Logics and properties of a genetic regulatory program that drives embryonic muscle development in an echinoderm.
ABSTRACT: Evolutionary origin of muscle is a central question when discussing mesoderm evolution. Developmental mechanisms underlying somatic muscle development have mostly been studied in vertebrates and fly where multiple signals and hierarchic genetic regulatory cascades selectively specify myoblasts from a pool of naive mesodermal progenitors. However, due to the increased organismic complexity and distant phylogenetic position of the two systems, a general mechanistic understanding of myogenesis is still lacking. In this study, we propose a gene regulatory network (GRN) model that promotes myogenesis in the sea urchin embryo, an early branching deuterostome. A fibroblast growth factor signaling and four Forkhead transcription factors consist the central part of our model and appear to orchestrate the myogenic process. The topological properties of the network reveal dense gene interwiring and a multilevel transcriptional regulation of conserved and novel myogenic genes. Finally, the comparison of the myogenic network architecture among different animal groups highlights the evolutionary plasticity of developmental GRNs.
Project description:Although the development of sea urchin embryos has been studied extensively and clearly involves both cell adhesion and cell migration, rather little is known about the adhesion receptors and extracellular matrix molecules involved. The completion of the genome of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus allows a comprehensive survey of the complement of cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion molecules in this organism. Furthermore, the phylogenetic position of echinoderms offers the opportunity to compare the complement of adhesion proteins between protostome and deuterostome invertebrates and between invertebrate and vertebrate deuterostomes. Many aspects of development and cell interactions differ among these different taxa and it is likely that analysis of the spectrum of adhesion receptors and extracellular matrix proteins can open up new insights into which molecules have evolved to suit particular developmental processes. In this paper, we report the results of an initial analysis along these lines. The echinoderm adhesome (complement of adhesion-related genes/proteins) is similar overall to that of other invertebrates although there are significant deuterostome-specific innovations and some interesting features previously thought to be chordate or vertebrate specific.
Project description:Whole-body chimaeras (organisms composed of genetically distinct cells) have been directly observed in modular/colonial organisms (e.g. corals, sponges, ascidians); whereas in unitary deuterostosmes (including mammals) they have only been detected indirectly through molecular analysis. Here, we document for the first time the step-by-step development of whole-body chimaeras in the holothuroid Cucumaria frondosa, a unitary deuterostome belonging to the phylum Echinodermata. To the best of our knowledge, this is the most derived unitary metazoan in which direct investigation of zygote fusibility has been undertaken. Fusion occurred among hatched blastulae, never during earlier (unhatched) or later (larval) stages. The fully fused chimaeric propagules were two to five times larger than non-chimaeric embryos. Fusion was positively correlated with propagule density and facilitated by the natural tendency of early embryos to agglomerate. The discovery of natural chimaerism in a unitary deuterostome that possesses large externally fertilized eggs provides a framework to explore key aspects of evolutionary biology, histocompatibility and cell transplantation in biomedical research.
Project description:Fetal malnutrition decreases skeletal myofiber number and muscle mass in neonatal mammals, which increases the risk of developing obesity and diabetes in adult life. However, the associated molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we investigated how the nutrient (calorie) availability affects embryonic myogenesis using a porcine model. Sows were given a normal or calorie restricted diet, following which skeletal muscle was harvested from the fetuses at 35, 55, and 90 days of gestation (dg) and used for histochemical analysis and high-throughput sequencing. We observed abrupt repression of primary myofiber formation following maternal calorie restriction (MCR). Transcriptome profiling of prenatal muscles revealed that critical genes and muscle-specific miRNAs associated with increased proliferation and myoblast differentiation were downregulated during MCR-induced repression of myogenesis. Moreover, we identified several novel miRNA-mRNA interactions through an integrative analysis of their expression profiles, devising a putative molecular network involved in the regulation of myogenesis. Interestingly, NC_010454.3_1179 was identified as a novel myogenic miRNA that can base-pair with sequences in the 3'-UTR of myogenic differentiation protein 1 (MyoD1). And we found that this UTR inhibited the expression of a linked reporter gene encoding a key myogenic regulatory factor, resulting in suppression of myogenesis. Our results greatly increase our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the nutrient-modulated myogenesis, and may also serve as a valuable resource for further investigation of fundamental developmental processes or assist in rational target selection ameliorating repressed myogenesis under fetal malnutrition.
