Human BMP sequences can confer normal dorsal-ventral patterning in the Drosophila embryo.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 90:2905-9. Abstract
The type beta transforming growth factor family is composed of a series of processed, secreted growth factors, several of which have been implicated in important regulatory roles in cell determination, inductive interactions, and tissue differentiation. Among these factors, the sequence of the DPP protein from Drosophila is most similar to two of the vertebrate bone morphogenetic proteins, BMP2 and BMP4. Here we report that the human BMP4 ligand sequences can function in lieu of DPP in Drosophila embryos. We introduced the ligand region from human BMP4 into a genomic fragment of the dpp gene in place of the Drosophila ligand sequences and recovered transgenic flies by P-element transformation. We find that this chimeric dpp-BMP4 transgene can completely rescue the embryonic dorsal-ventral patterning defect of null dpp mutant genotypes. We infer that the chimeric DPP-BMP4 protein can be processed properly and, by analogy with the action of other family members, can activate the endogenous DPP receptor to carry out the events necessary for dorsal-ventral patterning. Our evidence suggests that the DPP-BMP4 signal transduction pathway has been functionally conserved for at least 600 million years.
TGFβ superfamily signaling: notes from the desert.
Development (Cambridge, England). 134:3565-9. Abstract
The TGFbeta pathways play crucial roles in many developmental events, as well as contributing to many disease states. To provide a venue for both signaling and developmental research on TGFbeta, a FASEB-sponsored bi-annual meeting was initiated six years ago, the fourth of which was organized by Caroline Hill and Michael O'Connor and took place this July in Tucson, Arizona. The meeting highlighted major advances in our understanding of the structural and biochemical aspects of TGFbeta superfamily signaling, its intersection with other pathways, and its contribution to disease.
New developments for TGFβ.
Developmental cell. 1:343-9. Abstract
A recent FASEB meeting was held in Tucson, Arizona that encompassed TGFbeta superfamily signaling pathways and their roles in development. This review focuses on the developmental biology presented at the meeting.
TGFβ signaling pathways and human diseases.
Cancer metastasis reviews. 18:247-59. Abstract
Recent progress in deciphering the TGFbeta pathway has uncovered a new signaling molecule, the Smads, and with this finding now gives us insights into how TGFbeta-like signals are transmitted from outside the cell to the nucleus. As we learn more about how TGFbeta regulates normal development, we also are gaining insights into diseases that are caused by mis-regulation or mutation of various components of the signaling pathways.
TGF-β signaling, Smads, and tumor suppressors.
BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. 20:382-90. Abstract
The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily is used throughout animal development for regulating the growth and patterning of many tissue types. During the past few years, rapid progress has been made in deciphering how TGF-beta signals are transduced from outside the cell to the nucleus. This progress is based on biochemical studies in vertebrate systems and a combination of genetic studies in Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans. These studies have identified a novel family of signaling proteins, the Smad family. Smads can act positively and be phosphorylated by TGF-beta-like receptors or can act negatively and prevent activation of the positively acting group. The positively acting Smads translocate to the nucleus, bind DNA, and act as transcriptional activators. Thus, genetic and biochemical studies suggest a very simple signaling pathway, in which Smads are the primary downstream participant.
Intracellular signaling: Fleshing out the TGFβ pathway.
Current biology : CB. 9:R408-11. Abstract
Recent studies of the intracellular signaling pathway initiated by ligands of the transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) family have provided new insights into how the receptors for such ligands phosphorylate their substrates - the Smads - and how signaling specificity is achieved.
The F-type 5' motif of mouse L1 elements: a major class of L1 termini similar to the A-type in organization but unrelated in sequence.
Nucleic Acids Res. 16:739-49. Abstract
It has previously been shown that the L1 family in the mouse (L1Md) contains two alternative 5' ends called the A- and F-type sequences (1,2). We show here that the F-type element is a major class of murine L1 elements and report on the details of organization of the 5' motif of these F-type elements. Although the A- and F-type 5' sequences share no detectable sequence homology the organization of an F-type 5' end is strikingly similar to that of an A-type. That is, the F-type 5' sequences consist of a tandem array of a small number of 206 bp monomers while the A-type 5' motif consists of a tandem array of 208 bp monomers. All of the A-type elements characterized to date have a truncated monomer at the 5' end of the array. Many of the F-type elements are also terminated at the 5' end by a truncated copy but unlike the A-type elements some F-type elements terminate with a monomer which is within a few nucleotides of being complete. In addition the F-type consensus sequence, in contrast to the A-type sequence, shows homology (70%) to the body of the L1Md starting at the position where the monomer joins the rest of the L1 element.
