- A homozygous mutation in TRIM36 causes autosomal recessive anencephaly in an Indian family. [Journal Article]
- HMHum Mol Genet 2017 Jan 13
- Anencephaly is characterized by the absence of brain tissues and cranium. During primary neurulation stage of the embryo, the rostral part of the neural pore fails to close, leading to anencephaly. A...
Anencephaly is characterized by the absence of brain tissues and cranium. During primary neurulation stage of the embryo, the rostral part of the neural pore fails to close, leading to anencephaly. Anencephaly shows a heterogeneous etiology, ranging from environmental to genetic causes. The autosomal recessive inheritance of anencephaly has been reported in several populations. In this study, we employed whole-exome sequencing and identified a homozygous missense mutation c.1522C>A (p.Pro508Thr) in the TRIM36 gene as the cause of autosomal recessive anencephaly (APH) in an Indian family. The TRIM36 gene is expressed in the developing brain, suggesting a role in neurogenesis. In silco analysis showed that proline at codon position 508 is highly conserved in 26 vertebrate species, and the mutation is predicted to affect the conformation of the B30.2/SPRY domain of TRIM36. Both in vitro and in vivo results showed that the mutation renders the TRIM36 protein less stable. TRIM36 is known to associate with microtubules. Transient expression of the mutant TRIM36 in HeLa and LN229 cells resulted in microtubule disruption, disorganized spindles, loosely arranged chromosomes, multiple spindles, abnormal cytokinesis, reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptosis as compared to cells transfected with its wild-type counterpart. The siRNA knock down of TRIM36 in HeLa and LN229 cells also led to reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. We suggest that microtubule disruption and disorganized spindles mediated by mutant TRIM36 affect neural cell proliferation during neural tube formation, leading to anencephaly.
- A Submerged Filter Paper Sandwich for Long-term Ex Ovo Time-lapse Imaging of Early Chick Embryos. [Journal Article]
- JVJ Vis Exp 2016 Dec 28; (118)
- Due to its availability, low cost, flat geometry, and transparency, the ex ovo chick embryo has become a major vertebrate animal model for the study of morphogenetic events, such as gastrulation(2), ...
Due to its availability, low cost, flat geometry, and transparency, the ex ovo chick embryo has become a major vertebrate animal model for the study of morphogenetic events, such as gastrulation(2), neurulation(3)(-)(5), somitogenesis(6), heart bending(7,8), and brain formation(9)(-)(13), during early embryogenesis. Key to understanding morphogenetic processes is to follow them dynamically by time-lapse imaging. The acquisition of time-lapse movies of chick embryogenesis ex ovo has been limited either to short time windows or to the need for an incubator to control temperature and humidity around the embryo(14). Here, we present a new technique to culture chick embryos ex ovo for high-resolution time-lapse imaging using transmitted light microscopy. The submerged filter paper sandwich is a variant of the well-established filter paper carrier technique (EC-culture)(1) and allows for the culturing of chick embryos without the need for a climate chamber. The embryo is sandwiched between two identical filter paper carriers and is kept fully submerged in a simple, temperature-controlled medium covered by a layer of light mineral oil. Starting from the primitive streak stage (Hamburger-Hamilton stage 5, HH5)(15) up to at least the 28-somite stage (HH16)(15), embryos can be cultured with either their ventral or dorsal side up. This allows the acquisition of time-lapse movies covering about 30 hr of embryonic development. Representative time-lapse frames and movies are shown. Embryos are compared morphologically to an embryo cultured in the standard EC-culture. The submerged filter paper sandwich provides a stable environment to study early dorsal and ventral morphogenetic processes. It also allows for live fluorescence imaging and micromanipulations, such as microsurgery, bead implantation, microinjection, gene silencing, and electroporation, and has a strong potential to be combined with immersion objectives for laser-based imaging (including light-sheet microscopy).
- Calreticulin is a secreted BMP antagonist, expressed in Hensen's node during neural induction. [Journal Article]
- DBDev Biol 2017 Jan 15; 421(2):161-170
- Hensen's node is the "organizer" of the avian and mammalian early embryo. It has many functions, including neural induction and patterning of the ectoderm and mesoderm. Some of the signals responsibl...
