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The optic neuroepithelial continuum of vertebrate eye develops into three differentially growing compartments: the retina, the ciliary margin (CM), and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Neurofibromin 2 (Nf2) is strongly expressed in slowly expanding RPE and CM compartments, and the loss of mouse Nf2 causes hyperplasia in these compartments, replicating the ocular abnormalities seen in human NF2 patients. The hyperplastic ocular phenotypes were largely suppressed by heterozygous deletion of Yap and Taz, key targets of the Nf2-Hippo signaling pathway. We also found that, in addition to feedback transcriptional regulation of Nf2 by Yap/Taz in the CM, activation of Nf2 expression by Mitf in the RPE and suppression by Sox2 in retinal progenitor cells are necessary for the differential growth of the corresponding cell populations. Together, our findings reveal that Nf2 is a key player that orchestrates the differential growth of optic neuroepithelial compartments during vertebrate eye development.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ciliopathies are genetic disorders arising from dysfunction of microtubule-based cellular appendages called cilia. Different cilia types possess distinct stereotypic microtubule doublet arrangements with non-motile or 'primary' cilia having a 9+0 and motile cilia have a 9+2 array of microtubule doublets. Primary cilia are critical sensory and signaling centers needed for normal mammalian development. Defects in their structure/function result in a spectrum of clinical and developmental pathologies including abnormal neural tube and limb patterning. Altered patterning phenotypes in the limb and neural tube are due to perturbations in the hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway. Motile cilia are important in fluid movement and defects in motility result in chronic respiratory infections, altered left-right asymmetry, and infertility. These features are the hallmarks of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD, OMIM 244400). While mutations in several genes are associated with PCD in patients and animal models, the genetic lesion in many cases is unknown. We assessed the in vivo functions of Growth Arrest Specific 8 (GAS8). GAS8 shares strong sequence similarity with the Chlamydomonas Nexin-Dynein Regulatory Complex (NDRC) protein 4 (DRC4) where it is needed for proper flagella motility. In mammalian cells, the GAS8 protein localizes not only to the microtubule axoneme of motile cilia, but also to the base of non-motile cilia. Gas8 was recently implicated in the Hh signaling pathway as a regulator of Smoothened trafficking into the cilium. Here, we generate the first mouse with a Gas8 mutation and show that it causes severe PCD phenotypes; however, there were no overt Hh pathway phenotypes. In addition, we identified two human patients with missense variants in Gas8. Rescue experiments in Chlamydomonas revealed a subtle defect in swim velocity compared to controls. Further experiments using CRISPR/Cas9 homology driven repair (HDR) to generate one of these human missense variants in mice demonstrated that this allele is likely pathogenic.
We report that p73 is expressed in multiciliated cells (MCCs), is required for MCC differentiation, and directly regulates transcriptional modulators of multiciliogenesis. Loss of ciliary biogenesis provides a unifying mechanism for many phenotypes observed in p73 knockout mice including hydrocephalus; hippocampal dysgenesis; sterility; and chronic inflammation/infection of lung, middle ear, and sinus. Through p73 and p63 ChIP-seq using murine tracheal cells, we identified over 100 putative p73 target genes that regulate MCC differentiation and homeostasis. We validated Foxj1, a transcriptional regulator of multiciliogenesis, and many other cilia-associated genes as direct target genes of p73 and p63. We show p73 and p63 are co-expressed in a subset of basal cells and suggest that p73 marks these cells for MCC differentiation. In summary, p73 is essential for MCC differentiation, functions as a critical regulator of a transcriptome required for MCC differentiation, and, like p63, has an essential role in development of tissues.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Primary cilia are ubiquitous, microtubule-based organelles that play diverse roles in sensory transduction in many eukaryotic cells. They interrogate the cellular environment through chemosensing, osmosensing, and mechanosensing using receptors and ion channels in the ciliary membrane. Little is known about the mechanical and structural properties of the cilium and how these properties contribute to ciliary perception. We probed the mechanical responses of primary cilia from kidney epithelial cells [Madin-Darby canine kidney-II (MDCK-II)], which sense fluid flow in renal ducts. We found that, on manipulation with an optical trap, cilia deflect by bending along their length and pivoting around an effective hinge located below the basal body. The calculated bending rigidity indicates weak microtubule doublet coupling. Primary cilia of MDCK cells lack interdoublet dynein motors. Nevertheless, we found that the organelles display active motility. 3D tracking showed correlated fluctuations of the cilium and basal body. These angular movements seemed random but were dependent on ATP and cytoplasmic myosin-II in the cell cortex. We conclude that force generation by the actin cytoskeleton surrounding the basal body results in active ciliary movement. We speculate that actin-driven ciliary movement might tune and calibrate ciliary sensory functions.
