Region-specific regulation of cell proliferation by FGF receptor signaling during the Wolffian duct development.
ABSTRACT: The Wolffian duct (WD) is a primordium of the male reproductive tract and kidney collecting duct system. Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs), members of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) family, are essential for kidney development. Although the functions of FGFR signaling in kidney morphogenesis have been analyzed, their function in WD development has not been comprehensively investigated. Here, we demonstrate that Fgfr2 is the major Fgfr gene expressed throughout the WD epithelia and that it is essential for the maintenance of the WD, specifically in the caudal part of the WD. Hoxb7-Cre mediated inactivation of Fgfr2 in the mouse WD epithelia resulted in the regression of the caudal part of the WD and abnormal male reproductive tract development. Cell proliferation and expression of the downstream target genes of RTK signaling (Etv4 and Etv5) were decreased in the caudal part of the WD epithelia in the mutant embryos. Cranial (rostral) WD formation and ureteric budding were not affected. Ret, Etv4, and Etv5 expression were sustained in the ureteric bud of the mutant embryos. Taken together, these data suggest region-specific requirements for FGFR2 signaling in the developing caudal WD epithelia.
Project description:Signaling by the Ret receptor tyrosine kinase promotes cell movements in the Wolffian duct that give rise to the first ureteric bud tip, initiating kidney development. Although the ETS transcription factors Etv4 and Etv5 are known to be required for mouse kidney development and to act downstream of Ret, their specific functions are unclear. Here, we examine their role by analyzing the ability of Etv4 Etv5 compound mutant cells to contribute to chimeric kidneys. Etv4(-/-);Etv5(+/-) cells show a limited distribution in the caudal Wolffian duct and ureteric bud, similar to Ret(-/-) cells, revealing a cell-autonomous role for Etv4 and Etv5 in the cell rearrangements promoted by Ret. By contrast, Etv4(-/-);Etv5(-/-) cells display more severe developmental limitations, suggesting a broad role for Etv4 and Etv5 downstream of multiple signals, which are together important for Wolffian duct and ureteric bud morphogenesis.
Project description:Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor signaling through the Ret receptor tyrosine kinase is crucial for ureteric bud branching morphogenesis during kidney development, yet few of the downstream genes are known. Here we show that the ETS transcription factors Etv4 and Etv5 are positively regulated by Ret signaling in the ureteric bud tips. Mice lacking both Etv4 alleles and one Etv5 allele show either renal agenesis or severe hypodysplasia, whereas kidney development fails completely in double homozygotes. We identified several genes whose expression in the ureteric bud depends on Etv4 and Etv5, including Cxcr4, Myb, Met and Mmp14. Thus, Etv4 and Etv5 are key components of a gene network downstream of Ret that promotes and controls renal branching morphogenesis.
Project description:Fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (Fgfr2) signaling is critical in maintaining ureteric branching architecture and mesenchymal stromal morphogenesis in the kidney. Fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2alpha (Frs2alpha) is a major docking protein for Fgfr2 with downstream targets including Ets variant (Etv) 4 and Etv5 in other systems. Furthermore, global deletion of Frs2alpha causes early embryonic lethality. The purpose of the study was to determine the role of Frs2alpha in mediating Fgfr2 signaling in the ureteric epithelium. To that end, we generated mice with conditional deletion of Frs2alpha in the ureteric epithelium (Frs2alpha(UB-/-)) and mice with point mutations in the Frs2alpha binding site of Fgfr2 (Fgfr2(LR/LR)). Frs2alpha(UB-/-) mice developed mild renal hypoplasia characterized by decreased ureteric branching morphogenesis but maintained normal overall branching architecture and had normal mesenchymal stromal development. Reduced nephron endowment in postnatal mutant mice was observed, corresponding with the reduction in branching morphogenesis. Furthermore, there were no apparent renal abnormalities in Fgfr2(LR/LR) mice. Interestingly, Etv4 and Etv5 expression was unaltered in Frs2alpha(UB-/-) mice, as was Sprouty1, an antagonist of Frs2alpha signaling. However, Ret and Wnt11 (molecules critical for ureteric branching morphogenesis) mRNA levels were lower in mutants vs. controls. Taken together, these findings suggest that Fgfr2 signals through adapter molecules other than Frs2alpha in the ureteric epithelium. Furthermore, Frs2alpha may transmit signals through other receptor kinases present in ureteric epithelium. Finally, the renal hypoplasia observed in Frs2alpha(UB-/-) mice is likely secondary to decreased Ret and Wnt11 expression.
