A conserved motif in goosecoid mediates groucho-dependent repression in Drosophila embryos.
Surprisingly small peptide motifs can confer critical biological functions. One example is the WRPW tetrapeptide present in the Hairy family of transcriptional repressors, which mediates recruitment of the Groucho (Gro) corepressor to target promoters. We recently showed that Engrailed (En) is another repressor that requires association with Gro for its function. En lacks a WRPW motif; instead, it contains another short conserved sequence, the En homology region 1 (eh1)/GEH motif, that is likely to play a role in tethering Gro to the promoter. Here, we characterize a repressor domain from the Goosecoid (Gsc) developmental regulator that includes an eh1/GEH-like motif. We demonstrate that this domain (GscR) mediates efficient repression in Drosophila blastoderm embryos and that repression by GscR requires Gro function. GscR and Gro interact in vitro, and the eh1/GEH motif is necessary and sufficient for the interaction and for in vivo repression. Because WRPW- and eh1/GEH-like motifs are present in different proteins and in many organisms, the results suggest that interactions between short peptides and Gro represent a widespread mechanism of repression. Finally, we investigate whether Gro is part of a stable multiprotein complex in the nucleus. Our results indicate that Gro does not form stable associations with other proteins but that it may be able to assemble into homomultimeric complexes. (+info)
Physical interaction of the bHLH LYL1 protein and NF-kappaB1 p105.
The LYL1 gene was first identified upon the molecular characterization of the t(7;9)(q35;p13) translocation associated with some human T-cell acute leukemias (T-ALLs). In adult tissues, LYL1 expression is restricted to hematopoietic cells with the notable exclusion of the T cell lineage. LYL1 encodes a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein highly related to TAL-1, whose activation is also associated with a high proportion of human T-ALLs. A yeast two-hybrid system was used to identify proteins that specifically interact with LYL1 and might mediate its activities. We found that p105, the precursor of NF-kappaB1 p50, was the major LYL1-interacting protein in this system. The association between LYL1 and p105 was confirmed both in vitro and in vivo in mammalian cells. Biochemical studies indicated that the interaction was mediated by the bHLH motif of LYL1 and the ankyrin-like motifs of p105. Ectopic expression of LYL1 in a human T cell line caused a significant decrease in NF-kappaB-dependent transcription, associated with a reduced level of NF-kappaB1 proteins. (+info)
A molecular pathway revealing a genetic basis for human cardiac and craniofacial defects.
Microdeletions of chromosome 22q11 are the most common genetic defects associated with cardiac and craniofacial anomalies in humans. A screen for mouse genes dependent on dHAND, a transcription factor implicated in neural crest development, identified Ufd1, which maps to human 22q11 and encodes a protein involved in degradation of ubiquitinated proteins. Mouse Ufd1 was specifically expressed in most tissues affected in patients with 22q11 deletion syndrome. The human UFD1L gene was deleted in all 182 patients studied with 22q11 deletion, and a smaller deletion of approximately 20 kilobases that removed exons 1 to 3 of UFD1L was found in one individual with features typical of 22q11 deletion syndrome. These data suggest that UFD1L haploinsufficiency contributes to the congenital heart and craniofacial defects seen in 22q11 deletion. (+info)
Expression of Mash1 in basal cells of rat circumvallate taste buds is dependent upon gustatory innervation.
Mash1, a mammalian homologue of the Drosophila achaete-scute proneural gene complex, plays an essential role in differentiation of subsets of peripheral neurons. In this study, using RT-PCR and in situ RT-PCR, we investigated if Mash1 gene expression occurs in rat taste buds. Further, we examined dynamics of Mash1 expression in the process of degeneration and regeneration in denervated rat taste buds. In rat tongue epithelium, Mash1 gene expression is confined to circumvallate, foliate, and fungiform papilla epithelia that include taste buds. In taste buds, Mash1-expressing cells are round cells in the basal compartment. In contrast, the mature taste bud cells do not express the Mash1 gene. Denervation and regeneration experiments show that the expression of Mash1 requires gustatory innervation. We conclude that Mash1 is expressed in cells of the taste bud lineage, and that the expression of Mash1 in rat taste buds is dependent upon gustatory innervation. (+info)
Dynamic expression of lunatic fringe suggests a link between notch signaling and an autonomous cellular oscillator driving somite segmentation.
