The signal regulated transcription factors (SRTFs) control the ultimate transcriptional output of signaling pathways. Here, we examined a family of FGF-induced SRTFs – Etv1, Etv 4, and Etv 5 – in murine lens development. Contrary to FGF receptor mutants that displayed loss of ERK signaling and defective cell differentiation, Etv deficiency augmented ERK phosphorylation without disrupting the normal lens fiber gene expression. Instead, the transitional zone for lens differentiation was shifted anteriorly as a result of reduced Jag1-Notch signaling. We also showed that Etv proteins suppresses mTOR activity by promoting Tsc2 expression, which is necessary for the nuclei clearance in mature lens. These results revealed the functional divergence between Etv and FGF in lens development, demonstrating that these SRTFs can operate outside the confine of their upstream signaling.
The RNAseq data are available from the GEO repository (GSE137215).
RNA-seq of the lens transition zone in control vs Pea3-depleted mouse embryonic tissueNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE137215.
Profiling of chromatin accessibility and identification of general cis-regulatory mechanisms that control two ocular lens differentiation pathwaysNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE124497.
- Xin Zhang
- Xin Zhang
- Xin Zhang
- Ankur Garg
- Qian Wang
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocol (AABD8562) of Columbia University Medical Center.
- Ivan Topisirovic, Jewish General Hospital, Canada
© 2020, Garg 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.
Neurogenesis is the generation of neurons from stem cells, a process that is regulated by SoxB transcription factors (TFs) in many animals. Although the roles of these TFs are well understood in bilaterians, how their neural function evolved is unclear. Here, we use Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus, a member of the early-branching phylum Cnidaria, to provide insight into this question. Using a combination of mRNA in situ hybridization, transgenesis, gene knockdown, transcriptomics, and in-vivo imaging, we provide a comprehensive molecular and cellular analysis of neurogenesis during embryogenesis, homeostasis, and regeneration in this animal. We show that SoxB genes act sequentially at least in some cases. Stem cells expressing Piwi1 and Soxb1, which have a broad developmental potential, become neural progenitors that express Soxb2 before differentiating into mature neural cells. Knockdown of SoxB genes resulted in complex defects in embryonic neurogenesis. Hydractinia neural cells differentiate while migrating from the aboral to the oral end of the animal, but it is unclear whether migration per se or exposure to different microenvironments is the main driver of their fate determination. Our data constitute a rich resource for studies aiming at addressing this question, which is at the heart of understanding the origin and development of animal nervous systems.
Organ architecture is often composed of multiple laminar tissues arranged in concentric layers. During morphogenesis, the initial geometry of visceral organs undergoes a sequence of folding, adopting a complex shape that is vital for function. Genetic signals are known to impact form, yet the dynamic and mechanical interplay of tissue layers giving rise to organs' complex shapes remains elusive. Here, we trace the dynamics and mechanical interactions of a developing visceral organ across tissue layers, from sub-cellular to organ scale in vivo. Combining deep tissue light-sheet microscopy for in toto live visualization with a novel computational framework for multilayer analysis of evolving complex shapes, we find a dynamic mechanism for organ folding using the embryonic midgut of Drosophila as a model visceral organ. Hox genes, known regulators of organ shape, control the emergence of high-frequency calcium pulses. Spatiotemporally patterned calciumpulses triggermuscle contractions via myosin light chain kinase. Muscle contractions, in turn, induce cell shape change in the adjacent tissue layer. This cell shape change collectively drives a convergent extension pattern. Through tissue incompressibility and initial organ geometry, this in-plane shape change is linked to out-of-plane organ folding. Our analysis follows tissue dynamics during organ shape change in vivo, tracing organ-scale folding to a high-frequency molecular mechanism. These findings offer a mechanical route for gene expression to induce organ shape change: genetic patterning in one layer triggers a physical process in the adjacent layer - revealing post-translational mechanisms that govern shape change.