A myogenic factor from sea urchin embryos capable of programming muscle differentiation in mammalian cells.
ABSTRACT: Using the basic helix-loop-helix domain of the myogenic factor myogenin as a probe, we identified a clone from a sea urchin cDNA library with considerable sequence similarity to the vertebrate myogenic factors. This cDNA, sea urchin myogenic factor 1 (SUM-1), transactivated a muscle creatine kinase-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene in 10T1/2 fibroblasts to a level comparable to that of the vertebrate myogenic factors. In addition, bacterially expressed beta-galactosidase-SUM-1 fusion protein interacted directly with the kappa E-2 site in the muscle creatine kinase enhancer core as assayed by electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Stably transfected SUM-1 activated the muscle differentiation program and converted 10T1/2 cells from fibroblasts to myotubes. In sea urchin embryos, SUM-1 RNA was not detected before gastrulation. It accumulated to its highest levels during the prism stage when myoblasts were first detected by myosin immunostaining and then diminished as myocytes differentiated. SUM-1 protein was localized in secondary mesenchyme cells when they could first be identified as muscle cells by myosin immunostaining. These results implicate SUM-1 as a regulatory factor involved in the early decision of a pluripotent secondary mesenchyme cell to convert to a myogenic fate. SUM-1 is an example of an invertebrate myogenic factor that is capable of functioning in mammalian cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In sea urchin larvae the circumesophageal fibers form a prominent muscle system of mesodermal origin. Although the morphology and later development of this muscle system has been well-described, little is known about the molecular signature of these cells or their precise origin in the early embryo. As an invertebrate deuterostome that is more closely related to the vertebrates than other commonly used model systems in myogenesis, the sea urchin fills an important phylogenetic gap and provides a unique perspective on the evolution of muscle cell development. RESULTS: Here, we present a comprehensive description of the development of the sea urchin larval circumesophageal muscle lineage beginning with its mesodermal origin using high-resolution localization of the expression of several myogenic transcriptional regulators and differentiation genes. A few myoblasts are bilaterally distributed at the oral vegetal side of the tip of the archenteron and first appear at the late gastrula stage. The expression of the differentiation genes Myosin Heavy Chain, Tropomyosin I and II, as well as the regulatory genes MyoD2, FoxF, FoxC, FoxL1, Myocardin, Twist, and Tbx6 uniquely identify these cells. Interestingly, evolutionarily conserved myogenic factors such as Mef2, MyoR and Six1/2 are not expressed in sea urchin myoblasts but are found in other mesodermal domains of the tip of the archenteron. The regulatory states of these domains were characterized in detail. Moreover, using a combinatorial analysis of gene expression we followed the development of the FoxF/FoxC positive cells from the onset of expression to the end of gastrulation. Our data allowed us to build a complete map of the Non-Skeletogenic Mesoderm at the very early gastrula stage, in which specific molecular signatures identify the precursors of different cell types. Among them, a small group of cells within the FoxY domain, which also express FoxC and SoxE, have been identified as plausible myoblast precursors. Together, these data support a very early gastrula stage segregation of the myogenic lineage. CONCLUSIONS: From this analysis, we are able to precisely define the regulatory and differentiation signatures of the circumesophageal muscle in the sea urchin embryo. Our findings have important implications in understanding the evolution of development of the muscle cell lineage at the molecular level. The data presented here suggest a high level of conservation of the myogenic specification mechanisms across wide phylogenetic distances, but also reveal clear cases of gene cooption.
Project description:Androgens are important regulators of body composition and promote myogenic differentiation and inhibit adipogenesis of mesenchymal, multipotent cells. Here, we investigated the mechanisms by which androgens induce myogenic differentiation of mesenchymal multipotent cells. Incubation of mesenchymal multipotent C3H 10T1/2 cells with testosterone and dihydrotestosterone promoted nuclear translocation of androgen receptor (AR)/beta-catenin complex and physical interaction of AR, beta-catenin, and T-cell factor-4 (TCF-4). Inhibition of beta-catenin by small inhibitory RNAs significantly decreased testosterone-induced stimulation of myogenic differentiation. Overexpression of TCF-4, a molecule downstream of beta-catenin in Wnt signaling cascade, in C3H 10T1/2 cells significantly up-regulated expression of myoD and myosin heavy chain II proteins and of follistatin (Fst), which binds and antagonizes native ligands of the TGF-beta/Smad pathway. Gene array analysis of C3H 10T1/2 cells treated with testosterone revealed that testosterone up-regulated the expression of Fst and modified the expression of several signaling molecules involved in the TGF-beta/Smad pathway, including Smad7. Lowering of testosterone levels in mice by orchidectomy led to a significant decrease in Fst and Smad7 expression; conversely, testosterone supplementation in castrated mice up-regulated Fst and Smad7 mRNA expression in androgen-responsive levator ani muscle. Testosterone-induced up-regulation of MyoD and myosin heavy chain II proteins in C3H 10T1/2 cells was abolished in cells simultaneously treated with anti-Fst antibody, suggesting an essential role of Fst during testosterone regulation of myogenic differentiation. In conclusion, our data suggest the involvement of AR, beta-catenin, and TCF-4 pathway during androgen action to activate a number of Wnt target genes, including Fst, and cross communication with the Smad signaling pathway.
