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J. Dev. Biol., Volume 10, Issue 1 (March 2022) – 14 articles

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Article
The Hippo Pathway Effectors YAP/TAZ Are Essential for Mineralized Tissue Homeostasis in the Alveolar Bone/Periodontal Complex
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010014 - 01 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1196
Abstract
YAP and TAZ are essential transcriptional co-activators and downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway, regulating cell proliferation, organ growth, and tissue homeostasis. To ask how the Hippo pathway affects mineralized tissue homeostasis in a tissue that is highly reliant on a tight homeostatic [...] Read more.
YAP and TAZ are essential transcriptional co-activators and downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway, regulating cell proliferation, organ growth, and tissue homeostasis. To ask how the Hippo pathway affects mineralized tissue homeostasis in a tissue that is highly reliant on a tight homeostatic control of mineralized deposition and resorption, we determined the effects of YAP/TAZ dysregulation on the periodontal tissues alveolar bone, root cementum, and periodontal ligament. Loss of YAP/TAZ was associated with a reduction of mineralized tissue density in cellular cementum and alveolar bone, a downregulation in collagen I, alkaline phosphatase, and RUNX2 gene expression, an increase in the resorption markers TRAP and cathepsin K, and elevated numbers of TRAP-stained osteoclasts. Cyclic strain applied to periodontal ligament cells resulted in YAP nuclear localization, an effect that was abolished after blocking YAP. The rescue of YAP signaling with the heparan sulfate proteoglycan agrin resulted in a return of the nuclear YAP signal. Illustrating the key role of YAP on mineralization gene expression, the YAP inhibition-related downregulation of mineralization-associated genes was reversed by the extracellular matrix YAP activator agrin. Application of the unopposed mouse molar model to transform the periodontal ligament into an unloaded state and facilitate the distal drift of teeth resulted in an overall increase in mineralization-associated gene expression, an effect that was 10–20% diminished in Wnt1Cre/YAP/TAZ mutant mice. The unloaded state of the unopposed molar model in Wnt1Cre/YAP/TAZ mutant mice also caused a significant three-fold increase in osteoclast numbers, a substantial increase in bone/cementum resorption, pronounced periodontal ligament hyalinization, and thickened periodontal fiber bundles. Together, these data demonstrated that YAP/TAZ signaling is essential for the microarchitectural integrity of the periodontium by regulating mineralization gene expression and preventing excessive resorption during bodily movement of the dentoalveolar complex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by JDB’s Editorial Board Members)
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Review
Micromanagement of Drosophila Post-Embryonic Development by Hox Genes
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 13; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010013 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1074
Abstract
Hox genes function early in development to determine regional identity in animals. Consequently, the loss or gain of Hox gene expression can change this identity and cause homeotic transformations. Over 20 years ago, it was observed that the role of Hox genes in [...] Read more.
