Defective Hand1 phosphoregulation uncovers essential roles for Hand1 in limb morphogenesis.
ABSTRACT: The morphogenesis of the vertebrate limbs is a complex process in which cell signaling and transcriptional regulation coordinate diverse structural adaptations in diverse species. In this study, we examine the consequences of altering Hand1 dimer choice regulation within developing vertebrate limbs. Although Hand1 deletion via the limb-specific Prrx1-Cre reveals a non-essential role for Hand1 in mouse limb morphogenesis, altering Hand1 phosphoregulation, and consequently Hand1 dimerization affinities, results in a severe truncation of proximal-anterior limb elements. Molecular analysis reveals a non-cell-autonomous mechanism that causes widespread cell death within the embryonic limb bud. In addition, we observe changes in proximal-anterior gene regulation, including a reduction in the expression of Irx3, Irx5, Gli3 and Alx4, all of which are upregulated in Hand2 limb conditional knockouts. A reduction of Hand2 and Shh gene dosage improves the integrity of anterior limb structures, validating the importance of the Twist-family bHLH dimer pool in limb morphogenesis.
Project description:The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors Hand1 and Hand2 are essential for embryonic development. Given their requirement for cardiogenesis, it is imperative to determine their impact on cardiovascular function.To deduce the role of Hand2 within the epicardium.We engineered a Hand1 allele expressing Cre recombinase. Cardiac Hand1 expression is largely limited to cells of the primary heart field, overlapping little with Hand2 expression. Hand1 is expressed within the septum transversum, and the Hand1 lineage marks the proepicardial organ and epicardium. To examine Hand factor functional overlap, we conditionally deleted Hand2 from Hand1-expressing cells. Hand2 mutants display defective epicardialization and fail to form coronary arteries, coincident with altered extracellular matrix deposition and Pdgfr expression.These data demonstrate a hierarchal relationship whereby transient Hand1 septum transversum expression defines epicardial precursors that are subsequently dependent on Hand2 function.
Project description:In this study we examine the consequences of altering Hand1 phosphoregulation in the developing neural crest cells (NCCs) of mice. Whereas Hand1 deletion in NCCs reveals a nonessential role for Hand1 in craniofacial development and embryonic survival, altering Hand1 phosphoregulation, and consequently Hand1 dimerization affinities, in NCCs results in severe mid-facial clefting and neonatal death. Hand1 phosphorylation mutants exhibit a non-cell-autonomous increase in pharyngeal arch cell death accompanied by alterations in Fgf8 and Shh pathway expression. Together, our data indicate that the extreme distal pharyngeal arch expression domain of Hand1 defines a novel bHLH-dependent activity, and that disruption of established Hand1 dimer phosphoregulation within this domain disrupts normal craniofacial patterning.
Project description:Coordinated cardiomyocyte growth, differentiation, and morphogenesis are essential for heart formation. We demonstrate that the bHLH transcription factors Hand1 and Hand2 play critical regulatory roles for left ventricle (LV) cardiomyocyte proliferation and morphogenesis. Using an LV-specific Cre allele (Hand1LV-Cre), we ablate Hand1-lineage cardiomyocytes, revealing that DTA-mediated cardiomyocyte death results in a hypoplastic LV by E10.5. Once Hand1-linage cells are removed from the LV, and Hand1 expression is switched off, embryonic hearts recover by E16.5. In contrast, conditional LV loss-of-function of both Hand1 and Hand2 results in aberrant trabeculation and thickened compact zone myocardium resulting from enhanced proliferation and a breakdown of compact zone/trabecular/ventricular septal identity. Surviving Hand1;Hand2 mutants display diminished cardiac function that is rescued by concurrent ablation of Hand-null cardiomyocytes. Collectively, we conclude that, within a mixed cardiomyocyte population, removal of defective myocardium and replacement with healthy endogenous cardiomyocytes may provide an effective strategy for cardiac repair.