Project description:TCK, the creatine kinase (ATP:creatine N-phosphotransferase) from sperm flagella of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, is a Mr 145,000 axonemal protein that is employed in energy transport. Its amino acid sequence was obtained by analysis of fragments from cyanogen bromide digestion and by sequencing cDNA clones from two sea urchin testis libraries. TCK contains three complete but nonidentical creatine kinase segments joined by regions of sequence that are not creatine kinase-like and flanked by unique amino and carboxyl termini. Each creatine kinase segment is homologous to vertebrate creatine kinases of both muscle and brain types, and all three repeats contain the essential active-site cysteine. The sequence differences among repeats suggest an ancient gene triplication, around the time of the chordate-echinoderm divergence. The echinoderm, with a unique creatine kinase in sperm, arginine kinase in eggs, and both phosphagen kinases in somatic cells, may represent a preserved branch point in evolution, and TCK may be a relic of this event.
Project description:The current-producing cells of the electric organ, i.e., electrocytes, in Sternopygus macrurus derive from skeletal muscle fibers. Mature electrocytes are not contractile, but they do retain some muscle proteins, are multinucleated, and receive cholinergic innervation. Electrocytes express the myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) MyoD, myogenin, Myf5 and MRF4 despite their incomplete muscle phenotype. Although S. macrurus MRFs share functional domains which are highly conserved and their expression is confined to the myogenic lineage, their capability to induce the muscle phenotype has not been determined. To test the functional conservation of S. macrurus MRFs to transcriptionally activate skeletal muscle gene expression and induce the myogenic program, we transiently over-expressed S. macrurus MyoD (SmMyoD) and myogenin (SmMyoG) in mouse C3H/10T1/2 and NIH3T3 embryonic cells. RT-PCR and immunolabeling studies showed that SmMyoD and SmMyoG can efficiently convert these two cell lines into multinucleated myotubes which expressed differentiated muscle markers. The levels of myogenic induction by SmMyoD and SmMyoG were comparable to those obtained with mouse MRF homologs. Furthermore, SmMyoD and SmMyoG proteins were able to induce mouse MyoD and myogenin in C3H/10T1/2 cells. We conclude that S. macrurus MRFs are functionally conserved as they can transcriptionally activate skeletal muscle gene expression and induce the myogenic program in mammalian non-muscle cells. Hence, these data suggest that the partial muscle phenotype of electrocytes is not likely due to differences in the MRF-dependent transcriptional program between skeletal muscle and electric organ.
Project description:In metazoans, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a crucial process for placing the mesoderm beneath the ectoderm. Primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) at the vegetal pole of the sea urchin embryo ingress into the floor of the blastocoele from the blastula epithelium and later become the skeletogenic mesenchyme. This ingression movement is a classic EMT during which the PMCs penetrate the basal lamina, lose adherens junctions and migrate into the blastocoele. Later, secondary mesenchyme cells (SMCs) also enter the blastocoele via an EMT, but they accompany the invagination of the archenteron initially, in much the same way vertebrate mesenchyme enters the embryo along with endoderm. Here we identify a sea urchin ortholog of the Snail transcription factor, and focus on its roles regulating EMT during PMC ingression. Functional knockdown analyses of Snail in whole embryos and chimeras demonstrate that Snail is required in micromeres for PMC ingression. Snail represses the transcription of cadherin, a repression that appears evolutionarily conserved throughout the animal kingdom. Furthermore, Snail expression is required for endocytosis of cadherin, a cellular activity that accompanies PMC ingression. Perturbation studies position Snail in the sea urchin micromere-PMC gene regulatory network (GRN), downstream of Pmar1 and Alx1, and upstream of several PMC-expressed proteins. Taken together, our findings indicate that Snail plays an essential role in PMCs to control the EMT process, in part through its repression of cadherin expression during PMC ingression, and in part through its role in the endocytosis that helps convert an epithelial cell to a mesenchyme cell.
