Signaling filopodia, termed cytonemes, are dynamic actin-based membrane structures that regulate the exchange of signaling molecules and their receptors within tissues. However, how cytoneme formation is regulated remains unclear. Here, we show that Wnt/PCP autocrine signaling controls the emergence of cytonemes, and that cytonemes subsequently control paracrine Wnt/β-catenin signal activation. Upon binding of the Wnt family member Wnt8a, the receptor tyrosine kinase Ror2 gets activated. Ror2/PCP signaling leads to induction of cytonemes, which mediate transport of Wnt8a to neighboring cells. In the Wnt receiving cells, Wnt8a on cytonemes triggers Wnt/β-catenin-dependent gene transcription and proliferation. We show that cytoneme-based Wnt transport operates in diverse processes, including zebrafish development, the murine intestinal crypt, and human cancer organoids, demonstrating that Wnt transport by cytonemes and its control via the Ror2 pathway is highly conserved in vertebrates.
All of the data supporting this paper is available via the Dryad repository (https://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.38q5pc1)
Data from: Wnt/PCP controls spreading of Wnt/β-catenin signals by cytonemes in vertebratesAvailable at Dryad Digital Repository under a CC0 Public Domain Dedication.
- Steffen Scholpp
- Steffen Scholpp
- Steffen Scholpp
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Thomas B Kornberg, University of California, San Francisco, United States
© 2018, Mattes et al.
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.
Maternally synthesized products play critical roles in the development of offspring. A premier example is the Caenorhabditis elegans H3K36 methyltransferase MES-4, which is essential for germline survival and development in offspring. How maternal MES-4 protects the germline is not well understood, but its role in H3K36 methylation hinted that it may regulate gene expression in primordial germ cells (PGCs). We tested this hypothesis by profiling transcripts from nascent germlines (PGCs and their descendants) dissected from wild-type and mes-4 mutant (lacking maternal and zygotic MES-4) larvae. mes-4 nascent germlines displayed downregulation of some germline genes, upregulation of some somatic genes, and dramatic upregulation of hundreds of genes on the X chromosome. We demonstrated that upregulation of one or more genes on the X is the cause of germline death by generating and analyzing mes-4 mutants that inherited different endowments of X chromosome(s). Intriguingly, removal of the THAP transcription factor LIN-15B from mes-4 mutants reduced X misexpression and prevented germline death. lin-15B is X-linked and misexpressed in mes-4 PGCs, identifying it as a critical target for MES-4 repression. The above findings extend to the H3K27 methyltransferase MES-2/3/6, the C. elegans version of polycomb repressive complex 2. We propose that maternal MES-4 and PRC2 cooperate to protect germline survival by preventing synthesis of germline-toxic products encoded by genes on the X chromosome, including the key transcription factor LIN-15B.
Human muscle is a hierarchically organised tissue with its contractile cells called myofibers packed into large myofiber bundles. Each myofiber contains periodic myofibrils built by hundreds of contractile sarcomeres that generate large mechanical forces. To better understand the mechanisms that coordinate human muscle morphogenesis from tissue to molecular scales, we adopted a simple in vitro system using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived human myogenic precursors. When grown on an unrestricted two-dimensional substrate, developing myofibers spontaneously align and self-organise into higher-order myofiber bundles, which grow and consolidate to stable sizes. Following a transcriptional boost of sarcomeric components, myofibrils assemble into chains of periodic sarcomeres that emerge across the entire myofiber. More efficient myofiber bundling accelerates the speed of sarcomerogenesis suggesting that tension generated by bundling promotes sarcomerogenesis. We tested this hypothesis by directly probing tension and found that tension build-up precedes sarcomere assembly and increases within each assembling myofibril. Furthermore, we found that myofiber ends stably attach to other myofibers using integrin-based attachments and thus myofiber bundling coincides with stable myofiber bundle attachment in vitro. A failure in stable myofiber attachment results in a collapse of the myofibrils. Overall, our results strongly suggest that mechanical tension across sarcomeric components as well as between differentiating myofibers is key to coordinate the multi-scale self-organisation of muscle morphogenesis.