Single cell RNA-seq study of wild type and Hox9,10,11 mutant developing uterus.
ABSTRACT: The uterus is a remarkable organ that must guard against infections while maintaining the ability to support growth of a fetus without rejection. The Hoxa10 and Hoxa11 genes have previously been shown to play essential roles in uterus development and function. In this report we show that the Hoxa9,10,11, Hoxc9,10,11, Hoxd9,10,11 genes play a redundant role in the formation of uterine glands. In addition, we use single cell RNA-seq to create a high resolution gene expression atlas of the developing wild type mouse uterus. Cell types and subtypes are defined, for example dividing endothelial cells into arterial, venous, capillary, and lymphatic, while epithelial cells separate into luminal and glandular subtypes. Further, a surprising heterogeneity of stromal and myocyte cell types are identified. Transcription factor codes and ligand/receptor interactions are characterized. We also used single cell RNA-seq to globally define the altered gene expression patterns in all developing uterus cell types for two Hox mutants, with 8 or 9 mutant Hox genes. The mutants show a striking disruption of Wnt signaling as well as the Cxcl12/Cxcr4 ligand/receptor axis.
Project description:Hox genes are key regulators of development. In mammals, the study of these genes is greatly confounded by their large number, overlapping functions and interspersed shared enhancers. Here, we describe the use of a novel recombineering strategy to introduce simultaneous frameshift mutations into the flanking Hoxa9, Hoxa10 and Hoxa11 genes, as well as their paralogs on the HoxD cluster. The resulting Hoxa9,10,11 mutant mice displayed dramatic synergistic homeotic transformations of the reproductive tracts, with the uterus anteriorized towards oviduct and the vas deferens anteriorized towards epididymis. The Hoxa9,10,11 mutant mice also provided a genetic setting that allowed the discovery of Hoxd9,10,11 redundant reproductive tract patterning function. Both shared and distinct Hox functions were defined. Hoxd9,10,11 play a crucial role in the regulation of uterine immune function. Non-coding non-polyadenylated RNAs were among the key Hox targets, with dramatic downregulation in mutants. We observed Hox cross-regulation of transcription and splicing. In addition, we observed a surprising anti-dogmatic apparent posteriorization of the uterine epithelium. In caudal regions of the uterus, the normal simple columnar epithelium flanking the lumen was replaced by a pseudostratified transitional epithelium, normally found near the more posterior cervix. These results identify novel molecular functions of Hox genes in the development of the male and female reproductive tracts.
Project description:The Hox gene family is well known for its functions in establishing morphological diversity along the anterior-posterior axis of developing embryos. In mammals, one of these genes, Hoxa13, is crucial for embryonic survival, as its function is required for the proper expansion of the fetal vasculature in the placenta. Thus, it appears that the developmental strategy specific to placental mammals is linked, at least in part, to the recruitment of Hoxa13 function in developing extra-embryonic tissues. Yet, the mechanism underlying this extra-embryonic recruitment is unknown. Here, we provide evidence that this functional novelty is not exclusive to Hoxa13 but is shared with its neighboring Hoxa11 and Hoxa10 genes. We show that the extra-embryonic function of these three Hoxa genes stems from their specific expression in the allantois, an extra-embryonic hallmark of amniote vertebrates. Interestingly, Hoxa10-13 expression in the allantois is conserved in chick embryos, which are non-placental amniotes, suggesting that the extra-embryonic recruitment of Hoxa10, Hoxa11 and Hoxa13 most likely arose in amniotes, i.e. prior to the emergence of placental mammals. Finally, using a series of targeted recombination and transgenic assays, we provide evidence that the regulatory mechanism underlying Hoxa expression in the allantois is extremely complex and relies on several cis-regulatory sequences.