Hensen's node is the "organizer" of the avian and mammalian early embryo. It has many functions, including neural induction and patterning of the ectoderm and mesoderm. Some of the signals responsible for these activities are known but these do not explain the full complexity of organizer activity. Here we undertake a functional screen to discover new secreted factors expressed by the node at this time of development. Using a Signal Sequence Trap in yeast, we identify several candidates. Here we focus on Calreticulin. We show that in addition to its known functions in intracellular Calcium regulation and protein folding, Calreticulin is secreted, it can bind to BMP4 and act as a BMP antagonist in vivo and in vitro. Calreticulin is not sufficient to account for all organizer functions but may contribute to the complexity of its activity.
- Neuroembryology. [Review]
- WIWiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol 2017; 6(1)
- How is it that some cells become neurons? And how is it that neurons become organized in the spinal cord and brain to allow us to walk and talk, to see, recall events in our lives, feel pain, keep ou...
How is it that some cells become neurons? And how is it that neurons become organized in the spinal cord and brain to allow us to walk and talk, to see, recall events in our lives, feel pain, keep our balance, and think? The cells that are specified to form the brain and spinal cord are originally located on the outside surface of the embryo. They loop inward to form the neural tube in a process called neurulation. Structures that are nearby send signals to the posterior neural tube to form and pattern the spinal cord so that the dorsal side receives sensory input and the ventral side sends motor signals from neurons to muscles. In the brain, stem cells near the center of the neural tube migrate out to form a mantel zone, and a set of dividing cells from the mantle zone migrate further to produce a second set of neurons at the outer surface of the brain. These neurons will form the cerebral cortex, which contains six discrete layers. Each layer has different connections and different functions. WIREs Dev Biol 2017, 6:e215. doi: 10.1002/wdev.215 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.
- Sensory evolution in blind cavefish is driven by early embryonic events during gastrulation and neurulation. [Journal Article]
- DDevelopment 2016 Dec 01; 143(23):4521-4532
- Natural variations in sensory systems constitute adaptive responses to the environment. Here, we compared sensory placode development in the blind cave-adapted morph and the eyed river-dwelling morph...
Natural variations in sensory systems constitute adaptive responses to the environment. Here, we compared sensory placode development in the blind cave-adapted morph and the eyed river-dwelling morph of Astyanax mexicanus Focusing on the lens and olfactory placodes, we found a trade-off between these two sensory components in the two morphs: from neural plate stage onwards, cavefish have larger olfactory placodes and smaller lens placodes. In a search for developmental mechanisms underlying cavefish sensory evolution, we analyzed the roles of Shh, Fgf8 and Bmp4 signaling, which are known to be fundamental in patterning the vertebrate head and are subtly modulated in space and time during cavefish embryogenesis. Modulating these signaling systems at the end of gastrulation shifted the balance toward a larger olfactory derivative. Olfactory tests to assess potential behavioral outcomes of such developmental evolution revealed that Astyanax cavefish are able to respond to a 10(5)-fold lower concentration of amino acids than their surface-dwelling counterparts. We suggest that similar evolutionary developmental mechanisms may be used throughout vertebrates to drive adaptive sensory specializations according to lifestyle and habitat.
- Nodal and FGF coordinate ascidian neural tube morphogenesis. [Journal Article]
- DDevelopment 2016 Dec 15; 143(24):4665-4675
- Formation of the vertebrate neural tube represents one of the premier examples of morphogenesis in animal development. Here, we investigate this process in the simple chordate Ciona intestinalis Prev...
Formation of the vertebrate neural tube represents one of the premier examples of morphogenesis in animal development. Here, we investigate this process in the simple chordate Ciona intestinalis Previous studies have implicated Nodal and FGF signals in the specification of lateral and ventral neural progenitors. We show that these signals also control the detailed cellular behaviors underlying morphogenesis of the neural tube. Live-imaging experiments show that FGF controls the intercalary movements of ventral neural progenitors, whereas Nodal is essential for the characteristic stacking behavior of lateral cells. Ectopic activation of FGF signaling is sufficient to induce intercalary behaviors in cells that have not received Nodal. In the absence of FGF and Nodal, neural progenitors exhibit a default behavior of sequential cell divisions, and fail to undergo the intercalary and stacking behaviors essential for normal morphogenesis. Thus, cell specification events occurring prior to completion of gastrulation coordinate the morphogenetic movements underlying the organization of the neural tube.
- Unjoined primary and secondary neural tubes: junctional neural tube defect, a new form of spinal dysraphism caused by disturbance of junctional neurulation. [Journal Article]
- CNChilds Nerv Syst 2016 Oct 29
- CONCLUSIONS: The developmental error of this peculiar malformation probably occurs during the critical transition between the end of primary and the beginning of secondary neurulation, in a stage aptly called junctional neurulation. We describe the current knowledge concerning junctional neurulation and speculate on the embryogenesis of this new class of spinal dysraphism, which we call junctional neural tube defect.