Project description:Molecular mechanisms for the dorso-ventral patterning and interventricular septum formation in the embryonic heart are unknown. To investigate a role of Hand1/eHAND in cardiac chamber formation, we generated Hand1/eHAND knock-in mice where Hand1/eHAND cDNA was placed under the control of the MLC2V promoter. In Hand1/eHAND knock-in mice, the outer curvature of the right and left ventricles expanded more markedly. Moreover, there was no interventricular groove or septum formation, although molecularly, Hand1/eHAND knock-in hearts had two ventricles. However, the morphology of the inner curvature of the ventricles, the atrioventricular canal, and the outflow tract was not affected by Hand1/eHAND expression. Furthermore, expression of Hand1/eHAND in the whole ventricles altered the expression patterns of Chisel, ANF, and Hand2/dHAND but did not affect Tbx5 expression. In contrast, the interventricular septum formed normally in transgenic embryos overexpressing Hand1/eHAND in the right ventricle but not in the boundary region. These results suggested that Hand1/eHAND is involved in expansion of the ventricular walls and that absence of Hand1/eHAND expression in the boundary region between the right and left ventricles may be critical in the proper formation of the interventricular groove and septum. Furthermore, Hand1/eHAND is not a master regulatory gene that specifies the left ventricle myocyte lineage but may control the dorso-ventral patterning in concert with additional genes.
Project description:Hand proteins are evolutionally conserved basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors implicated in development of neural crest-derived tissues, heart and limb. Hand1 is expressed in the distal (ventral) zone of the branchial arches, whereas the Hand2 expression domain extends ventrolaterally to occupy two-thirds of the mandibular arch. To circumvent the early embryonic lethality of Hand1 or Hand2-null embryos and to examine their roles in neural crest development, we generated mice with neural crest-specific deletion of Hand1 and various combinations of mutant alleles of Hand2. Ablation of Hand1 alone in neural crest cells did not affect embryonic development, however, further removing one Hand2 allele or deleting the ventrolateral branchial arch expression of Hand2 led to a novel phenotype presumably due to impaired growth of the distal midline mesenchyme. Although we failed to detect changes in proliferation or apoptosis between the distal mandibular arch of wild-type and Hand1/Hand2 compound mutants at embryonic day (E)10.5, dysregulation of Pax9, Msx2 and Prx2 was observed in the distal mesenchyme at E12.5. In addition, the inter-dental mesenchyme and distal symphysis of Meckel's cartilage became hypoplastic, resulting in the formation of a single fused lower incisor within the hypoplastic fused mandible. These findings demonstrate the importance of Hand transcription factors in the transcriptional circuitry of craniofacial and tooth development.
Project description:The genetic networks that govern vertebrate development are well studied, but how the interactions of trans-acting factors with cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) are integrated into spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression is not clear. The transcriptional regulator HAND2 is required during limb, heart, and branchial arch development. Here, we identify the genomic regions enriched in HAND2 chromatin complexes from mouse embryos and limb buds. Then we analyze the HAND2 target CRMs in the genomic landscapes encoding transcriptional regulators required in early limb buds. HAND2 controls the expression of genes functioning in the proximal limb bud and orchestrates the establishment of anterior and posterior polarity of the nascent limb bud mesenchyme by impacting Gli3 and Tbx3 expression. TBX3 is required downstream of HAND2 to refine the posterior Gli3 expression boundary. Our analysis uncovers the transcriptional circuits that function in establishing distinct mesenchymal compartments downstream of HAND2 and upstream of SHH signaling.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Posttranscriptional control of mRNA by microRNA (miRNA) has been implicated in the regulation of diverse biologic processes from directed differentiation of stem cells through organism development. We describe a unique pathway by which miRNA regulates the specialized differentiation of cardiomyocyte (CM) subtypes. METHODS: We differentiated human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to cardiac progenitor cells and functional CMs, and characterized the regulated expression of specific miRNAs that target transcriptional regulators of left/right ventricular-subtype specification. RESULTS: From >900 known human miRNAs in hESC-derived cardiac progenitor cells and functional CMs, a subset of differentially expressed cardiac miRNAs was identified, and in silico analysis predicted highly conserved binding sites in the 3'-untranslated regions (3'UTRs) of Hand-and-neural-crest-derivative-expressed (HAND) genes 1 and 2 that are involved in left and right ventricular development. We studied the temporal and spatial expression patterns of four miRNAs in differentiating hESCs, and found that expression of miRNA (miR)-363, miR-367, miR-181a, and miR-181c was specific for stage and site. Further analysis showed that miR-363 overexpression resulted in downregulation of HAND1 mRNA and protein levels. A dual luciferase reporter assay demonstrated functional interaction of miR-363 with the full-length 3'UTR of HAND1. Expression of anti-miR-363 in-vitro resulted in enrichment for HAND1-expressing CM subtype populations. We also showed that BMP4 treatment induced the expression of HAND2 with less effect on HAND1, whereas miR-363 overexpression selectively inhibited HAND1. CONCLUSIONS: These data show that miR-363 negatively regulates the expression of HAND1 and suggest that suppression of miR-363 could provide a novel strategy for generating functional left-ventricular CMs.
