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J. Dev. Biol., Volume 7, Issue 4 (December 2019) – 4 articles

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Paralogues of Mmp11 and Timp4 Interact during the Development of the Myotendinous Junction in the Zebrafish Embryo
J. Dev. Biol. 2019, 7(4), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7040022 - 03 Dec 2019
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Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) of the myotendinous junction (MTJ) undergoes dramatic physical and biochemical remodeling during the first 48 h of development in zebrafish, transforming from a rectangular fibronectin-dominated somite boundary to a chevron-shaped laminin-dominated MTJ. Matrix metalloproteinase 11 (Mmp11, a.k.a. Stromelysin-3) is [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) of the myotendinous junction (MTJ) undergoes dramatic physical and biochemical remodeling during the first 48 h of development in zebrafish, transforming from a rectangular fibronectin-dominated somite boundary to a chevron-shaped laminin-dominated MTJ. Matrix metalloproteinase 11 (Mmp11, a.k.a. Stromelysin-3) is both necessary and sufficient for the removal of fibronectin at the MTJ, but whether this protease acts directly on fibronectin and how its activity is regulated remain unknown. Using immunofluorescence, we show that both paralogues of Mmp11 accumulate at the MTJ during this time period, but with Mmp11a present early and later replaced by Mmp11b. Moreover, Mmp11a also accumulates intracellularly, associated with the Z-discs of sarcomeres within skeletal muscle cells. Using the epitope-mediated MMP activation (EMMA) assay, we show that despite having a weaker paired basic amino acid motif in its propeptide than Mmp11b, Mmp11a is activated by furin, but may also be activated by other mechanisms intracellularly. One or both paralogues of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-4 (Timp4) are also present at the MTJ throughout this process, and yeast two-hybrid assays reveal distinct and specific interactions between various domains of these proteins. We propose a model in which Mmp11a activity is modulated (but not inhibited) by Timp4 during early MTJ remodeling, followed by a phase in which Mmp11b activity is both inhibited and spatially constrained by Timp4 in order to maintain the structural integrity of the mature MTJ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Matrix Remodelling during Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Nematode Autotomy Requires Molting and Entails Tissue Healing without Obvious Regeneration
J. Dev. Biol. 2019, 7(4), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7040021 - 23 Nov 2019
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Abstract
Autotomy in C. elegans, which results in the severing of the body into two fragments, has been observed as a response to late larval worm-star formation after exposure to a bacterial surface pathogen. It was found that autotomy can occur in both [...] Read more.
Autotomy in C. elegans, which results in the severing of the body into two fragments, has been observed as a response to late larval worm-star formation after exposure to a bacterial surface pathogen. It was found that autotomy can occur in both hermaphroditic and gonochoristic nematode species, and during either the L3 or the L4 molt. Severing was hypothesized to be driven by a ‘balloon-twisting’ mechanism during molting but was found to be independent of lethargus-associated flipping. Extensive healing and apparent tissue fusion were seen at the site of scission. No obvious regeneration of lost body parts was seen in either L4 or adult truncated worms. A variety of mutants defective in processes of cell death, healing, regeneration, responses to damage, stress or pathogens were found to be competent to autotomize. Mutants specifically defective in autotomy have yet to be found. Autotomy may represent a modification of the essential normal process of molting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Caenorhabditis elegans - A Developmental Genetic Model System)
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Open AccessReview
Axin Family of Scaffolding Proteins in Development: Lessons from C. elegans
J. Dev. Biol. 2019, 7(4), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7040020 - 15 Oct 2019
Viewed by 726
Abstract
Scaffold proteins serve important roles in cellular signaling by integrating inputs from multiple signaling molecules to regulate downstream effectors that, in turn, carry out specific biological functions. One such protein, Axin, represents a major evolutionarily conserved scaffold protein in metazoans that participates in [...] Read more.
Scaffold proteins serve important roles in cellular signaling by integrating inputs from multiple signaling molecules to regulate downstream effectors that, in turn, carry out specific biological functions. One such protein, Axin, represents a major evolutionarily conserved scaffold protein in metazoans that participates in the WNT pathway and other pathways to regulate diverse cellular processes. This review summarizes the vast amount of literature on the regulation and functions of the Axin family of genes in eukaryotes, with a specific focus on Caenorhabditis elegans development. By combining early studies with recent findings, the review is aimed to serve as an updated reference for the roles of Axin in C. elegans and other model systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Caenorhabditis elegans - A Developmental Genetic Model System)
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Open AccessReview
How Weird is The Worm? Evolution of the Developmental Gene Toolkit in Caenorhabditis elegans
J. Dev. Biol. 2019, 7(4), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7040019 - 28 Sep 2019
Viewed by 757
Abstract
Comparative developmental biology and comparative genomics are the cornerstones of evolutionary developmental biology. Decades of fruitful research using nematodes have produced detailed accounts of the developmental and genomic variation in the nematode phylum. Evolutionary developmental biologists are now utilising these data as a [...] Read more.
Comparative developmental biology and comparative genomics are the cornerstones of evolutionary developmental biology. Decades of fruitful research using nematodes have produced detailed accounts of the developmental and genomic variation in the nematode phylum. Evolutionary developmental biologists are now utilising these data as a tool with which to interrogate the evolutionary basis for the similarities and differences observed in Nematoda. Nematodes have often seemed atypical compared to the rest of the animal kingdom—from their totally lineage-dependent mode of embryogenesis to their abandonment of key toolkit genes usually deployed by bilaterians for proper development—worms are notorious rule breakers of the bilaterian handbook. However, exploring the nature of these deviations is providing answers to some of the biggest questions about the evolution of animal development. For example, why is the evolvability of each embryonic stage not the same? Why can evolution sometimes tolerate the loss of genes involved in key developmental events? Lastly, why does natural selection act to radically diverge toolkit genes in number and sequence in certain taxa? In answering these questions, insight is not only being provided about the evolution of nematodes, but of all metazoans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Caenorhabditis elegans - A Developmental Genetic Model System)
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