Formation of long-range axons occurs over multiple stages of morphological maturation. However, the intrinsic transcriptional mechanisms that temporally control different stages of axon projection development are unknown. Here, we addressed this question by studying the formation of mouse serotonin (5-HT) axons, the exemplar of long-range profusely arborized axon architectures. We report that LIM homeodomain factor 1b (Lmx1b)-deficient 5-HT neurons fail to generate axonal projections to the forebrain and spinal cord. Stage-specific targeting demonstrates that Lmx1b is required at successive stages to control 5-HT axon primary outgrowth, selective routing, and terminal arborization. We show a Lmx1b→Pet1 regulatory cascade is temporally required for 5-HT arborization and upregulation of the 5-HT axon arborization gene, Protocadherin-alphac2, during postnatal development of forebrain 5-HT axons. Our findings identify a temporal regulatory mechanism in which a single continuously expressed transcription factor functions at successive stages to orchestrate the progressive development of long-range axon architectures enabling expansive neuromodulation.
Raw ChIP-seq data GEO accession: GSE74315. RNA-seq data generated in this study and ChIP-seq analysis are deposited in NCBI GEO under accession code GSE130514.
Lmx1b is required at multiple stages to build expansive serotonergic axon architecturesNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE130514.
Pet-1 Switches Transcriptional Targets Postnatally to Regulate Maturation of Serotonin Neuron Excitability.NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE74315.
- Evan S Deneris
- Evan S Deneris
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 animal procedures used in this study were in strict accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. The protocol was approved by the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (Animal Welfare Assurance Number A3145-01, protocol #: 2014-0044).
- Anne E West, Duke University School of Medicine, United States
© 2019, Donovan 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.