The molecular organization of the β-globin complex of the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus.
Molecular biology and evolution. 4:30-45. Abstract
Recombinant DNA clones have been isolated that contain 80 kb of the beta-globin complex from the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus. Comparisons of this complex with that from the laboratory mouse, Mus domesticus (with an order 5'-Hbby, Hbb-bhO, Hbb-bhl, Hbb-bh2, Hbb-bh3, Hbb-bl, Hbb-b2 3') highlight organizational trends in the beta-globin complex since the two species diverged. Unlike other mammals studied thus far, the deer mouse possesses three adult genes. Partial sequence analysis indicates that each of the three adult genes is intact and hence may be functional. Hybridization of one of the two Mus pseudogenes, Hbb-bh3, to genomic blots from Peromyscus reveals that it has a homologous counterpart in Peromyscus. Homologous genes to the two gamma-like Mus genes, Hbb-bhO and Hbb-bhl, are also found in Peromyscus. The strong hybridization between the Hbb-bhl genes and significant nucleotide similarity between the Hbb-bhO genes suggest that both pairs are important for the ontogeny of these mice although no known product has been identified for the Hbb-bhO genes. The presence of Hbb-bhO and Hbb-bhl in Peromyscus suggests that the duplication that created this related gene set occurred before the two lineages diverged. A single gene for Hbb-y has been isolated from Peromyscus. The adult region in Peromyscus has undergone significant divergence from the same region in Mus, having three rather than two adult genes, the acquisition of at least 15 kb of extra DNA relative to Mus, and possibly the loss of the Hbb-bh2 pseudogene. The nonadult region of the complex, in contrast, contains the same set of genes apparently distributed over the same amount of DNA as in the Mus beta-globin complex. This observation suggests that the embryonic region of the complex is more evolutionarily stable than the adult region.
A transcript from a Drosophila pattern gene predicts a protein homologous to the transforming growth factor-β family.
Nature. 325:81-4. Abstract
The decapentaplegic gene complex (DPP-C) has been implicated in several events in pattern formation during Drosophila development. During embryogenesis, the DPP-C participates in the establishment of dorsal-ventral specification. Later, it is required for the correct morphogenesis of the imaginal disks, which will form much of the adult epidermis. We have undertaken a molecular analysis of the DPP-C to determine what role it plays in positional information. It appears to be a large genetic unit (greater than 40 kilobases (kb] consisting mostly of cis-regulatory information controlling the expression of a set of overlapping transcripts that differ at their 5' ends, but share the bulk of their transcribed sequences. Here, we describe the sequence analysis of two complementary DNAs comprising 4.0 kb of a 4.5-kb transcript. The C-terminus of the protein thereby deduced exhibits strong sequence homology (25-38% amino-acid identity) to the C-termini of a class of mammalian proteins that includes transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), inhibin and Müllerian inhibiting substance (MIS). These proteins act on target cells to produce a variety of responses, such as stimulation or inhibition of cell division or differentiation. The homology suggests that the DPP-C protein contributes to correct morphogenesis as a secreted factor involved in the differential regulation of cell growth. This is the first report of a member of the TGF-beta gene family in a non-mammalian organism, and indicates that one or more members of this gene family existed before arthropod and vertebrate lineages diverged.
Genetic and biochemical analysis of TGFβ signal transduction.
Cytokine & growth factor reviews. 8:1-9. Abstract
TGF beta-like ligands are involved in many different developmental processes that pattern a variety of tissues in invertebrates and vertebrates. In the last few years, rapid progress has been made toward elucidating the developmental roles of the TGF beta-like pathways and identifying the novel components involved in transducing their signals, particularly the newly discovered Smads. This rapid progress has been the result of a synergy between classical genetic approaches and biochemical approaches, and this combined approach is likely to propel future understanding of the signaling pathway used by TGF beta.
Smads are the central component in transforming growth factor-β signaling.
Pharmacology & therapeutics. 78:47-52. Abstract
Until recently, little was known about how transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta signals are transduced to the nucleus. With the discovery of the Smad proteins initially in Drosophila and C. elegans, the unraveling of the pathway has begun. Nine different vertebrate members also have been reported, indicating that Smads are a conserved component of the TGF-beta pathway. Currently, there are three functional classes of Smads. Class I Smads are phosphorylated by TGF-beta receptors and move to the nucleus. The Class II Smads function with Class I Smads, while Class III Smads antagonize the function of Class I Smads. New evidence shows that Smads bind specific DNA sequences and induce transcription of downstream target genes, thus placing the Smads at the center of the TGF-beta signaling pathway.