Project description:The bHLH transcriptional regulator HAND2 performs essential functions during development of the embryonic limb, heart and branchial arches, however, its genomic target regions remained largely unkown. Here, we uncover the range of candidate HAND2 target cis-regulatory modules in the major Hand2 expressing embryonic tissues during midgestation and focus on the transcriptional networks controlled by HAND2 in the developing limb. Our functional and genetic analysis reveals that in the early limb mesenchyme HAND2 directly regulates the expression of several transcription factors involved in the morphogenesis of limb proximal skeletal elements. In addition, HAND2 operates as a key factor in the establishment of anterior and posterior compartments, partly through direct binding to a Gli3 cis-regulatory module. Furthermore, HAND2 refines the posterior boundary of Gli3 expression domain through a relay mechanism mediated by Tbx3. These HAND2-dependent regulatory interactions are required to set the boundaries defining the localized expression of the Shh organizer region, which allows progression of distal limb outgrowth. Overall design: Embryonic tissues including limb buds, hearts and branchial arches from 150 Hand23xFLAG or wild-type control embryos (NMRI strain) were pooled and processed for ChIP-Seq.
Project description:The anterior-posterior patterning of the vertebrate limb bud requires closely coordinated signaling interactions, including Sonic Hedgehog (Shh)-mediated counteraction of the Gli3 transcription factor in the distal and posterior mesenchyme of the limb bud. Suppressor of Fused (Sufu), an intracellular negative regulator of Shh signaling via Gli2 and Gli3, is implicated in early development of the mouse limb bud. However, how Sufu is involved in the genetic regulation of limb bud patterning still remains elusive. In this study, we show that the conditional deletion of Sufu in the mesenchyme of the early limb bud results in polydactyly with loss of digit identity and supernumerary bones in the wrist and the ankle. These pattern alterations are associated with anterior expansion of HoxD genes located at the 5' end of the cluster. By focusing on gene expression analysis of Shh/Gremlin1/Fgf signaling critical for the establishment and maintenance of anterior-posterior patterning, we show that early response to loss of Sufu involves anterior prolongation of Fgf4 and Fgf8 expression in the apical ectodermal ridge at E10.5. We also reveal the anterior activation of Shh-dependent posterior markers Ptc1, Gli1 and Gremlin in limb buds lacking Sufu. Furthermore, we find that loss of Sufu leads to attenuated levels of repressor Gli2 and repressor Gli3 in the early limb bud. Moreover, expression of Hand2 is activated in the entire limb bud at the early outgrowth stage in the mutant lacking Sufu. Thus, we provide evidence that Sufu is involved in the genetic network that restricts the posterior expression of Gli2/3/Hand2 and Gremlin/Fgf in limb bud patterning.
Project description:Aims: To examine the role of the basic Helix-loop-Helix (bHLH) transcription factor HAND1 in embryonic and adult myocardium. Methods and Results: Hand1 is expressed within the cardiomyocytes of the left ventricle (LV) and myocardial cuff between embryonic days (E) 9.5-13.5. Hand gene dosage plays an important role in ventricular morphology and the contribution of Hand1 to congenital heart defects requires further interrogation. Conditional ablation of Hand1 was carried out using either Nkx2.5 knockin Cre (Nkx2.5Cre) or a-myosin heavy chain Cre (aMhc-Cre) driver. Interrogation of transcriptome data via Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) reveals several gene regulatory pathways disrupted including translation and cardiac hypertrophy-related pathways. Embryo and adult hearts were subjected to histological, functional and molecular analyses. Myocardial deletion of Hand1 results in morphological defects that include cardiac conduction system defects, survivable interventricular septal defects (VSDs), and abnormal LV papillary muscles (PM). Resulting Hand1 conditional mutants are born at Mendelian frequencies; but the morphological alterations acquired during cardiac development result in, the mice developing diastolic heart failure. Conclusions: Collectively, these data reveal that Hand1 contributes to the morphogenic patterning and maturation of cardiomyocytes during embryogenesis and although survivable, indicate a role for Hand1 conduction system and papillary morphogenesis. Overall design: The goal is to understand changes in gene expression in loss-of-function Hand1 hearts RNA-seq profiling of Hand1 flox mice and Nkx2.5^Cre mice control Nkx2.5^Cre; Hand1^f/f mice ventricles.