GATA4/GATA6 in the small intestine.
Project description:GATA4 is expressed in the proximal 85% of small intestine where it promotes a proximal intestinal ('jejunal') identity while repressing a distal intestinal ('ileal') identity, but its molecular mechanisms are unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that GATA4 promotes a jejunal versus ileal identity in mouse intestine by directly activating and repressing specific subsets of absorptive enterocyte genes by modulating the acetylation of histone H3, lysine 27 (H3K27), a mark of active chromatin, at sites of GATA4 occupancy. Global analysis of mouse jejunal epithelium showed a statistically significant association of GATA4 occupancy with GATA4-regulated genes. Occupancy was equally distributed between down- and up-regulated targets, and occupancy sites showed a dichotomy of unique motif over-representation at down- versus up-regulated genes. H3K27ac enrichment at GATA4-binding loci that mapped to down-regulated genes (activation targets) was elevated, changed little upon conditional Gata4 deletion, and was similar to control ileum, whereas H3K27ac enrichment at GATA4-binding loci that mapped to up-regulated genes (repression targets) was depleted, increased upon conditional Gata4 deletion, and approached H3K27ac enrichment in wild-type control ileum. These data support the hypothesis that GATA4 both activates and represses intestinal genes, and show that GATA4 represses an ileal program of gene expression in the proximal small intestine by inhibiting the acetylation of H3K27. 2 samples were analyzed (1 ChIPseq, 1 input sample), control was done by confirming ChIP-qPCR on specific targets
Project description:The intestinal epithelium performs vital roles in organ function by absorbing nutrients and providing a protective barrier. The zinc-finger containing transcription factors GATA4 and GATA6 regulate enterocyte gene expression and control regional epithelial cell identity in the adult intestinal epithelium. Although GATA4 and GATA6 are expressed in the developing intestine, loss of either factor alone during the period of epithelial morphogenesis and cytodifferentiation fails to disrupt these processes. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that GATA4 and GATA6 function redundantly to control these aspects of intestinal development. We used Villin-Cre, which deletes specifically in the intestinal epithelium during the period of villus development and epithelial cytodifferentiation, to generate Gata4Gata6 double conditional knockout embryos. Mice lacking GATA4 and GATA6 in the intestinal epithelium died within 24h of birth. At E18.5, intestinal villus architecture and epithelial cell populations were altered. Enterocytes were lost, and goblet cells were increased. Proliferation was also increased in GATA4-GATA6 deficient intestinal epithelium. Although villus morphology appeared normal at E16.5, the first time at which both Gata4 and Gata6 were efficiently reduced, changes in expression of markers of enterocytes, goblet cells, and proliferative cells were detected. Moreover, goblet cell number was increased at E16.5. Expression of the Notch ligand Dll1 and the Notch target Olfm4 were reduced in mutant tissue indicating decreased Notch signaling. Finally, we found that GATA4 occupies chromatin near the Dll1 transcription start site suggesting direct regulation of Dll1 by GATA4. We demonstrate that GATA4 and GATA6 play an essential role in maintaining proper intestinal epithelial structure and in regulating intestinal epithelial cytodifferentiation. Our data highlight a novel role for GATA factors in fine tuning Notch signaling during intestinal epithelial development to repress goblet cell differentiation.
Project description:Pancreatic ?-cell survival remains poorly understood despite decades of research. GATA transcription factors broadly regulate embryogenesis and influence survival of several cell types, but their role in adult ?-cells remains undefined. To investigate the role of GATA factors in adult ?-cells, we derived ?-cell-inducible Gata4- and Gata6-knockout mice, along with whole-body inducible Gata4 knockouts. ?-Cell Gata4 deletion modestly increased the proportion of dying ?-cells in situ with ultrastructural abnormalities suggesting endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Notably, glucose homeostasis was not grossly altered in Gata4- and Gata6-knockout mice, suggesting that GATA factors do not have essential roles in ?-cells. Several ER stress signals were up-regulated in Gata4 and Gata6 knockouts, most notably CHOP, a known regulator of ER stress-induced apoptosis. However, ER stress signals were not elevated to levels observed after acute thapsigargin administration, suggesting that GATA deficiency only caused mild ER stress. Simultaneous deletion of Gata4 and CHOP partially restored ?-cell survival. In contrast, whole-body inducible Gata4 knockouts displayed no evidence of ER stress in other GATA4-enriched tissues, such as heart. Indeed, distinct GATA transcriptional targets were differentially expressed in islets compared with heart. Such ?-cell-specific findings prompted study of a large meta-analysis dataset to investigate single nucleotide polymorphisms harbored within the human GATA4 locus, revealing several variants significantly associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus. We conclude that GATA factors have important but nonessential roles to promote ER integrity and ?-cell survival in a tissue-specific manner and that GATA factors likely contribute to type 1 diabetes mellitus pathogenesis.