The metameric organization of the vertebrate trunk is a characteristic feature of all members of this phylum. The origin of this metamerism can be traced to the division of paraxial mesoderm into individual units, termed somites, during embryonic development. Despite the identification of somites as the first overt sign of segmentation in vertebrates well over 100 years ago, the mechanism(s) underlying somite formation remain poorly understood. Recently, however, several genes have been identified which play prominent roles in orchestrating segmentation, including the novel secreted factor lunatic fringe. To gain further insight into the mechanism by which lunatic fringe controls somite development, we have conducted a thorough analysis of lunatic fringe expression in the unsegmented paraxial mesoderm of chick embryos. Here we report that lunatic fringe is expressed predominantly in somite -II, where somite I corresponds to the most recently formed somite and somite -I corresponds to the group of cells which will form the next somite. In addition, we show that lunatic fringe is expressed in a highly dynamic manner in the chick segmental plate prior to somite formation and that lunatic fringe expression cycles autonomously with a periodicity of somite formation. Moreover, the murine ortholog of lunatic fringe undergoes a similar cycling expression pattern in the presomitic mesoderm of somite stage mouse embryos. The demonstration of a dynamic periodic expression pattern suggests that lunatic fringe may function to integrate notch signaling to a cellular oscillator controlling somite segmentation. (+info)
The development and evolution of bristle patterns in Diptera.
The spatial distribution of sensory bristles on the notum of different species of Diptera is compared. Species displaying ancestral features have a simple organization of randomly distributed, but uniformly spaced, bristles, whereas species thought to be more derived bear patterns in which the bristles are aligned into longitudinal rows. The number of rows of large bristles on the scutum was probably restricted to four early on in the evolution of cyclorraphous Brachyceran flies. Most species have stereotyped patterns based on modifications of these four rows. The possible constraints placed upon the patterning mechanisms due to growth and moulting within the Diptera are discussed, as well as within hemimetabolous insects. The holometabolic life cycle and the setting aside of groups of imaginal cells whose function is not required during the growth period, may have provided the freedom necessary for the evolution of elaborate bristle patterns. We briefly review the current state of knowledge concerning the complex genetic pathways regulating achaete-scute gene expression and bristle pattern in Drosophila melanogaster, and consider mechanisms for the genetic regulation of the bristle patterns of other species of Diptera. (+info)
Bar homeobox genes are latitudinal prepattern genes in the developing Drosophila notum whose expression is regulated by the concerted functions of decapentaplegic and wingless.
In Drosophila notum, the expression of achaete-scute proneural genes and bristle formation have been shown to be regulated by putative prepattern genes expressed longitudinally. Here, we show that two homeobox genes at the Bar locus (BarH1 and BarH2) may belong to a different class of prepattern genes expressed latitudinally, and suggest that the developing notum consists of checker-square-like subdomains, each governed by a different combination of prepattern genes. BarH1 and BarH2 are coexpressed in the anterior-most notal region and regulate the formation of microchaetae within the region of BarH1/BarH2 expression through activating achaete-scute. Presutural macrochaetae formation also requires Bar homeobox gene activity. Bar homeobox gene expression is restricted dorsally and posteriorly by Decapentaplegic signaling, while the ventral limit of the expression domain of Bar homeobox genes is determined by wingless whose expression is under the control of Decapentaplegic signaling. (+info)
Dual role of extramacrochaetae in cell proliferation and cell differentiation during wing morphogenesis in Drosophila.
The Extramacrochaetae (emc) gene encodes a transcription factor with an HLH domain without the basic region involved in interaction with DNA present in other proteins that have this domain. EMC forms heterodimers with bHLH proteins preventing their binding to DNA, acting as a negative regulator. The function of emc is required in many developmental processes during the development of Drosophila, including wing morphogenesis. Mitotic recombination clones of both null and gain-of-function alleles of emc, indicate that during wing morphogenesis, emc participates in cell proliferation within the intervein regions (vein patterning), as well as in vein differentiation. The study of relationships between emc and different genes involved in wing development reveal strong genetic interactions with genes of the Ras signalling pathway (torpedo, vein, veinlet and Gap), blistered, plexus and net, in both adult wing phenotypes and cell behaviour in genetic mosaics. These interactions are also analyzed as variations of emc expression patterns in mutant backgrounds for these genes. In addition, cell proliferation behaviour of emc mutant cells varies depending on the mutant background. The results show that genes of the Ras signalling pathway are co-operatively involved in the activity of emc during cell proliferation, and later antagonistically during cell differentiation, repressing EMC expression. (+info)