Muscle fiber length is nearly uniform within a muscle but widely different among different muscles. We show that Abelson tyrosine-protein kinase 2 (Abl2) has a key role in regulating myofiber length, as a loss of Abl2 leads to excessively long myofibers in the diaphragm, intercostal and levator auris muscles but not limb muscles. Increased myofiber length is caused by enhanced myoblast proliferation, expanding the pool of myoblasts and leading to increased myoblast fusion. Abl2 acts in myoblasts, but as a consequence of expansion of the diaphragm muscle, the diaphragm central tendon is reduced in size, likely contributing to reduced stamina of Abl2 mutant mice. Ectopic muscle islands, each composed of myofibers of uniform length and orientation, form within the central tendon of Abl2+/- mice. Specialized tendon cells, resembling tendon cells at myotendinous junctions, form at the ends of these muscle islands, suggesting that myofibers induce differentiation of tendon cells, which reciprocally regulate myofiber length and orientation.
- Jennifer K Lee
- Jennifer K Lee
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Animal experimentation: All procedures were approved the New York University School of Medicine Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (Protocol 160425).
- Andrew Brack, University of California, San Francisco, United States
© 2017, Lee & Burden
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Mutations in the RNA helicase, DDX3X, are a leading cause of Intellectual Disability and present as DDX3X syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with cortical malformations and autism. Yet, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which DDX3X controls cortical development are largely unknown. Here, using a mouse model of Ddx3x loss-of-function we demonstrate that DDX3X directs translational and cell cycle control of neural progenitors, which underlies precise corticogenesis. First, we show brain development is sensitive to Ddx3x dosage; complete Ddx3x loss from neural progenitors causes microcephaly in females, whereas hemizygous males and heterozygous females show reduced neurogenesis without marked microcephaly. In addition, Ddx3x loss is sexually dimorphic, as its paralog, Ddx3y, compensates for Ddx3x in the developing male neocortex. Using live imaging of progenitors, we show that DDX3X promotes neuronal generation by regulating both cell cycle duration and neurogenic divisions. Finally, we use ribosome profiling in vivo to discover the repertoire of translated transcripts in neural progenitors, including those which are DDX3X-dependent and essential for neurogenesis. Our study reveals invaluable new insights into the etiology of DDX3X syndrome, implicating dysregulated progenitor cell cycle dynamics and translation as pathogenic mechanisms.
Whereas no known living vertebrate possesses gills derived from the jaw-forming mandibular arch, it has been proposed that the jaw arose through modifications of an ancestral mandibular gill. Here, we show that the zebrafish pseudobranch, which regulates blood pressure in the eye, develops from mandibular arch mesenchyme and first pouch epithelia and shares gene expression, enhancer utilization, and developmental gata3 dependence with the gills. Combined with work in chondrichthyans, our findings in a teleost fish point to the presence of a mandibular pseudobranch with serial homology to gills in the last common ancestor of jawed vertebrates, consistent with a gill origin of vertebrate jaws.