Expression patterns of dystrophin products, especially of apodystrophin-1/Dp71, in the neural retina of Amphibian urodele Pleurodeles waltl.
The expression patterns of the DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) gene products, especially of Dp71 (apodystrophin-1) were investigated by immunofluorescence and immunoblotting in the retina of the Amphibian urodele Pleurodeles waltl. H-5A3 monoclonal antibody (mAb), directed against the C-terminal region of dystrophin/utrophin, and 5F3 mAb, directed against the last 31 amino acids of dystrophin and specific of Dp71, were used. Western blot analyses with H-5A3 mAb revealed distinct dystrophin-family isoforms in adult newt retinal extracts: a doublet 400-420 kDa, Dp260 isoform, a protein at about 120 kDa, and a diffuse zone at 70-80 kDa, which might correspond to Dp71. Reactivity with H-5A3 mAb appeared nearly restricted to the outer plexiform synaptic layer. On the other hand, Dp71-specific 5F3 mAb recognized trhee polypeptide bands at 70-80, 60-65 and 50-55 kDa in adult newt retina corresponding most probably to alternative spliced isoforms of Dp71. In immunohistochemistry by conventional epifluorescence microscopy, 5F3 labeling was mainly observed in the plexiform layers, the outer nuclear layer, and the photoreceptor inner segments, especially at the myoid regions. Analysis by confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM) revealed that 5F3 labeling was, in addition, present in the pigmented epithelium and the inner nuclear layer. Furthermore, CSLM showed that 5F3 staining at the myoids was concentrated at discrete domains underneath the plasma membrane. Our findings raised the question concerning the functional significance of Dp71 isoforms, especially at the myoid where Dp71 was detected for the first time, although it occurred here highly expressed. Putative role(s) played in this retinal compartment and other ones by Dp71 and/or other dystrophin isoforms were discussed. (+info
Fictive rhythmic motor patterns induced by NMDA in an in vitro brain stem-spinal cord preparation from an adult urodele.
An in vitro brain stem-spinal cord preparation from an adult urodele (Pleurodeles waltl) was developed in which two fictive rhythmic motor patterns were evoked by bath application of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA; 2.5-10 microM) with D-serine (10 microM). Both motor patterns displayed left-right alternation. The first pattern was characterized by cycle periods ranging between 2.4 and 9. 0 s (4.9 +/- 1.2 s, mean +/- SD) and a rostrocaudal propagation of the activity in consecutive ventral roots. The second pattern displayed longer cycle periods (8.1-28.3 s; 14.2 +/- 3.6 s) with a caudorostral propagation. The two patterns were inducible after a spinal transection at the first segment. Preliminary experiments on small pieces of spinal cord further suggested that the ability for rhythm generation is distributed along the spinal cord of this preparation. This study shows that the in vitro brain stem-spinal cord preparation from Pleurodeles waltl may be a useful model to study the mechanisms underlying the different axial motor patterns and the flexibility of the neural networks involved. (+info
Fibronectin matrix composition and organization can regulate cell migration during amphibian development.
Fibronectin (FN) is an adhesive extracellular matrix component that is essential for vertebrate development. It forms a fibrillar matrix at the cell surface which controls cell morphology, migration, proliferation, and other important cellular processes. To address specific functions of FN matrix structure during early vertebrate development, we introduced normal and mutant recombinant FNs (recFNs) into the blastocoel cavity of embryos of the amphibian Pleurodeles waltl. Here we show that a native recFN FN(A-B-) as well as recFNs with specific mutations in the cell-binding domain, FN(RGD-) and FN(syn-), or in a FN-binding region, FNDeltaIII(1), are assembled into fibrillar matrix. A recFN (FNDeltaIII(1-7)) that forms a structurally distinct matrix in cultured cells was assembled into aggregates at the cell periphery and was able to inhibit assembly of endogenous amphibian FN matrix in a dose-dependent manner. Cell adhesion, spreading, and migration were perturbed in vitro and in vivo on chimeric matrices containing FN(RGD-), FN(syn-), or FNDeltaIII(1-7) co-assembled with amphibian FN. Developmentally, this perturbation resulted in defects in mesoderm patterning and inhibition of gastrulation. These results indicate that FN matrix fibrillar structure and composition are important determinants of cell adhesion and migration during development. (+info
Defining fibronectin's cell adhesion synergy site by site-directed mutagenesis.
Fibronectin's RGD-mediated binding to the alpha5beta1 integrin is dramatically enhanced by a synergy site within fibronectin III domain 9 (FN9). Guided by the crystal structure of the cell-binding domain, we selected amino acids in FN9 that project in the same direction as the RGD, presumably toward the integrin, and mutated them to alanine. R1379 in the peptide PHSRN, and the nearby R1374 have been shown previously to be important for alpha5beta1-mediated adhesion (Aota, S., M. Nomizu, and K.M. Yamada. 1994. J. Biol. Chem. 269:24756-24761). Our more extensive set of mutants showed that R1379 is the key residue in the synergistic effect, but other residues contribute substantially. R1374A decreased adhesion slightly by itself, but the double mutant R1374A-R1379A was significantly less adhesive than R1379A alone. Single mutations of R1369A, R1371A, T1385A, and N1386A had negligible effects on cell adhesion, but combining these substitutions either with R1379A or each other gave a more dramatic reduction of cell adhesion. The triple mutant R1374A/P1376A/R1379A had no detectable adhesion activity. We conclude that, in addition to the R of the PHRSN peptide, other residues on the same face of FN9 are required for the full synergistic effect. The integrin-binding synergy site is a much more extensive surface than the small linear peptide sequence. (+info
FGF-2 Up-regulation and proliferation of neural progenitors in the regenerating amphibian spinal cord in vivo.