Project description:This study identifies a novel role for the Hoxc9,10,11 genes in uterine gland formation. This function is redundant with the Hoxa9,10,11 and Hoxd9,10,11 genes and is only seen in a sensitized genotype with reduced expression of these paralogs. We further used scRNA-seq to define the gene expression patterns of the multiple cell types of the developing uterus. The results define the gene expression patterns driving lineage specific development. In addition scRNA-seq was used to characterize the perturbed gene expression levels of all developing uterus cell types in the ACD+/- and ACD+/-WTA11 mutants. Particularly striking was the reduced Wnt signaling and the disruption of the Cxcl12/Cxcr4 axis in the mutants. Overall design: Using droplet RNA sequencing, transcriptomes of single cells from wild-type and Hox mutant mouse uteri were analyzed
Project description:Homeobox (HOX) genes are essential developmental regulators that should normally be in the silenced state in an adult brain. The aberrant expression of HOX genes has been associated with the prognosis of many cancer types, including glioblastoma (GBM). This study examined the identity and role of HOX genes affecting GBM prognosis and treatment resistance.The full series of HOX genes of five pairs of initial and recurrent human GBM samples were screened by microarray analysis to determine the most plausible candidate responsible for GBM prognosis. Another 20 newly diagnosed GBM samples were used for prognostic validation. In vitro experiments were performed to confirm the role of HOX in treatment resistance. Mediators involved in HOX gene regulation were searched using differentially expressed gene analysis, gene set enrichment tests, and network analysis.The underexpression of HOXA11 was identified as a consistent signature for a poor prognosis among the HOX genes. The overall survival of the GBM patients indicated a significantly favorable prognosis in patients with high HOXA11 expression (31±15.3 months) compared to the prognoses in thosewith low HOXA11 expression (18±7.3 months, p=0.03). When HOXA11 was suppressed in the GBM cell lines, the anticancer effect of radiotherapy and/or temozolomide declined. In addition, five candidate mediators (TGFBR2, CRIM1, TXNIP, DPYSL2, and CRMP1) that may confer an oncologic effect after HOXA11 suppression were identified.The treatment resistance induced by the underexpression of HOXA11 can contribute to a poor prognosis in GBM. Further investigation will be needed to confirm the value of HOXA11 as a potential target for overcoming the treatment resistance by developing chemo- or radiosensitizers.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRs) and Hox transcription factors have decisive roles in postnatal bone formation and homeostasis. In silico analysis identified extensive interaction between HOXA cluster mRNA and microRNAs from the miR-23a cluster. However, Hox regulation by the miR-23a cluster during osteoblast differentiation remains undefined. We examined this regulation in preosteoblasts and in a novel miR-23a cluster knockdown mouse model. Overexpression and knockdown of the miR-23a cluster in preosteoblasts decreased and increased, respectively, the expression of the proteins HOXA5, HOXA10, and HOXA11; these proteins' mRNAs exhibited significant binding with the miR-23a cluster miRNAs, and miRNA 3'-UTR reporter assays confirmed repression. Importantly, during periods correlating with development and differentiation of bone cells, we found an inverse pattern of expression between HoxA factors and members of the miR-23a cluster. HOXA5 and HOXA11 bound to bone-specific promoters, physically interacted with transcription factor RUNX2, and regulated bone-specific genes. Depletion of HOXA5 or HOXA11 in preosteoblasts also decreased cellular differentiation. Additionally, stable overexpression of the miR-23a cluster in osteoblasts decreased the recruitment of HOXA5 and HOXA11 to osteoblast gene promoters, significantly inhibiting histone H3 acetylation. Heterozygous miR-23a cluster knockdown female mice (miR-23a ClWT/ZIP) had significantly increased trabecular bone mass when compared with WT mice. Furthermore, miR-23a cluster knockdown in calvarial osteoblasts of these mice increased the recruitment of HOXA5 and HOXA11, with a substantial enrichment of promoter histone H3 acetylation. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that the miR-23a cluster is required for maintaining stage-specific HoxA factor expression during osteogenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:HOXA11 and HOXA10 are expressed in endometrium throughout the menstrual cycle and show a dramatic increase during the mid-luteal phase at the time of implantation. The expression of these genes is decreased in women with myomas. OBJECTIVE:To determine whether myomectomy would reverse HOXA11 and HOXA10 expression, we evaluated the transcript levels of these genes in the endometria of patients before and after myomectomy. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Expression of HOXA11 and HOXA10 were examined prospectively during the midluteal phase in endometrium obtained from infertile women (n=12) with myoma before and three months after myomectomy. Endometrial HOXA11 and HOXA10 expression were evaluated using quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). RESULTS:Endometrial HOXA11 and HOXA10 mRNAs expression levels (normalized to 18SrRNA) were increased insignificantly in endometrium of patients after myomectomy (p=0.7 and p=0.15 respectively). CONCLUSION:The results suggest that the alteration in expression pattern of these genes could not account for some aspects of fertility after myomectomy. This article extracted from M.Sc. thesis. (Shamila Faramarzi).