BACKGROUND - Mutations in microtubule-regulating genes are associated with disorders of neuronal migration and microcephaly. Regulation of centriole length has been shown to underlie the pathogenesis of certain ciliopathy phenotypes. Using a next-generation sequencing approach, we identified mutations in a novel centriolar disease gene in a kindred with an embryonic lethal ciliopathy phenotype and in a patient with primary microcephaly.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Whole exome sequencing data from a non-consanguineous Caucasian kindred exhibiting mid-gestation lethality and ciliopathic malformations revealed two novel non-synonymous variants in CENPF, a microtubule-regulating gene. All four affected fetuses showed segregation for two mutated alleles [IVS5-2A>C, predicted to abolish the consensus splice-acceptor site from exon 6; c.1744G>T, p.E582X]. In a second unrelated patient exhibiting microcephaly, we identified two CENPF mutations [c.1744G>T, p.E582X; c.8692 C>T, p.R2898X] by whole exome sequencing. We found that CENP-F colocalised with Ninein at the subdistal appendages of the mother centriole in mouse inner medullary collecting duct cells. Intraflagellar transport protein-88 (IFT-88) colocalised with CENP-F along the ciliary axonemes of renal epithelial cells in age-matched control human fetuses but did not in truncated cilia of mutant CENPF kidneys. Pairwise co-immunoprecipitation assays of mitotic and serum-starved HEKT293 cells confirmed that IFT88 precipitates with endogenous CENP-F.
CONCLUSIONS - Our data identify CENPF as a new centriolar disease gene implicated in severe human ciliopathy and microcephaly related phenotypes. CENP-F has a novel putative function in ciliogenesis and cortical neurogenesis.
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Cilia are microtubule-based organelles that mediate signal transduction in a variety of tissues. Despite their importance, the signalling cascades that regulate cilium formation remain incompletely understood. Here we report that prostaglandin signalling affects ciliogenesis by regulating anterograde intraflagellar transport (IFT). Zebrafish leakytail (lkt) mutants show ciliogenesis defects, and the lkt locus encodes an ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABCC4). We show that Lkt/ABCC4 localizes to the cell membrane and exports prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a function that is abrogated by the Lkt/ABCC4(T804M) mutant. PGE2 synthesis enzyme cyclooxygenase-1 and its receptor, EP4, which localizes to the cilium and activates the cyclic-AMP-mediated signalling cascade, are required for cilium formation and elongation. Importantly, PGE2 signalling increases anterograde but not retrograde velocity of IFT and promotes ciliogenesis in mammalian cells. These findings lead us to propose that Lkt/ABCC4-mediated PGE2 signalling acts through a ciliary G-protein-coupled receptor, EP4, to upregulate cAMP synthesis and increase anterograde IFT, thereby promoting ciliogenesis.