Project description:GDNF signaling through the Ret receptor tyrosine kinase is critical for ureteric bud branching morphogenesis during kidney development yet few of the downstream genes are currently known. We find that the ETS transcription factors Etv4 and Etv5 are positively regulated by Ret signaling in ureteric bud tips. Etv4-/-Etv5+/- mice display either renal agenesis or severe hypodysplasia, while kidney development fails completely in double homozygotes. We identify several genes whose expression in the ureteric bud depends on Etv4 and Etv5, including Cxcr4, Myb, Met, Mmp14. Thus, Etv4 and Etv5 are key components of a gene network downstream of Ret that promotes and controls renal branching morphogenesis. Experiment Overall Design: 3 plus GDNF and 2 minus GDNF chips were analyzed with different pooled samples for each chip (U74Av2 and 430A). Sample comparisons and statistical analysis were performed using dChip 1.3, using the Comparison Analysis feature to identify genes differentially expressed between the two groups. The following filtering criteria were used: the “lower limit” for fold-change between the means of the +GDNF and -GDNF samples must exceed 1.2 with a 90% confidence limit, and the absolute difference between the two group means must exceed 100.
Project description:Branching morphogenesis of the epithelial ureteric bud forms the renal collecting duct system and is critical for normal nephron number, while low nephron number is implicated in hypertension and renal disease. Ureteric bud growth and branching requires GDNF signaling from the surrounding mesenchyme to cells at the ureteric bud tips, via the Ret receptor tyrosine kinase and coreceptor Gfr?1; Ret signaling up-regulates transcription factors Etv4 and Etv5, which are also critical for branching. Despite extensive knowledge of the genetic control of these events, it is not understood, at the cellular level, how renal branching morphogenesis is achieved or how Ret signaling influences epithelial cell behaviors to promote this process. Analysis of chimeric embryos previously suggested a role for Ret signaling in promoting cell rearrangements in the nephric duct, but this method was unsuited to study individual cell behaviors during ureteric bud branching. Here, we use Mosaic Analysis with Double Markers (MADM), combined with organ culture and time-lapse imaging, to trace the movements and divisions of individual ureteric bud tip cells. We first examine wild-type clones and then Ret or Etv4 mutant/wild-type clones in which the mutant and wild-type sister cells are differentially and heritably marked by green and red fluorescent proteins. We find that, in normal kidneys, most individual tip cells behave as self-renewing progenitors, some of whose progeny remain at the tips while others populate the growing UB trunks. In Ret or Etv4 MADM clones, the wild-type cells generated at a UB tip are much more likely to remain at, or move to, the new tips during branching and elongation, while their Ret-/- or Etv4-/- sister cells tend to lag behind and contribute only to the trunks. By tracking successive mitoses in a cell lineage, we find that Ret signaling has little effect on proliferation, in contrast to its effects on cell movement. Our results show that Ret/Etv4 signaling promotes directed cell movements in the ureteric bud tips, and suggest a model in which these cell movements mediate branching morphogenesis.
Project description:Intrinsic resistance and RTK-RAS-MAPK pathway reactivation has limited the effectiveness of MEK and RAF inhibitors (MAPKi) in RAS- and RAF-mutant cancers. To identify genes that modulate sensitivity to MAPKi, we performed genome-scale CRISPR-Cas9 loss-of-function screens in two KRAS mutant pancreatic cancer cell lines treated with the MEK1/2 inhibitor trametinib. Loss of CIC, a transcriptional repressor of ETV1, ETV4, and ETV5, promoted survival in the setting of MAPKi in cancer cells derived from several lineages. ATXN1L deletion, which reduces CIC protein, or ectopic expression of ETV1, ETV4, or ETV5 also modulated sensitivity to trametinib. ATXN1L expression inversely correlates with response to MAPKi inhibition in clinical studies. These observations identify the ATXN1L-CIC-ETS transcription factor axis as a mediator of resistance to MAPKi.
