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J. Dev. Biol., Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Open AccessReview Unanswered Questions Regarding Sex and BMP/TGF-β Signaling
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6020014
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 2 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 16 June 2018
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Abstract
Crosstalk between the BMP and TGF-β signaling pathways regulates many complex developmental processes from the earliest stages of embryogenesis throughout adult life. In many situations, the two signaling pathways act reciprocally. For example, TGF-β signaling is generally pro-fibrotic, whereas BMP signaling is anti-fibrotic
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Crosstalk between the BMP and TGF-β signaling pathways regulates many complex developmental processes from the earliest stages of embryogenesis throughout adult life. In many situations, the two signaling pathways act reciprocally. For example, TGF-β signaling is generally pro-fibrotic, whereas BMP signaling is anti-fibrotic and pro-calcific. Sex-specific differences occur in many diseases including cardiovascular pathologies. Differing ratios of fibrosis and calcification in stenotic valves suggests that BMP/TGF-β signaling may vary in men and women. In this review, we focus on the current understanding of the interplay between sex and BMP/TGF-β signaling and pose several unanswered questions. Full article
Open AccessArticle LHX2 Mediates the FGF-to-SHH Regulatory Loop during Limb Development
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6020013
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
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Abstract
During limb development, fibroblast growth factors (Fgfs) govern proximal–distal outgrowth and patterning. FGFs also synchronize developmental patterning between the proximal–distal and anterior–posterior axes by maintaining Sonic hedgehog (Shh) expression in cells of the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) in the distal posterior mesoderm.
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During limb development, fibroblast growth factors (Fgfs) govern proximal–distal outgrowth and patterning. FGFs also synchronize developmental patterning between the proximal–distal and anterior–posterior axes by maintaining Sonic hedgehog (Shh) expression in cells of the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) in the distal posterior mesoderm. Shh, in turn, maintains Fgfs in the apical ectodermal ridge (AER) that caps the distal tip of the limb bud. Crosstalk between Fgf and Shh signaling is critical for patterned limb development, but the mechanisms underlying this feedback loop are not well-characterized. Implantation of Fgf beads in the proximal posterior limb bud can maintain SHH expression in the former ZPA domain (evident 3 h after application), while prolonged exposure (24 h) can induce SHH outside of this domain. Although temporally and spatially disparate, comparative analysis of transcriptome data from these different populations accentuated genes involved in SHH regulation. Comparative analysis identified 25 candidates common to both treatments, with eight linked to SHH expression or function. Furthermore, we demonstrated that LHX2, a LIM Homeodomain transcription factor, is an intermediate in the FGF-mediated regulation of SHH. Our data suggest that LHX2 acts as a competency factor maintaining distal posterior SHH expression subjacent to the AER. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Sonic Hedgehog Is a Member of the Hh/DD-Peptidase Family That Spans the Eukaryotic and Bacterial Domains of Life
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6020012
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
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Abstract
Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) coordinates Zn2+ in a manner that resembles that of peptidases. The ability of Shh to undergo autoproteolytic processing is impaired in mutants that affect the Zn2+ coordination, while mutating residues essential for catalytic activity results in more stable
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Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) coordinates Zn2+ in a manner that resembles that of peptidases. The ability of Shh to undergo autoproteolytic processing is impaired in mutants that affect the Zn2+ coordination, while mutating residues essential for catalytic activity results in more stable forms of Shh. The residues involved in Zn2+ coordination in Shh are found to be mutated in some individuals with the congenital birth defect holoprosencephaly, demonstrating their importance in development. Highly conserved Shh domains are found in parts of some bacterial proteins that are members of the larger family of DD-peptidases, supporting the notion that Shh acts as a peptidase. Whereas this Hh/DD-peptidase motif is present in Hedgehog (Hh) proteins of nearly all animals, it is not present in Drosophila Hh, indicating that Hh signaling in fruit flies is derived, and perhaps not a good model for vertebrate Shh signaling. A sequence analysis of Hh proteins and their possible evolutionary precursors suggests that the evolution of modern Hh might have involved horizontal transfer of a bacterial gene coding of a Hh/DD-peptidase into a Cnidarian ancestor, recombining to give rise to modern Hh. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Hedgehog Signaling in Embryogenesis)
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Open AccessReview Location, Location, Location: Signals in Muscle Specification