Project description:We have identified a novel vertebrate homolog of the Drosophila gene dachshund, Dachshund2 (Dach2). Dach2 is expressed in the developing somite prior to any myogenic genes with an expression profile similar to Pax3, a gene previously shown to induce muscle differentiation. Pax3 and Dach2 participate in a positive regulatory feedback loop, analogous to a feedback loop that exists in Drosophila between the Pax gene eyeless (a Pax6 homolog) and the Drosophila dachshund gene. Although Dach2 alone is unable to induce myogenesis, Dach2 can synergize with Eya2 (a vertebrate homolog of the Drosophila gene eyes absent) to regulate myogenic differentiation. Moreover, Eya2 can also synergize with Six1 (a vertebrate homolog of the Drosophila gene sine oculis) to regulate myogenesis. This synergistic regulation of muscle development by Dach2 with Eya2 and Eya2 with Six1 parallels the synergistic regulation of Drosophila eye formation by dachshund with eyes absent and eyes absent with sine oculis. This synergistic regulation is explained by direct physical interactions between Dach2 and Eya2, and Eya2 and Six1 proteins, analogous to interactions observed between the Drosophila proteins. This study reveals a new layer of regulation in the process of myogenic specification in the somites. Moreover, we show that the Pax, Dach, Eya, and Six genetic network has been conserved across species. However, this genetic network has been used in a novel developmental context, myogenesis rather than eye development, and has been expanded to include gene family members that are not directly homologous, for example Pax3 instead of Pax6.
Project description:The developmental trajectory of human skeletal myogenesis and the transition between progenitor and stem cell states are unclear. We used single-cell RNA sequencing to profile human skeletal muscle tissues from embryonic, fetal, and postnatal stages. In silico, we identified myogenic as well as other cell types and constructed a "roadmap" of human skeletal muscle ontogeny across development. In a similar fashion, we also profiled the heterogeneous cell cultures generated from multiple human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) myogenic differentiation protocols and mapped hPSC-derived myogenic progenitors to an embryonic-to-fetal transition period. We found differentially enriched biological processes and discovered co-regulated gene networks and transcription factors present at distinct myogenic stages. This work serves as a resource for advancing our knowledge of human myogenesis. It also provides a tool for a better understanding of hPSC-derived myogenic progenitors for translational applications in skeletal muscle-based regenerative medicine.
Project description:Pig is one of the major dietary protein sources for human consumption, from which muscle is the largest protein origin. However, molecular mechanisms concerning early porcine embryonic muscle development distinctions between pig breeds are still unclear. In this study, an integrated analysis of transcriptome and miRNAome was conducted using longissimus dorsi muscle of 4 early embryonic stages around the primary myofiber formation time (18-, 21-, 28-, and 35-d post coitus) from 2 pig breeds (Landrace [LR] and Wuzhishan [WZS]) differing in meat mass. The global miRNA/mRNA expression profile showed that WZS prepared for myogenic developmental processes earlier than LR. After identifying and analyzing the interaction network of top 100 up-/down-regulated miRNA and their target genes, we were able to find 3 gene clusters: chromatin modification-related (Chd2, H3f3a, Chd6, and Mll1), myogenesis-related (Pax3, Pbx1, Mef2a, and Znf423), and myosin component-related (Mylk, Myo5a, Mylk4, Myh9, and Mylk2) gene clusters. These genes may involve in miRNA-gene myogenic regulatory network that plays vital role in regulating distinct early porcine embryonic myogenic processes between LR and WZS. In summary, our study reveals an epigenetic-mediated myogenic regulatory axial that will help us to decipher molecular mechanisms concerning early porcine embryonic muscle development distinctions between pig breeds.
Project description:Skeletal muscle cell differentiation (myogenesis) is a process orchestrated by a complex network involving transcription factors, epigenetic regulators, and microRNAs. Previous studies identified miR-29 as a pro-myogenic factor that interacts with components of Polycomb repressive complex, YY1 and Ezh2. In a genome-wide survey of miR-29-mediated transcriptome changes in C2C12 myoblasts, many epigenetic factors were found to be down-regulated by miR-29. Among them, Rybp was shown to be a direct target of miR-29 through binding to its 3' UTR. Functional studies demonstrated that Rybp is down-regulated during myogenesis and acts as a negative regulator of skeletal myogenesis both in vitro during C2C12 differentiation and in vivo in injury-induced muscle regeneration. Furthermore, we found that Rybp and YY1 co-occupy several myogenic loci, including miR-29 itself, to silence their expression, thus forming a Rybp-miR-29 feedback loop. Rybp overexpression was found to enhance the enrichment of Ezh2 and trimethylation of H3K27 at target loci, suggesting it may facilitate the recruitment or stabilization of the Polycomb repressive complex. Collectively, our results identify Rybp as a novel regulator of myogenesis that co-acts with YY1 to silence miR-29 and other myogenic loci.