Genetic studies of mei-P26 reveal a link between the processes that control germ cell proliferation in both sexes and those that control meiotic exchange in Drosophila.
Genetics. 155:1757-72.. Abstract
We present the cloning and characterization of mei-P26, a novel P- element-induced exchange-defective female meiotic mutant in Drosophila melanogaster. Meiotic exchange in females homozygous for mei-P26(1) is reduced in a polar fashion, such that distal chromosomal regions are the most severely affected. Additional alleles generated by duplication of the P element reveal that mei-P26 is also necessary for germline differentiation in both females and males. To further assess the role of mei-P26 in germline differentiation, we tested double mutant combinations of mei-P26 and bag-of-marbles (bam), a gene necessary for the control of germline differentiation and proliferation in both sexes. A null mutation at the bam locus was found to act as a dominant enhancer of mei-P26 in both males and females. Interestingly, meiotic exchange in mei-P26(1); bam(Delta)(86)/+ females is also severely decreased in comparison to mei-P26(1) homozygotes, indicating that bam affects the meiotic phenotype as well. These data suggest that the pathways controlling germline differentiation and meiotic exchange are related and that factors involved in the mitotic divisions of the germline may regulate meiotic recombination.
Signal transduction by the Fat cytoplasmic domain.. Abstract
The large atypical cadherin Fat is a receptor for both Hippo and planar cell polarity (PCP) pathways. Here we investigate the molecular basis for signal transduction downstream of Fat by creating targeted alterations within a genomic construct that contains the entire fat locus, and by monitoring and manipulating the membrane localization of the Fat pathway component Dachs. We establish that the human Fat homolog FAT4 lacks the ability to transduce Hippo signaling in Drosophila, but can transduce Drosophila PCP signaling. Targeted deletion of conserved motifs identifies a four amino acid C-terminal motif that is essential for aspects of Fat-mediated PCP, and other internal motifs that contribute to Fat-Hippo signaling. Fat-Hippo signaling requires the Drosophila Casein kinase 1_ encoded by discs overgrown (Dco), and we characterize candidate Dco phosphorylation sites in the Fat intracellular domain (ICD), the mutation of which impairs Fat-Hippo signaling. Through characterization of Dachs localization and directed membrane targeting of Dachs, we show that localization of Dachs influences both the Hippo and PCP pathways. Our results identify a conservation of Fat-PCP signaling mechanisms, establish distinct functions for different regions of the Fat ICD, support the correlation of Fat ICD phosphorylation with Fat-Hippo signaling, and confirm the importance of Dachs membrane localization to downstream signaling pathways.
Notch ligands are substrates for protein O-fucosyltransferase-1 and Fringe.
The Journal of biological chemistry. 277:29945-52. Abstract
O-Fucose has been identified on epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) repeats of Notch, and elongation of O-fucose has been implicated in the modulation of Notch signaling by Fringe. O-Fucose modifications are also predicted to occur on Notch ligands based on the presence of the C(2)XXGG(S/T)C(3) consensus site (where S/T is the modified amino acid) in a number of the EGF repeats of these proteins. Here we establish that both mammalian and Drosophila Notch ligands are modified with O-fucose glycans, demonstrating that the consensus site was useful for making predictions. The presence of O-fucose on Notch ligands raised the question of whether Fringe, an O-fucose specific beta 1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase, was capable of modifying O-fucose on the ligands. Indeed, O-fucose on mammalian Delta 1 and Jagged1 can be elongated with Manic Fringe in vivo, and Drosophila Delta and Serrate are substrates for Drosophila Fringe in vitro. These results raise the interesting possibility that alteration of O-fucose glycans on Notch ligands could play a role in the mechanism of Fringe action on Notch signaling. As an initial step to begin addressing the role of the O-fucose glycans on Notch ligands in Notch signaling, a number of mutations in predicted O-fucose glycosylation sites on Drosophila Serrate have been generated. Interestingly, analysis of these mutants has revealed that O-fucose modifications occur on some EGF repeats not predicted by the C(2)XXGGS/TC(3) consensus site. A revised, broad consensus site, C(2)X(3-5)S/TC(3) (where X(3-5) are any 3-5 amino acid residues), is proposed.
Modulators of Notch signaling.
Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology. 9:609-17. Abstract
In addition to the core components of the Notch pathway, a number of proteins have been identified that exert positive or negative influences on Notch signaling. These include extracellular modulators, which may influence binding or activation of Notch by its ligands, cytoplasmic modulators, which presumably influence signal transduction steps after receptor activation, and nuclear modulators, which may influence the transcriptional activity of a Notch-CSL protein complex. Many of the cytoplasmic and nuclear modulators appear to bind directly to discrete domains within the intracellular domain of Notch. Genetic studies indicate that distinct modulators are deployed during distinct modes of Notch signaling.