Project description:Recently, heterozygous mutations in GATA6 have been found in neonatal diabetic patients with failed pancreatic organogenesis. To investigate the roles of GATA4 and GATA6 in mouse pancreas organogenesis, we conditionally inactivated these genes within the pancreas. Single inactivation of either gene did not have a major impact on pancreas formation, indicating functional redundancy. However, double Gata4/Gata6 mutant mice failed to develop pancreata, died shortly after birth, and displayed hyperglycemia. Morphological defects in Gata4/Gata6 mutant pancreata were apparent during embryonic development, and the epithelium failed to expand as a result of defects in cell proliferation and differentiation. The number of multipotent pancreatic progenitors, including PDX1+ cells, was reduced in the Gata4/Gata6 mutant pancreatic epithelium. Remarkably, deletion of only 1 Gata6 allele on a Gata4 conditional knockout background severely reduced pancreatic mass. In contrast, a single WT allele of Gata4 in Gata6 conditional knockout mice was sufficient for normal pancreatic development, indicating differential contributions of GATA factors to pancreas formation. Our results place GATA factors at the top of the transcriptional network hierarchy controlling pancreas organogenesis.
Project description:Although the zinc-finger transcription factor GATA4 has been implicated in regulating jejunal gene expression, the contribution of GATA4 in controlling jejunal physiology has not been addressed.We generated mice in which the Gata4 gene was specifically deleted in the small intestinal epithelium. Measurements of plasma cholesterol and phospholipids, intestinal absorption of dietary fat and cholesterol, and gene expression were performed on these animals.Mice lacking GATA4 in the intestine displayed a dramatic block in their ability to absorb cholesterol and dietary fat. Comparison of the global gene expression profiles of control jejunum, control ileum, and GATA4 null jejunum by gene array analysis revealed that GATA4 null jejunum lost expression of 53% of the jejunal-specific gene set and gained expression of 47% of the set of genes unique to the ileum. These alterations in gene expression included a decrease in messenger RNAs (mRNAs) encoding lipid and cholesterol transporters as well as an increase in mRNAs encoding proteins involved in bile acid absorption.Our data demonstrate that GATA4 is essential for jejunal function including fat and cholesterol absorption and confirm that GATA4 plays a pivotal role in determining jejunal vs ileal identity.
Project description:GATA4 and GATA6 are zinc-finger transcription factors that regulate specific genes involved in steroidogenesis. Using RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated reduction of GATA4 and/or GATA6 with microarray analysis, we aimed to identify novel GATA target genes in luteinizing porcine granulosa cells under vehicle- and cAMP-treated conditions. Microarray analysis identified IGF1 mRNA to be cAMP- and GATA-responsive, and real-time PCR demonstrated that the cAMP-induced increase in IGF1 mRNA was reduced under conditions of GATA6 depletion and GATA4 plus GATA6 depletion, but not GATA4 depletion. Insulin-like growth factor 1 protein levels in media were also decreased by GATA6 or GATA4 plus GATA6 reduction. IGFBP2 and IGFBP4 mRNAs were increased and IGFBP5 mRNA decreased with vehicle and cAMP treatment under GATA4 plus GATA6 RNAi conditions. GATA6 reduction alone increased basal IGFBP4 and decreased IGFBP5 with both vehicle and cAMP, and GATA4 reduction alone lowered cAMP IGFBP5 levels with cAMP. No changes in IGFBP3 mRNA were observed with GATA reduction relative to the control RNAi condition. Levels of insulin-like growth factor binding proteins 2-5 in media as assessed by Western ligand blotting were not altered by GATA reduction. Electromobility gel shift assays with two GATA-containing oligonucleotides of the IGF1 5'-regulatory region showed GATA4 and GATA6 could bind the more proximal GATA-B site. These studies indicate that although GATA4 and GATA6 can bind the porcine IGF1 5'-region, GATA6 is functionally most important for cAMP-stimulated mRNA levels. Using microarray analysis, we identified other mRNAs that were altered by GATA-reduced conditions, including ALDH1, DIO2, and EDNRB. Our findings further support GATA as a coordinator of endocrine/paracrine/autocrine signals in the ovary.