Project description:HOTTIP is a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) transcribed from the 5' tip of the HOXA locus and is associated with the polycomb repressor complex 2 (PRC2) and WD repeat containing protein 5 (WDR5)/mixed lineage leukemia 1 (MLL1) chromatin modifying complexes. HOTTIP is expressed in pancreatic cancer cell lines and knockdown of HOTTIP by RNA interference (siHOTTIP) in Panc1 pancreatic cancer cells decreased proliferation, induced apoptosis and decreased migration. In Panc1 cells transfected with siHOTTIP, there was a decrease in expression of 757 genes and increased expression of 514 genes, and a limited gene analysis indicated that HOTTIP regulation of genes is complex. For example, Aurora kinase A, an important regulator of cell growth, is coregulated by MLL and not WDR5 and, in contrast to previous studies in liver cancer cells, HOTTIP does not regulate HOXA13 but plays a role in regulation of several other HOX genes including HOXA10, HOXB2, HOXA11, HOXA9 and HOXA1. Although HOTTIP and the HOX-associated lncRNA HOTAIR have similar pro-oncogenic functions, they regulate strikingly different sets of genes in Panc1 cells and in pancreatic tumors.
Project description:Homeobox genes encode transcription factors that dictate developmental identity, including that of the Mullerian tract. These genes also direct differential Mullerian transformation of the ovarian cancer cells. The homeobox gene HOXA10 controls uterine organogenesis during embryonic development and similarly is expressed in endometroid epithelial ovarian cancer. Here we confirmed aberrant regulation of HOXA10 expression in epithelial uterine and ovarian carcinomas. We identified a HOXA10 epithelial regulatory element containing an enhancer that drove HOXA10 expression specifically in gynaecologic epithelium. We further identified an adjoining dominant repressor element that restricted regulation by the epithelial enhancer to a subset of epithelial cell types. The repressor contained two functional WT1 binding sites. We identified a strong inverse correlation between HOXA10 expression and that of the Wilms' Tumour 1 (WT1) gene in multiple benign and malignant gynaecologic tissues, suggesting functionality of the WT1 sites in the repressor. Mutation of the two WT1 binding sites abolished WT1 binding to the element as well as the ability to affect epithelial enhancer activity in reporter assays. Similarly, decreased expression of WT1 using siRNA prevented repressor activity. The Mullerian phenotype seen in ovarian cancer is dependent on gain of HOX gene expression secondary to the loss of WT1-mediated HOX repression. This suggests that Gynaecologic epithelial histologic type is regulated by WT1 expression through its selective repression of HOX genes.
Project description:Hox genes are key regulators of development. In mammals, the study of these genes is greatly confounded by their large number, overlapping functions, and their interspersed shared enhancers. In this report, we describe a novel recombineering strategy that was used to introduce simultaneous frameshift mutations into the flanking Hoxa9, Hoxa10, and Hoxa11 genes, as well as their paralogs on the HoxD cluster. The resulting mutant mice displayed dramatic homeotic transformations of the reproductive tracts, with uterus anteriorized towards oviduct and the vas deferens anteriorized towards epididymis. The Hoxa9,10,11 mutant mice provided a sensitized genetic background that allowed the discovery of Hoxd9,10,11 reproductive tract patterning function. Both shared and distinct Hox functions were defined. The HoxD genes played a crucial role in the regulation of the uterine immune function. Non-coding nonpolyadenylated RNAs were among the key Hox targets. In addition we observed a surprising anti-dogmatic posteriorization of the uterine epithelium. Reproductive tracts were collected from WT and Hox mutant mice (n=3/genotype) aged 3-7 months in order to characterize the molecular changes caused by mutation of Hoxa9,10,11 and Hoxd9,10,11. Female mice were staged and collected in diestrus.
Project description:Hox genes are key regulators of development. In mammals, the study of these genes is greatly confounded by their large number, overlapping functions, and their interspersed shared enhancers. In this report, we describe a novel recombineering strategy that was used to introduce simultaneous frameshift mutations into the flanking Hoxa9, Hoxa10, and Hoxa11 genes, as well as their paralogs on the HoxD cluster. The resulting mutant mice displayed dramatic homeotic transformations of the reproductive tracts, with uterus anteriorized towards oviduct and the vas deferens anteriorized towards epididymis. The Hoxa9,10,11 mutant mice provided a sensitized genetic background that allowed the discovery of Hoxd9,10,11 reproductive tract patterning function. Both shared and distinct Hox functions were defined. The HoxD genes played a crucial role in the regulation of the uterine immune function. Non-coding nonpolyadenylated RNAs were among the key Hox targets. In addition, we observed a surprising anti-dogmatic posteriorization of the uterine epithelium. Reproductive tracts were collected from WT and Hox mutant mice (n=3/genotype) aged 3-7 months in order to characterize the molecular changes caused by mutation of Hoxa9,10,11 and Hoxd9,10,11. Female mice were staged and collected in diestrus.