- Calreticulin is a highly conserved, ubiquitous Ca2+-buffering protein in the endoplasmic reticulum that controls transcriptional activity of various developmental programs and also of embryonic stem cell (ESC) differentiation. Calreticulin activates calcineurin, which dephosphorylates and induces the nuclear import of the osteogenic transcription regulator nuclear factor of activated T cells 1 (NFATC1). We investigated whether calreticulin controls a switch between osteogenesis and chondrogenesis in mouse ESCs through NFATC1.
- The existence and regenerative potential of resident stem and progenitor cells in the adult pancreas are controversial topics. A question that has been only minimally addressed is the capacity of a progenitor cell to self-renew, a key attribute that defines stem cells. Previously, our laboratory has identified putative stem and progenitor cells from the adult murine pancreas. Using an ex vivo colony/organoid culture system, we demonstrated that these stem/progenitor-like cells have self-renewal and multilineage differentiation potential.
- Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) hydrolyzes acetylcholine to terminate cholinergic transmission in neurons. Apart from this AChE activity, emerging evidence suggests that AChE could also function in other, non-neuronal cells. For instance, in bone, AChE exists as a proline-rich membrane anchor (PRiMA)-linked globular form in osteoblasts, in which it is proposed to play a noncholinergic role in differentiation. However, this hypothesis is untested. Here, we found that in cultured rat osteoblasts, AChE expression was increased in parallel with osteoblastic differentiation.
- The tongue is one of the major structures involved in human food intake and speech. Tongue malformations such as aglossia, microglossia, and ankyloglossia are congenital birth defects, greatly affecting individuals' quality of life. However, the molecular basis of the tissue-tissue interactions that ensure tissue morphogenesis to form a functional tongue remains largely unknown. Here we show that ShhCre-mediated epithelial deletion of Wntless (Wls), the key regulator for intracellular Wnt trafficking, leads to lingual hypoplasia in mice.
- Dishevelled (Dvl) is a key intracellular signaling molecule that mediates the activation of divergent Wnt pathways. It contains three highly conserved domains known as DIX, PDZ, and DEP, the functions of which have been well characterized in β-catenin-dependent canonical and β-catenin-independent noncanonical Wnt signaling. The C-terminal region is also highly conserved from invertebrates to vertebrates. However, its function in regulating the activation of different Wnt signals remains unclear.
- Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into mesendoderm (ME) is directed by extrinsic signals and intrinsic epigenetic modifications. However, the dynamics of these epigenetic modifications and the mechanisms by which extrinsic signals regulate the epigenetic modifications during the initiation of ME differentiation remain elusive. In this study, we report that levels of histone H3 Lys-27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) decrease during ME initiation, which is essential for subsequent differentiation induced by the combined effects of activin and Wnt signaling.
- Convergent extension movements during vertebrate gastrulation require a balanced activity of non-canonical Wnt signaling pathways, but the factors regulating this interplay on the molecular level are poorly characterized. Here we show that sFRP2, a member of the secreted frizzled-related protein (sFRP) family, is required for morphogenesis and papc expression during Xenopus gastrulation. We further provide evidence that sFRP2 redirects non-canonical Wnt signaling from Frizzled 7 (Fz7) to the receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (Ror2).
- The discovery of a handful of conserved signaling pathways that dictate most aspects of embryonic and post-embryonic development of multicellular organisms has generated a universal view of animal development (Perrimon, N., Pitsouli, C., and Shilo, B. Z. (2012) Cold Spring Harb. Perspect. Biol. 4, a005975). Although we have at hand most of the “hardware” elements that mediate cell communication events that dictate cell fate choices, we are still far from a comprehensive mechanistic understanding of these processes.
- Background: Lzap is a novel tumor suppressor.Results: Elimination of Lzap in fish embryos or in a human tongue carcinoma cell line increases inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK3, which controls much cellular signaling, including Wnt/β-catenin signaling.Conclusion: Lzap promotes GSK3 activity.Significance: This introduces a new regulator of GSK3 and a potential target for cancer therapy.