Hox genes function early in development to determine regional identity in animals. Consequently, the loss or gain of Hox gene expression can change this identity and cause homeotic transformations. Over 20 years ago, it was observed that the role of Hox genes in patterning animal body plans involves the fine-scale regulation of cell fate and identity during development, playing the role of ‘micromanagers’ as proposed by Michael Akam in key perspective papers. Therefore, as well as specifying where structures develop on animal bodies, Hox genes can help to precisely sculpt their morphology. Here, we review work that has provided important insights about the roles of Hox genes in influencing cell fate during post-embryonic development in Drosophila to regulate fine-scale patterning and morphology. We also explore how this is achieved through the regulation of Hox genes, specific co-factors and their complex regulation of hundreds of target genes. We argue that further investigating the regulation and roles of Hox genes in Drosophila post-embryonic development has great potential for understanding gene regulation, cell fate and phenotypic differentiation more generally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hox Genes in Development: New Paradigms)
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Article
Lizard Blastema Organoid Model Recapitulates Regenerated Tail Chondrogenesis
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010012 - 10 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1158
Abstract
(1) Background: Lizard tail regeneration provides a unique model of blastema-based tissue regeneration for large-scale appendage replacement in amniotes. Green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) blastemas contain fibroblastic connective tissue cells (FCTCs), which respond to hedgehog signaling to create cartilage in vivo. However, [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Lizard tail regeneration provides a unique model of blastema-based tissue regeneration for large-scale appendage replacement in amniotes. Green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) blastemas contain fibroblastic connective tissue cells (FCTCs), which respond to hedgehog signaling to create cartilage in vivo. However, an in vitro model of the blastema has not previously been achieved in culture. (2) Methods: By testing two adapted tissue dissociation protocols and two optimized media formulations, lizard tail FCTCs were pelleted in vitro and grown in a micromass blastema organoid culture. Pellets were analyzed by histology and in situ hybridization for FCTC and cartilage markers alongside staged original and regenerating lizard tails. (3) Results: Using an optimized serum-free media and a trypsin- and collagenase II-based dissociation protocol, micromass blastema organoids were formed. Organoid cultures expressed FCTC marker CDH11 and produced cartilage in response to hedgehog signaling in vitro, mimicking in vivo blastema and tail regeneration. (4) Conclusions: Lizard tail blastema regeneration can be modeled in vitro using micromass organoid culture, recapitulating in vivo FCTC marker expression patterns and chondrogenic potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lizards As Reptilian Models To Analyze Organ Regeneration in Amniotes)
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Review
Genetic and Molecular Determinants of Lymphatic Malformations: Potential Targets for Therapy
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 11; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010011 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1204
Abstract
Lymphatic malformations are fluid-filled congenital defects of lymphatic channels occurring in 1 in 6000 to 16,000 patients. There are various types, and they often exist in conjunction with other congenital anomalies and vascular malformations. Great strides have been made in understanding these malformations [...] Read more.
Lymphatic malformations are fluid-filled congenital defects of lymphatic channels occurring in 1 in 6000 to 16,000 patients. There are various types, and they often exist in conjunction with other congenital anomalies and vascular malformations. Great strides have been made in understanding these malformations in recent years. This review summarize known molecular and embryological precursors for lymphangiogenesis. Gene mutations and dysregulations implicated in pathogenesis of lymphatic malformations are discussed. Finally, we touch on current and developing therapies with special attention on targeted biotherapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Development: Focus on Rare Congenital Diseases)
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Article
Actin Filament in the First Cell Cycle Contributes to the Determination of the Anteroposterior Axis in Ascidian Development
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010010 - 04 Feb 2022
Viewed by 998
Abstract
In many animal species, the body axis is determined by the relocalization of maternal determinants, organelles, or unique cell populations in a cytoskeleton-dependent manner. In the ascidian first cell cycle, the myoplasm, including mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and maternal mRNAs, move to the [...] Read more.
In many animal species, the body axis is determined by the relocalization of maternal determinants, organelles, or unique cell populations in a cytoskeleton-dependent manner. In the ascidian first cell cycle, the myoplasm, including mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and maternal mRNAs, move to the future posterior side concomitantly (called ooplasmic segregation or cytoplasmic and cortical reorganization). This translocation consists of first and second phases depending on the actin and microtubule, respectively. However, the transition from first to second phase, that is, translocation of myoplasmic components from microfilaments to microtubules, has been poorly investigated. In this study, we analyzed the relationship between these cytoskeletons and myoplasmic components during the first cell cycle and their role in morphogenesis by inhibitor experiments. Owing to our improved visualization techniques, there was unexpected F-actin accumulation at the vegetal pole during this transition period. When this F-actin was depolymerized, the microtubule structure was strongly affected, the myoplasmic components, including maternal mRNA, were mislocalized, and the anteroposterior axis formation was disordered. These results suggested the importance of F-actin during the first cell cycle and the existence of interactions between microfilaments and microtubules, implying the enigmatic mechanism of ooplasmic segregation. Solving this mystery leads us to an improved understanding of ascidian early development. Full article
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Article
Different Ectopic Hoxa2 Expression Levels in Mouse Cranial Neural Crest Cells Result in Distinct Craniofacial Anomalies and Homeotic Phenotypes
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010009 - 31 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1165
Abstract
Providing appropriate positional identity and patterning information to distinct rostrocaudal subpopulations of cranial neural crest cells (CNCCs) is central to vertebrate craniofacial morphogenesis. Hox genes are not expressed in frontonasal and first pharyngeal arch (PA1) CNCCs, whereas a single Hox gene, Hoxa2, [...] Read more.