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6020011
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
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Abstract
Muscles control body movement and locomotion, posture and body position and soft tissue support. Mesoderm derived cells gives rise to 700 unique muscles in humans as a result of well-orchestrated signaling and transcriptional networks in specific time and space. Although the anatomical structure
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Muscles control body movement and locomotion, posture and body position and soft tissue support. Mesoderm derived cells gives rise to 700 unique muscles in humans as a result of well-orchestrated signaling and transcriptional networks in specific time and space. Although the anatomical structure of skeletal muscles is similar, their functions and locations are specialized. This is the result of specific signaling as the embryo grows and cells migrate to form different structures and organs. As cells progress to their next state, they suppress current sequence specific transcription factors (SSTF) and construct new networks to establish new myogenic features. In this review, we provide an overview of signaling pathways and gene regulatory networks during formation of the craniofacial, cardiac, vascular, trunk, and limb skeletal muscles. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Interview with the 2018 JDB Travel Award Winner
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(2), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6020010
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 5 May 2018
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Abstract
The winner of the 2018 JDB Travel Award was granted to Ms. Victoria Deneke, BS, who is a fifth-year graduate student in Dr. Stefano Di Talia’s laboratory in the Department of Cell Biology at Duke University Medical Center, USA.[…] Full article
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Open AccessArticle Requirement of the Dynein-Adaptor Spindly for Mitotic and Post-Mitotic Functions in Drosophila
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(2), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6020009
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 30 March 2018
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Abstract
Spindly was originally identified as a specific regulator of Dynein activity at the kinetochore. In early prometaphase, Spindly recruits the Dynein/Dynactin complex, promoting the establishment of stable kinetochore-microtubule interactions and progression into anaphase. While details of Spindly function in mitosis have been worked
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Spindly was originally identified as a specific regulator of Dynein activity at the kinetochore. In early prometaphase, Spindly recruits the Dynein/Dynactin complex, promoting the establishment of stable kinetochore-microtubule interactions and progression into anaphase. While details of Spindly function in mitosis have been worked out in cultured human cells and in the C. elegans zygote, the function of Spindly within the context of an organism has not yet been addressed. Here, we present loss- and gain-of-function studies of Spindly using transgenic RNAi in Drosophila. Knock-down of Spindly in the female germ line results in mitotic arrest during embryonic cleavage divisions. We investigated the requirements of Spindly protein domains for its localisation and function, and found that the carboxy-terminal region controls Spindly localisation in a cell-type specific manner. Overexpression of Spindly in the female germ line is embryonic lethal and results in altered egg morphology. To determine whether Spindly plays a role in post-mitotic cells, we altered Spindly protein levels in migrating cells and found that ovarian border cell migration is sensitive to the levels of Spindly protein. Our study uncovers novel functions of Spindly and a differential, functional requirement for its carboxy-terminal region in Drosophila. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drosophila - A Model System for Developmental Biology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Wingless/Wnt Signaling in Intestinal Development, Homeostasis, Regeneration and Tumorigenesis: A Drosophila Perspective
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(2), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6020008
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
In mammals, the Wnt/β-catenin signal transduction pathway regulates intestinal stem cell maintenance and proliferation, whereas Wnt pathway hyperactivation, resulting primarily from the inactivation of the tumor suppressor Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), triggers the development of the vast majority of colorectal cancers. The Drosophila
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In mammals, the Wnt/β-catenin signal transduction pathway regulates intestinal stem cell maintenance and proliferation, whereas Wnt pathway hyperactivation, resulting primarily from the inactivation of the tumor suppressor Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), triggers the development of the vast majority of colorectal cancers. The Drosophila adult gut has recently emerged as a powerful model to elucidate the mechanisms by which Wingless/Wnt signaling regulates intestinal development, homeostasis, regeneration, and tumorigenesis. Herein, we review recent insights on the roles of Wnt signaling in Drosophila intestinal physiology and pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drosophila - A Model System for Developmental Biology)
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