Regeneration of the spinal cord occurs spontaneously in adult urodele amphibians. The key cells in this regenerative process appear to be the ependymal cells that following injury migrate and proliferate to form the ependymal tube from which the spinal cord regenerates. Very little is known about the signal(s) that initiates and maintains the proliferative response of these cells. Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) has been shown to play a role in maintaining neural progenitor cell cycling in vitro and may be important for neuronal survival and axonal growth after injury. We have investigated its role in regeneration of the spinal cord in vivo following tail amputation in the adult salamander, Pleurodeles waltl. We show that only the low-molecular-weight form of FGF-2 is found in Pleurodeles and that in the normal cord it is expressed in a subset of neurons, but is hardly detectable in ependymal cells. Tail amputation results in induction of FGF-2 in the ependymal cells of the regenerating structure, and later in regeneration FGF-2 is up-regulated in some newborn neurons. FGF-2 pattern of expression in the ependymal tube parallels that of proliferation. Furthermore, exogenous FGF-2 significantly increases ependymal cell proliferation in vivo. Overall our results strongly support the view that one important role of FGF-2 during spinal cord regeneration in Pleurodeles is to induce proliferation of neural progenitor cells. (+info
Expression of TAFII70 RNA and protein during oogenesis and development of the amphibian Pleurodeles waltl.
TAFs are thought to play an essential role in eukaryotic RNA polymerase II transcription by mediating the expression of distinct subsets of genes. TAFII60/70 was studied in yeast, Drosophila and humans: in the present work, we analyzed the homologue PwTAFII70 in Pleurodeles. The gene is expressed in ovarian oocytes and throughout development, and the level of expression decreases in late embryos. The transcripts are localized in the animal hemisphere of the fertilized eggs and in the animal blastomeres of embryos at cleavage; later PwTAFII70 mRNA is expressed in the neural plate and folds. TAFII70 protein, which is present in fertilized eggs and throughout development, progressively shows a lower level of expression starting from the neurula stage. (+info
Carbohydrate moieties of the interstitial and glandular tissues of the amphibian Pleurodeles waltl testis shown by lectin histochemistry.
The amphibian testis is a useful model because of its zonal organisation in lobules, distributed along the cephalocaudal axis, each containing a unique germ cell type. Sperm empty lobules form the so-called glandular tissue at the posterior region of the gonad. Androgen production is limited to the cells of the interstitial tissue surrounding lobules with spermatozoa bundles and to the cells of the glandular tissue. In this work, we have studied the distribution of terminal carbohydrate moieties of N- and O-linked oligosaccharides in the interstitial and glandular tissue of the Pleurodeles waltl testis, by means of 14 lectins combined with chemical and enzymatic deglycosylation pretreatment. Some differences in glycan composition between the interstitial and the glandular tissue have been detected. Thus in both tissues, N-linked oligosaccharides contained mannose, Gal(beta1,4)GlcNAc, and Neu5Ac(alpha2,3)Gal(beta1,4)GlcNAc, while O-linked oligosaccharides contained Con A-positive mannose, Gal(beta1,3)GalNAc, Gal(beta1,4)GlcNAc, Neu5Ac(alpha2,3)Gal(beta1,4)GlcNAc, and WGA-positive GlcNAc. Fucose was also detected in both tissues. However, GlcNAc on N-linked oligosaccharides and GalNAc and Neu5Ac(alpha2,6)Gal/GalNAc on both N- and O-linked oligosaccharides were found only in the interstitial tissue. As glandular tissue cells arise from the innermost cells of interstitial tissue that surround lobules, the differences in the glycan composition of interstitial and glandular tissue shown in this work may be related to the start of androgen synthesis when steroid hormone (SH)-secreting cells develop. (+info
Fibroblast growth factors 1 and 2 differently activate MAP kinase in Xenopus oocytes expressing fibroblast growth factor receptors 1 and 4.
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) signalling cascade activated by fibroblast growth factors (FGF1 and FGF2) was analysed in a model system, Xenopus oocytes, expressing fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR1 and FGFR4). Stimulation of FGFR1 by FGF1 or FGF2 and FGFR4 by FGF1 induced a sustained phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 2 (ERK2) and meiosis reinitiation. In contrast, FGFR4 stimulation by FGF2 induced an early transient activation of ERK2 and no meiosis reinitiation. FGFR4 transduction cascades were differently activated by FGF1 and FGF2. Early phosphorylation of ERK2 was blocked by the dominant negative form of growth factor-bound protein 2 (Grb2) and Ras, for FGF1-FGFR4 and FGF2-FGFR4. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3 kinase) inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002 only prevented the early ERK2 phosphorylation triggered by FGF2-FGFR4 but not by FGF1-FGFR4. ERK2 phosphorylation triggered by FGFR4 depended on the Grb2/Ras pathway and also involved PI3 kinase in a time-dependent manner. (+info