Providing appropriate positional identity and patterning information to distinct rostrocaudal subpopulations of cranial neural crest cells (CNCCs) is central to vertebrate craniofacial morphogenesis. Hox genes are not expressed in frontonasal and first pharyngeal arch (PA1) CNCCs, whereas a single Hox gene, Hoxa2, is necessary to provide patterning information to second pharyngeal arch (PA2) CNCCs. In frog, chick and mouse embryos, ectopic expression of Hoxa2 in Hox-negative CNCCs induced hypoplastic phenotypes of CNCC derivatives of variable severity, associated or not with homeotic transformation of a subset of PA1 structures into a PA2-like identity. Whether these different morphological outcomes are directly related to distinct Hoxa2 overexpression levels is unknown. To address this issue, we selectively induced Hoxa2 overexpression in mouse CNCCs, using a panel of mouse lines expressing different Hoxa2 ectopic expression levels, including a newly generated Hoxa2 knocked-in mouse line. While ectopic Hoxa2 expression at only 60% of its physiological levels was sufficient for pinna duplication, ectopic Hoxa2 expression at 100% of its normal level was required for complete homeotic repatterning of a subset of PA1 skeletal elements into a duplicated set of PA2-like elements. On the other hand, ectopic Hoxa2 overexpression at non-physiological levels (200% of normal levels) led to an almost complete loss of craniofacial skeletal structures. Moreover, ectopic Hoxa5 overexpression in CNCCs, while also resulting in severe craniofacial defects, did not induce homeotic changes of PA1-derived CNCCs, indicating Hoxa2 specificity in repatterning a subset of Hox-negative CNCCs. These results reconcile some discrepancies in previously published experiments and indicate that distinct subpopulations of CNCCs are differentially sensitive to ectopic levels of Hox expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by JDB’s Editorial Board Members)
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Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Journal of Developmental Biology in 2021
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010008 - 28 Jan 2022
Viewed by 853
Abstract
Rigorous peer-reviews are the basis of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Article
Expression and Function of Toll Pathway Components in the Early Development of the Wasp Nasonia vitripennis
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010007 - 26 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1124
Abstract
The Toll signaling pathway is the main source of embryonic DV polarity in the fly Drosophila melanogaster. This pathway appears to have been co-opted from an ancestral innate immunity system within the insects and has been deployed in different ways among insect taxa. [...] Read more.
The Toll signaling pathway is the main source of embryonic DV polarity in the fly Drosophila melanogaster. This pathway appears to have been co-opted from an ancestral innate immunity system within the insects and has been deployed in different ways among insect taxa. Here we report the expression and function of homologs of the important components of the D. melanogaster Toll pathway in the wasp Nasonia vitripennis. We found homologs for all the components; many components had one or more additional paralogs in the wasp relative the fly. We also found significant deviations in expression patterns of N. vitripennis homologs. Finally, we provide some preliminary functional analyses of the N. vitripennis homologs, where we find a mixture of conservation and divergence of function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Developmental Biology II)
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Article
Differentiation of Cells Isolated from Human Femoral Heads into Functional Osteoclasts
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010006 - 18 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1182
Abstract
Proper formation of the skeleton during development is crucial for the mobility of humans and the maintenance of essential organs. The production of bone is regulated by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. An imbalance of these cells can lead to a decrease in bone mineral [...] Read more.