Fringe modulates Notch-ligand interactions.
Nature. 387:908-12. Abstract
The Notch family of transmembrane receptor proteins mediate developmental cell-fate decisions, and mutations in mammalian Notch genes have been implicated in leukaemia, breast cancer, stroke and dementia. During wing development in Drosophila, the Notch receptor is activated along the border between dorsal and ventral cells, leading to the specification of specialized cells that express Wingless (Wg) and organize wing growth and patterning. Three genes, fringe (fng), Serrate (Ser) and Delta (Dl), are involved in the cellular interactions leading to Notch activation. Ser and Dl encode transmembrane ligands for Notch, whereas fng encodes a pioneer protein. We have investigated the relationship between these genes by a combination of expression and coexpression studies in the Drosophila wing. We found that Ser and Dl maintain each other's expression by a positive feedback loop. fng is expressed specifically by dorsal cells and functions to position and restrict this feedback loop to the developing dorsal-ventral boundary. This is achieved by fng through a cell-autonomous mechanism that inhibits a cell's ability to respond to Serrate protein and potentiates its ability to respond to Delta protein.
Dorsal-ventral signaling in the Drosophila eye.
Science. 281:2031-4. Abstract
The development of the Drosophila eye has served as a model system for investigations of tissue patterning and cell-cell communication; however, early eye development has not been well understood. The results presented here indicate that specialized cells are established along the dorsal-ventral midline of the developing eye by Notch-mediated signaling between dorsal and ventral cells, and that Notch activation at the midline plays an essential role both in promoting the growth of the eye primordia and in regulating eye patterning. These observations imply that the developmental homology between Drosophila wings and vertebrate limbs extends to Drosophila eyes.
The ubiquitin ligase RPM-1 and the p38 MAPK PMK-3 regulate AMPA receptor trafficking.
PLoS One. 4:e4284. Abstract
Ubiquitination occurs at synapses, yet its role remains unclear. Previous studies demonstrated that the RPM-1 ubiquitin ligase organizes presynaptic boutons at neuromuscular junctions in C. elegans motorneurons. Here we find that RPM-1 has a novel postsynaptic role in interneurons, where it regulates the trafficking of the AMPA-type glutamate receptor GLR-1 from synapses into endosomes. Mutations in rpm-1 cause the aberrant accumulation of GLR-1 in neurites. Moreover, rpm-1 mutations enhance the endosomal accumulation of GLR-1 observed in mutants for lin-10, a Mint2 ortholog that promotes GLR-1 recycling from Syntaxin-13 containing endosomes. As in motorneurons, RPM-1 negatively regulates the pmk-3/p38 MAPK pathway in interneurons by repressing the protein levels of the MAPKKK DLK-1. This regulation of PMK-3 signaling is critical for RPM-1 function with respect to GLR-1 trafficking, as pmk-3 mutations suppress both lin-10 and rpm-1 mutations. Positive or negative changes in endocytosis mimic the effects of rpm-1 or pmk-3 mutations, respectively, on GLR-1 trafficking. Specifically, RAB-5(GDP), an inactive mutant of RAB-5 that reduces endocytosis, mimics the effect of pmk-3 mutations when introduced into wild-type animals, and occludes the effect of pmk-3 mutations when introduced into pmk-3 mutants. By contrast, RAB-5(GTP), which increases endocytosis, suppresses the effect of pmk-3 mutations, mimics the effect of rpm-1 mutations, and occludes the effect of rpm-1 mutations. Our findings indicate a novel specialized role for RPM-1 and PMK-3/p38 MAPK in regulating the endosomal trafficking of AMPARs at central synapses.
Hypoxia regulates glutamate receptor trafficking through an HIF-independent mechanism..
EMBO Journal. Epub ahead of print Abstract
Oxygen influences behaviour in many organisms, with low levels (hypoxia) having devastating consequences for neuron survival. How neurons respond physiologically to counter the effects of hypoxia is not fully understood. Here, we show that hypoxia regulates the trafficking of the glutamate receptor GLR-1 in C. elegans neurons. Either hypoxia or mutations in egl-9, a prolyl hydroxylase cellular oxygen sensor, result in the internalization of GLR-1, the reduction of glutamate-activated currents, and the depression of GLR-1-mediated behaviours. Surprisingly, hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1, the canonical substrate of EGL-9, is not required for this effect. Instead, EGL-9 interacts with the Mint orthologue LIN-10, a mediator of GLR-1 membrane recycling, to promote LIN-10 subcellular localization in an oxygen-dependent manner. The observed effects of hypoxia and egl-9 mutations require the activity of the proline-directed CDK-5 kinase and the CDK-5 phosphorylation sites on LIN-10, suggesting that EGL-9 and CDK-5 compete in an oxygen-dependent manner to regulate LIN-10 activity and thus GLR-1 trafficking. Our findings demonstrate a novel mechanism by which neurons sense and respond to hypoxia.