Lowe syndrome is a rare X-linked congenital disease that presents with congenital cataracts and glaucoma, as well as renal and cerebral dysfunction. OCRL, an inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase, is mutated in Lowe syndrome. We previously showed that OCRL is involved in vesicular trafficking to the primary cilium. Primary cilia are sensory organelles on the surface of eukaryotic cells that mediate mechanotransduction in the kidney, brain, and bone. However, their potential role in the trabecular meshwork (TM) in the eye, which regulates intraocular pressure, is unknown. Here, we show that TM cells, which are defective in glaucoma, have primary cilia that are critical for response to pressure changes. Primary cilia in TM cells shorten in response to fluid flow and elevated hydrostatic pressure, and promote increased transcription of TNF-α, TGF-β, and GLI1 genes. Furthermore, OCRL is found to be required for primary cilia to respond to pressure stimulation. The interaction of OCRL with transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4), a ciliary mechanosensory channel, suggests that OCRL may act through regulation of this channel. A novel disease-causing OCRL allele prevents TRPV4-mediated calcium signaling. In addition, TRPV4 agonist GSK 1016790A treatment reduced intraocular pressure in mice; TRPV4 knockout animals exhibited elevated intraocular pressure and shortened cilia. Thus, mechanotransduction by primary cilia in TM cells is implicated in how the eye senses pressure changes and highlights OCRL and TRPV4 as attractive therapeutic targets for the treatment of glaucoma. Implications of OCRL and TRPV4 in primary cilia function may also shed light on mechanosensation in other organ systems.
Muscle and bone are intimately linked by bi-directional signals regulating both muscle and bone cell gene expression and proliferation. It is generally accepted that muscle cells secrete factors (myokines) that influence adjacent bone cells, but these myokines are yet to be identified. We have previously shown that osteocyte-specific deletion of the co-receptor subunit utilized by IL-6 family cytokines, glycoprotein 130 (gp130), resulted in impaired bone formation in the trabecular bone, but enhanced periosteal expansion, suggesting a gp130-dependent periosteum-specific inhibition of osteoblast function, potentially induced by the local muscle fibres. We report here that differentiated primary calvarial osteoblasts cultured in myotube-conditioned media (CM) from myogenic C2C12 cells show reduced mRNA levels of genes associated with osteoblast differentiation. Alkaline phosphatase protein activity and all mRNA markers of osteoblast differentiation in the tested panel (runx2, osterix, alkaline phosphatase, parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor, osteoprotegerin, osteocalcin, sclerostin) were reduced following culture with myotube CM. The exception was RANKL, which was significantly elevated in differentiated primary osteoblast cultures expressing osteocytic genes. A cytokine array of the C2C12 myotube-conditioned media identified TIMP-1 and MCP-1 as the most abundant myokines, but treatment with recombinant TIMP-1 or MCP-1 did not inhibit osteoblast gene expression. Rather, the IL-6 family cytokine ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), which we found abundantly expressed by mouse muscle at the transcript and protein level, reduced osteoblast gene expression, although not to the same extent as the myotube-conditioned media. These data indicate that muscle cells secrete abundant TIMP-1, MCP-1, and CNTF, and that of these, only CNTF has the ability to suppress osteoblast function and gene expression in a similar manner to myotube-conditioned medium. This suggests that CNTF is an inhibitory myokine for osteoblasts.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Reprogramming of pancreatic exocrine cells into cells resembling beta cells may provide a strategy for treating diabetes. Here we show that transient administration of epidermal growth factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor to adult mice with chronic hyperglycemia efficiently stimulates the conversion of terminally differentiated acinar cells to beta-like cells. Newly generated beta-like cells are epigenetically reprogrammed, functional and glucose responsive, and they reinstate normal glycemic control for up to 248 d. The regenerative process depends on Stat3 signaling and requires a threshold number of Neurogenin 3 (Ngn3)-expressing acinar cells. In contrast to previous work demonstrating in vivo conversion of acinar cells to beta-like cells by viral delivery of exogenous transcription factors, our approach achieves acinar-to-beta-cell reprogramming through transient cytokine exposure rather than genetic modification.