Proper formation of the skeleton during development is crucial for the mobility of humans and the maintenance of essential organs. The production of bone is regulated by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. An imbalance of these cells can lead to a decrease in bone mineral density, which leads to fractures. While many studies are emerging to understand the role of osteoblasts, less studies are present about the role of osteoclasts. This present study utilized bone marrow cells isolated directly from the bone marrow of femoral heads obtained from osteoarthritic (OA) patients after undergoing hip replacement surgery. Here, we used tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining, Cathepsin K, and nuclei to identity osteoclasts and their functionality after stimulation with macrophage-colony stimulation factor (M-CSF) and receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-β ligand (RANKL). Our data demonstrated that isolated cells can be differentiated into functional osteoclasts, as indicated by the 92% and 83% of cells that stained positive for TRAP and Cathepsin K, respectively. Furthermore, isolated cells remain viable and terminally differentiate into osteoclasts when stimulated with RANKL. These data demonstrate that cells isolated from human femoral heads can be differentiated into osteoclasts to study bone disorders during development and adulthood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Developmental Biology II)
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Editorial
Special Issue “Feature Papers in Journal of Developmental Biology”
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010005 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 879
Abstract
Here, we have assembled five interesting manuscripts that deserve special attention [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Developmental Biology)
Review
Transcriptional Regulation and Implications for Controlling Hox Gene Expression
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010004 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1569
Abstract
Hox genes play key roles in axial patterning and regulating the regional identity of cells and tissues in a wide variety of animals from invertebrates to vertebrates. Nested domains of Hox expression generate a combinatorial code that provides a molecular framework for specifying [...] Read more.
Hox genes play key roles in axial patterning and regulating the regional identity of cells and tissues in a wide variety of animals from invertebrates to vertebrates. Nested domains of Hox expression generate a combinatorial code that provides a molecular framework for specifying the properties of tissues along the A–P axis. Hence, it is important to understand the regulatory mechanisms that coordinately control the precise patterns of the transcription of clustered Hox genes required for their roles in development. New insights are emerging about the dynamics and molecular mechanisms governing transcriptional regulation, and there is interest in understanding how these may play a role in contributing to the regulation of the expression of the clustered Hox genes. In this review, we summarize some of the recent findings, ideas and emerging mechanisms underlying the regulation of transcription in general and consider how they may be relevant to understanding the transcriptional regulation of Hox genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hox Genes in Development: New Paradigms)
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Article
The Immunoglobulin Superfamily Members syg-2 and syg-1 Regulate Neurite Development in C. elegans
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010003 - 09 Jan 2022
Viewed by 896
Abstract
Neurons form elaborate networks by guiding axons and dendrites to appropriate destinations. Neurites require information about the relative body axes during the initial projection from the cell body, and failure to receive or interpret those cues correctly can result in outgrowth errors. We [...] Read more.
Neurons form elaborate networks by guiding axons and dendrites to appropriate destinations. Neurites require information about the relative body axes during the initial projection from the cell body, and failure to receive or interpret those cues correctly can result in outgrowth errors. We identified a mutation in the Ig superfamily member syg-2 in a screen for animals with anterior/posterior (A/P) axon guidance defects. We found that syg-2 and its cognate Ig family member syg-1 appear to function in a linear genetic pathway to control the outgrowth of GABAergic axons. We determined that this pathway works in parallel to Wnt signaling. Specifically, mutations in syg-2 or syg-1 selectively affected the embryonically derived Dorsal D-type (DD) GABAergic neurons. We found no evidence that these mutations affected the Ventral D-type neurons (VD) that form later, during the first larval stage. In addition, mutations in syg-1 or syg-2 could result in the DD neurons forming multiple processes, becoming bipolar, rather than the expected pseudounipolar morphology. Given SYG-2′s essential function in synaptogenesis of the hermaphrodite-specific neurons (HSNs), we also examined DD neuron synapses in syg-2 mutants. We found syg-2 mutants had a decreased number of synapses formed, but synaptic morphology was largely normal. These results provide further evidence that the GABAergic motorneurons use multiple guidance pathways during development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Adhesion Molecules in Development)
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Article
Investigation of HoxB3 and Growth Factors Expression in Placentas of Various Gestational Ages
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 2; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010002 - 23 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1017
Abstract
An evaluation of transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2), fibroblast growth factors receptor 1 (FGFR1) and Hox-positive cells in the human placenta, and their correlation with gestational time at delivery and pregnancy outcomes, may provide [...] Read more.