- Localization and distribution of superoxide dismutase-1 in the neural tube morphogenesis of chick embryo. [Journal Article]
- IJInt J Dev Neurosci 2016 Oct 22; 56:1-9
- Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD- 1) is an antioxidant enzyme that regulates the levels of Reactive oxygen species (ROS) by catalyzing the conversion of superoxide radical into hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) an...
Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD- 1) is an antioxidant enzyme that regulates the levels of Reactive oxygen species (ROS) by catalyzing the conversion of superoxide radical into hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and oxygen. ROS are known to play a significant role in various cellular processes, via redox modification of a variety of molecules that participate in signaling pathways involved in this processes. As the levels of ROS in cells are controlled by the levels of antioxidant enzymes, thus SOD-1 may be indirectly involved in regulating different cellular processes by maintaining the required levels of H2O2. Therefore, in the present study we have investigated the possible involvement of SOD- 1 in the neurulation during the development of chick embryo. During gastrulation, SOD- 1 immunoreactivity was observed throughout the ectoderm and cauda mesoderm areas, however, its presence during neurulation was restricted to certain areas of neural tube particularly in the dorsal neural tube where neural tube closure takes place. Assaying enzyme activity revealed a significant increase in the SOD activity during neurulation. Further, inhibition of SOD- 1 by Diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC) induced abnormalities in the development of the neural tube. SOD- 1 inhibition specifically affected the closure of neural tube in the anterior region. Thus, here we report the presence of SOD- 1 mainly in the ectoderm and tissues of ectodermal origin during gastrulation to neurulation which suggests that it may be involved in the regulating the cellular processes during neural tube morphogenesis.
- Rho GTPases in mammalian spinal neural tube closure. [Journal Article]
- SGSmall GTPases 2016 Oct 21; :1-7
- Neural tube closure is an important morphogenetic event that involves dramatic reshaping of both neural and non-neural tissues. Rho GTPases are key cytoskeletal regulators involved in cell motility a...
Neural tube closure is an important morphogenetic event that involves dramatic reshaping of both neural and non-neural tissues. Rho GTPases are key cytoskeletal regulators involved in cell motility and in several developmental processes, and are thus expected to play pivotal roles in neurulation. Here, we discuss 2 recent studies that shed light on the roles of distinct Rho GTPases in different tissues during neurulation. RhoA plays an essential role in regulating actomyosin dynamics in the neural epithelium of the elevating neural folds, while Rac1 is required for the formation of cell protrusions in the non-neural surface ectoderm during neural fold fusion.
New Search Next
- Genetic backgrounds and modifier genes of NTD mouse models: An opportunity for greater understanding of the multifactorial etiology of neural tube defects. [Review]
- BDBirth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol 2016 Oct 21
- Neurulation, the early embryonic process of forming the presumptive brain and spinal cord, is highly complex and involves hundreds of genes in multiple genetic pathways. Mice have long served as a ge...
Neurulation, the early embryonic process of forming the presumptive brain and spinal cord, is highly complex and involves hundreds of genes in multiple genetic pathways. Mice have long served as a genetic model for studying human neurulation, and the resulting neural tube defects (NTDs) that arise when neurulation is disrupted. Because mice appear to show mostly single gene inheritance for NTDs and humans show multifactorial inheritance, mice sometimes have been characterized as a simpler model for the identification and study of NTD genes. But are they a simple model? When viewed on different genetic backgrounds, many genes show significant variation in the penetrance and expressivity of NTD phenotypes, suggesting the presence of modifier loci that interact with the target gene to affect the phenotypic expression. Looking at mutations on different genetic backgrounds provides us with an opportunity to explore these complex genetic interactions, which are likely to better emulate similar processes in human neurulation. Here, we review NTD genes known to show strain-specific phenotypic variation. We focus particularly on the gene Cecr2, which is studied using both a hypomorphic and a presumptive null mutation on two different backgrounds: one susceptible (BALB/c) and one resistant (FVB/N) to NTDs. This strain difference has led to a search for genetic modifiers within a region on murine chromosome 19. Understanding how genetic variants alter the phenotypic outcome in NTD mouse models will help to direct future studies in humans, particularly now that more genome wide sequencing approaches are being used. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.