CARPEL FACTORY, a Dicer homolog, and HEN1, a novel protein, act in microRNA metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Current biology : CB. 12:1484-95. Abstract
BACKGROUND: In metazoans, microRNAs, or miRNAs, constitute a growing family of small regulatory RNAs that are usually 19-25 nucleotides in length. They are processed from longer precursor RNAs that fold into stem-loop structures by the ribonuclease Dicer and are thought to regulate gene expression by base pairing with RNAs of protein-coding genes. In Arabidopsis thaliana, mutations in CARPEL FACTORY (CAF), a Dicer homolog, and those in a novel gene, HEN1, result in similar, multifaceted developmental defects, suggesting a similar function of the two genes, possibly in miRNA metabolism.RESULTS: To investigate the potential functions of CAF and HEN1 in miRNA metabolism, we aimed to isolate miRNAs from Arabidopsis and examine their accumulation during plant development in wild-type plants and in hen1-1 and caf-1 mutant plants. We have isolated 11 miRNAs, some of which have potential homologs in tobacco, rice, and maize. The putative precursors of these miRNAs have the capacity to form stable stem-loop structures. The accumulation of these miRNAs appears to be spatially or temporally controlled in plant development, and their abundance is greatly reduced in caf-1 and hen1-1 mutants. HEN1 homologs are found in bacterial, fungal, and metazoan genomes.CONCLUSIONS: miRNAs are present in both plant and animal kingdoms. An evolutionarily conserved mechanism involving a protein, known as Dicer in animals and CAF in Arabidopsis, operates in miRNA metabolism. HEN1 is a new player in miRNA accumulation in Arabidopsis, and HEN1 homologs in metazoans may have a similar function. The developmental defects associated with caf-1 and hen1-1 mutations and the patterns of miRNA accumulation suggest that miRNAs play fundamental roles in plant development.
Structure of the CAP-DNA complex at 2.5 angstroms resolution: a complete picture of the protein-DNA interface..
Journal of molecular biology. 260(3):395-408. Abstract
The crystallographic structure of the CAP-DNA complex at 3.0 A resolution has been reported previously. For technical reasons, the reported structure had been determined using a gapped DNA molecule lacking two phosphates important for CAP-DNA interaction. In this work, we report the crystallographic structure of the CAP-DNA complex at 2.5 A resolution using a DNA molecule having all phosphates important for CAP-DNA interaction. The present resolution permits unambiguous identification of amino acid-base and amino acid-phosphate hydrogen bonded contacts in the CAP-DNA complex. In addition, the present resolution permits accurate definition of the kinked DNA conformation in the CAP-DNA complex.
The Sorghum bicolor genome and the diversification of grasses.
Nature. 457:551-6. Abstract
Sorghum, an African grass related to sugar cane and maize, is grown for food, feed, fibre and fuel. We present an initial analysis of the approximately 730-megabase Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench genome, placing approximately 98% of genes in their chromosomal context using whole-genome shotgun sequence validated by genetic, physical and syntenic information. Genetic recombination is largely confined to about one-third of the sorghum genome with gene order and density similar to those of rice. Retrotransposon accumulation in recombinationally recalcitrant heterochromatin explains the approximately 75% larger genome size of sorghum compared with rice. Although gene and repetitive DNA distributions have been preserved since palaeopolyploidization approximately 70 million years ago, most duplicated gene sets lost one member before the sorghum-rice divergence. Concerted evolution makes one duplicated chromosomal segment appear to be only a few million years old. About 24% of genes are grass-specific and 7% are sorghum-specific. Recent gene and microRNA duplications may contribute to sorghum's drought tolerance.
TGFβ-related pathways. Roles in Caenorhabditis elegans development.
Trends Genet. 16:27-33. Abstract
Genetic and molecular analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans has produced new insights into how TGF beta-related pathways transduce signals and the developmental processes in which they function. These pathways are essential regulators of dauer formation, body-size determination, male copulatory structures and axonal guidance. Here, we review the insights that have come from standard molecular genetic experiments and discuss how the recently completed genome sequence has contributed to our understanding of these pathways.