An evaluation of transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2), fibroblast growth factors receptor 1 (FGFR1) and Hox-positive cells in the human placenta, and their correlation with gestational time at delivery and pregnancy outcomes, may provide not only a better understanding of the role of Hox genes and growth factors in human development, but also may be of clinical importance in reproductive medicine. This study analyzed the immunohistochemical identification of TGFβ, HGF, FGF-2, FGFR1 and HoxB3 in placentas of various gestational ages. We found few (+) TGFβ, moderate (++) FGF-2 and numerous (+++) HGF and FGFR1 positive structures. Occasional (0/+) to numerous (+++) HoxB3-positive structures were detected in different types of placental cells specifically, cytotrophoblasts, syncytiotrophoblast, extravillous trophoblasts, and Höfbauer cells. Correlating the appearance of HoxB3 staining in placentas with neonatal parameters, we found a statistically significant negative correlation with ponderal index (r = −0.323, p = 0.018) and positive correlation with neonate body length (r = 0.541, p = 0.046). The number of HoxB3-positive cells did not correlate with growth factors and gestational age, but with neonatal anthropometrical parameters, indicating the role of HoxB3 not only in placental development, but also in the longitudinal growth of the fetus. TGFβ and FGF-2 did not play a significant role in the development of the placenta beyond 22nd week of pregnancy, while HGF and FGFR1 immunoreactive cells increased with advancing gestation, indicating increasingly evolving maturation (growth, proliferation) of the placenta, especially in the third trimester. Full article
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Article
Loss of Planar Cell Polarity Effector Fuzzy Causes Renal Hypoplasia by Disrupting Several Signaling Pathways
J. Dev. Biol. 2022, 10(1), 1; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jdb10010001 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1191
Abstract
In vertebrates, the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway regulates tissue morphogenesis during organogenesis, including the kidney. Mutations in human PCP effector proteins have been associated with severe syndromic ciliopathies. Importantly, renal hypoplasia has been reported in some patients. However, the developmental disturbance that [...] Read more.
In vertebrates, the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway regulates tissue morphogenesis during organogenesis, including the kidney. Mutations in human PCP effector proteins have been associated with severe syndromic ciliopathies. Importantly, renal hypoplasia has been reported in some patients. However, the developmental disturbance that causes renal hypoplasia is unknown. Here, we describe the early onset of profound renal hypoplasia in mice homozygous for null mutation of the PCP effector gene, Fuzzy. We found that this phenotype is caused by defective branching morphogenesis of the ureteric bud (UB) in the absence of defects in nephron progenitor specification or in early steps of nephrogenesis. By using various experimental approaches, we show that the loss of Fuzzy affects multiple signaling pathways. Specifically, we found mild involvement of GDNF/c-Ret pathway that drives UB branching. We noted the deficient expression of molecules belonging to the Bmp, Fgf and Shh pathways. Analysis of the primary cilia in the UB structures revealed a significant decrease in ciliary length. We conclude that renal hypoplasia in the mouse Fuzzy mutants is caused by defective UB branching associated with dysregulation of ciliary and non-ciliary signaling pathways. Our work suggests a PCP effector-dependent pathogenetic mechanism that contributes to renal hypoplasia in mice and humans. Full article
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