Project description:The rates of degradation of creatine kinase subunits, M-CK and B-CK subunits, were measured in cultured myogenic cells and in subcultured fibroblasts. In differentiated myogenic cells, the myotubes, both M-CK and B-CK subunits are synthesized. Their rates of degradation were compared. The M-CK subunits is slightly more stable and is degraded with an average apparent half-life of 75 h, whereas that of the B-CK subunit was shorter with 63 h. The turnover properties of M-CK subunit from soluble and of myofibril-bound MM-CK homodimeric creatine kinase isoenzyme isolated from breast muscle of young chickens were identical. The apparent half-life of the B-CK subunit was also determined in subcultured fibroblasts and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine-treated cells, and found to be shorter than in myotubes (46 h and 37 h respectively). Similar observations were made for myosin heavy chain, actin and total acid-precipitable material. It appears therefore that proteins are in general degraded more slowly in differentiated myogenic cells. The differences in the stability of M-CK and B-CK subunits in myotubes probably do not reflect a major regulatory mechanism of the creatine kinase isoenzyme transition.
Project description:Activator protein-1 (AP-1) is a ubiquitous transcription factor that paradoxically also has some tissue-specific functions. In skeletal muscle cells, we document that the AP-1 subunit, Fra-2, is expressed in the resident stem cells (Pax7-positive satellite cells) and also in the analogous undifferentiated 'reserve' cell population in myogenic cultures, but not in differentiated myofiber nuclei. Silencing of Fra-2 expression enhances the expression of differentiation markers such as muscle creatine kinase and myosin heavy chain, indicating a possible role of Fra-2 in undifferentiated myogenic progenitor cells. We observed that Fra-2 is a target of cytokine-mediated extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 signaling in cultured muscle cells, and extensive mass spectrometry and mutational analysis identified S320 and T322 as regulators of Fra-2 protein stability. Interestingly, Fra-2 S320 phosphorylation occurs transiently in activated satellite cells and is extinguished in myogenin-positive differentiating cells. Thus, cytokine-mediated Fra-2 expression and stabilization is linked to regulation of myogenic progenitor cells having implications for the molecular regulation of adult muscle stem cells and skeletal muscle regeneration.
Project description: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:We report the single-cell transcriptional profiling of sea urchin primary mesenchyme cells isolated from embryos treated with DMSO or with 5-lox activating protein (FLAP) inhibitor MK-886. We find that inhibition of LOX activity with MK-886 prior to PMC isolation induces shifts in gene expression within the PMC population. We further demonstrate that control PMCs cluster into four transcriptionally-defined subsets, and MK-886-treated PMCs cluster into five distinct subsets. These data highlight novel transcriptional paradigms in the diversification of PMCs, and the requirement of ectodermal LOX activity for proper PMC transcriptional diversification. Overall design: Examination of sea urchin primary mesenchyme cell transcriptional diversity and its regulation by ectodermally-expressed 5-lipoxygenase
Project description:The expression of several muscle-specific genes is partially or completely regulated by MCAT elements, which bind members of the TEF family of transcription factors. TEF1 itself is unable to activate reporter plasmids bearing TEF1-binding sites, suggesting that additional bridging or co-activating factors are necessary to allow interaction of TEF1 with the transcriptional machinery. In addition, none of the known TEF genes are exclusively expressed in the cardiac or skeletal muscle lineage to account for the muscle-specific expression of MCAT-dependent genes. Here we describe that VITO-1, a new SID (scalloped interaction domain)-containing protein, binds to TEF1 in vitro and strongly stimulates transcription of a MCAT reporter plasmid together with TEF-1. Since VITO-1 is predominantly expressed in the skeletal muscle lineage, it might serve as an essential transcriptional intermediary factor to promote muscle-specific expression via MCAT cis-regulatory elements. Although VITO-1 alone is not sufficient to initiate myogenic conversion of 10T1/2 fibroblastic cells, it enhanced MyoD-mediated myogenic conversion. In addition, interference with VITO-1 expression by siRNA attenuated differentiation of C2C12 muscle cells and MyoD-dependent myogenesis in 10T1/2 cells. We conclude that VITO-1 is a crucial new cofactor of the muscle regulatory programme.