Project description:Pax3 plays critical roles during developmental and postnatal myogenesis. We have previously shown that levels of Pax3 protein are regulated by monoubiquitination and proteasomal degradation during postnatal myogenesis, but none of the key regulators of the monoubiquitination process were known. Here we show that Pax3 monoubiquitination is mediated by the ubiquitin-activating/conjugating activity of Taf1, a component of the core transcriptional machinery that was recently reported to be downregulated during myogenic differentiation. We show that Taf1 binds directly to Pax3 and overexpression of Taf1 increases the level of monoubiquitinated Pax3 and its degradation by the proteasome. A decrease of Taf1 results in a decrease in Pax3 monoubiquitination, an increase in the levels of Pax3 protein, and a concomitant increase in Pax3-mediated inhibition of myogenic differentiation and myoblast migration. These results suggest that Taf1 regulates Pax3 protein levels through its ability to mediate monoubiquitination, revealing a critical interaction between two proteins that are involved in distinct aspects of myogenic differentiation. Finally, these results suggest that the components of the core transcriptional are integrally involved in the process of myogenic differentiation, acting as nodal regulators of the differentiation program.
Project description:Skeletal myogenesis is a complex process that is finely regulated by myogenic transcription factors. Recent studies have shown that saturated fatty acids (SFA) can suppress the activation of myogenic transcription factors and impair the myogenic differentiation of progenitor cells. Despite the increasing evidence of the roles of miRNAs in myogenesis, the targets and myogenic regulatory mechanisms of miRNAs are largely unknown, particularly when myogenesis is dysregulated by SFA deposition. This study examined the implications of SFA-induced miR-183-5p on the myogenic differentiation in C2C12 myoblasts. Long-chain SFA palmitic acid (PA) drastically reduced myogenic transcription factors, such as myoblast determination protein (MyoD), myogenin (MyoG), and myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C), and inhibited FHL1 expression and myogenic differentiation of C2C12 myoblasts, accompanied by the induction of miR-183-5p. The knockdown of FHL1 by siRNA inhibited myogenic differentiation of myoblasts. Interestingly, miR-183-5p inversely regulated the expression of FHL1, a crucial regulator of skeletal myogenesis, by targeting the 3'UTR of FHL1 mRNA. Furthermore, the transfection of miR-183-5p mimic suppressed the expression of MyoD, MyoG, MEF2C, and MyHC, and impaired the differentiation and myotube formation of myoblasts. Overall, this study highlights the role of miR-183-5p in myogenic differentiation through FHL1 repression and suggests a novel miRNA-mediated mechanism for myogenesis in a background of obesity. [BMB Reports 2020; 53(11): 605-610].
Project description:Commitment of progenitors in the dermomyotome to myoblast fate is the first step in establishing the body musculature. Pax3 is a crucial transcription factor, important for skeletal muscle development and expressed in myogenic progenitors in the dermomyotome of developing somites and in migratory muscle progenitors that populate the limb buds. Down-regulation of Pax3 is essential to ignite the myogenic program, including up-regulation of myogenic regulators, Myf-5 and MyoD. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) confer robustness to developmental timing by posttranscriptional repression of genetic programs that are related to previous developmental stages or to alternative cell fates. Here we demonstrate that the muscle-specific miRNAs miR-1 and miR-206 directly target Pax3. Antagomir-mediated inhibition of miR-1/miR-206 led to delayed myogenic differentiation in developing somites, as shown by transient loss of myogenin expression. This correlated with increased Pax3 and was phenocopied using Pax3-specific target protectors. Loss of myogenin after antagomir injection was rescued by Pax3 knockdown using a splice morpholino, suggesting that miR-1/miR-206 control somite myogenesis primarily through interactions with Pax3. Our studies reveal an important role for miR-1/miR-206 in providing precision to the timing of somite myogenesis. We propose that posttranscriptional control of Pax3 downstream of miR-1/miR-206 is required to stabilize myoblast commitment and subsequent differentiation. Given that mutually exclusive expression of miRNAs and their targets is a prevailing theme in development, our findings suggest that miRNA may provide a general mechanism for the unequivocal commitment underlying stem cell differentiation.