Project description:Previous studies using transgenic Pax3cre mice have revealed roles for fibroblast growth factor receptors (Fgfrs) and Fgfr substrate 2? (Frs2?) signaling in early metanephric mesenchyme patterning and in ureteric morphogenesis. The role of Fgfr/Frs2? signaling in nephron progenitors is unknown. Thus, we generated mouse models using BAC transgenic Six2EGFPcre (Six2cre) mediated deletion of Fgfrs and/or Frs2? in nephron progenitors. Six2cre mediated deletion of Fgfr1 or Fgfr2 alone led to no obvious kidney defects. Six2creFgfr1(flox/flox)Fgfr2(flox/flox) (Fgfr1/2(NP-/-)) mice generate a discernable kidney; however, they develop nephron progenitor depletion starting at embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) and later demonstrate severe cystic dysplasia. To determine the role of Frs2? signaling downstream of Fgfr2 in Fgfr1/2(NP-/-) mice, we generated Six2cre(,)Fgfr1(flox/flox)Fgfr2(LR/LR) (Fgfr1(NP-/-)Fgfr2(LR/LR)) mice that have point mutations in the Frs2? binding site of Fgfr2. Like Fgfr1/2(NP-/-) mice, Fgfr1(NP-/-)Fgfr2(LR/LR) develop nephron progenitor depletion, but it does not start until E14.5 and older mice have less severe cystic dysplasia than Fgfr1/2(NP-/-) To determine the role of Frs2? alone in nephron progenitors, we generated Six2creFrs2'A(flox/flox) (Frs2a(NP-/-)) mice. Frs2a(NP-/-)mice also develop nephron progenitor depletion and renal cysts, although these occurred later and were less severe than in the other Six2cre mutant mice. The nephron progenitor loss in all Six2cre mutant lines was associated with decreased Cited1 expression and increased apoptosis versus controls. FAC-sorted nephron progenitors in Six2cre Frs2'A(flox/flox) mice demonstrated evidence of increased Notch activity versus controls, which likely drives the progenitor defects. Thus, Fgfr1 and Fgfr2 have synergistic roles in maintaining nephron progenitors; furthermore, Fgfr signaling in nephron progenitors appears to be mediated predominantly by Frs2?.
Project description:Fibroblast growth receptors (FGFRs) consist of four signaling family members. Mice with deletions of fgfr1 or fgfr2 are embryonic lethal prior to the onset of kidney development. To determine roles of FGFR1 and FGFR2 in the ureteric bud, we used a conditional targeting approach. First, we generated transgenic mice using the Hoxb7 promoter to drive cre recombinase and green fluorescent protein expression throughout ureteric bud tissue. We crossed Hoxb7creEGFP mice with mice carrying lox-p sites flanking critical regions of fgfr1 and/or fgfr2. Absence of fgfr1 from the ureteric bud (fgfr1(UB-/-)) results in no apparent renal abnormalities. In contrast, fgfr2(UB-/-) mice have very aberrant ureteric bud branching, thin ureteric bud stalks, and fewer ureteric bud tips. Fgfr2(UB-/-) ureteric bud tips also demonstrate inappropriate regions of apoptosis and reduced proliferation. The nephrogenic mesenchymal lineage in fgfr2(UB-/-) mice develops normal-appearing glomeruli and tubules, and only slightly fewer nephrons than controls. In contrast, fgfr2(UB-/-) kidneys have abnormally thickened subcapsular cortical stromal mesenchyme. Ultimately, fgfr2(UB-/-) adult kidneys are small and abnormally shaped or are hydronephrotic. Finally, there are no additional abnormalities in the fgfr1/2(UB-/-) kidneys versus the fgfr2(UB-/-) kidneys. In conclusion, FGFR2, but not FGFR1, appears crucial for ureteric bud branching morphogenesis and stromal mesenchyme patterning.
Project description:Members of the PEA3 transcription factors are emerging as bone fide targets for fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling. Among them, ETV4 and ETV5 appear to mediate FGF10 signaling during early embryonic lung development. In this paper, recently obtained Tg(Etv4-GFP) and Etv5 CreERT2-RFP fluorescent reporter lines were generally characterized during early embryonic development and in the context of FGF10 signaling, in particular. We found that both Tg(Etv4-GFP) and Etv5 CreERT2-RFP were primarily expressed in the epithelium of the lung during embryonic development. However, the expression of Etv5 CreERT2-RFP was much higher than that of Tg(Etv4-GFP), and continued to increase during development, whereas Tg(Etv4-GFP) decreased. The expression patterns of the surrogate fluorescent protein GFP and RFP for ETV4 and ETV5, respectively, agreed with known regions of FGF10 signaling in various developing organs, including the lung, where ETV4-GFP was seen primarily in the distal epithelium and to a lesser extent in the surrounding mesenchyme. As expected, ETV5-RFP was restricted to the lung epithelium, showing a decreasing expression pattern from distal buds to proximal conducting airways. FGF10 inhibition experiments confirmed that both Etv4 and Etv5 are downstream of FGF10 signaling. Finally, we also validated that both fluorescent reporters responded to FGF10 inhibition in vitro. In conclusion, these two reporter lines appear to be promising tools to monitor FGF10/FGFR2b signaling in early lung development. These tools will have to be further validated at later stages and in other organs of interest.