Formation of a new centriole adjacent to a pre-existing centriole occurs only once per cell cycle. Despite being crucial for genome integrity, the mechanisms controlling centriole biogenesis remain elusive. Here, we identify RBM14 as a novel suppressor of assembly of centriolar protein complexes. Depletion of RBM14 in human cells induces ectopic formation of centriolar protein complexes through function of the STIL/CPAP complex. Intriguingly, the formation of such structures seems not to require the cartwheel structure that normally acts as a scaffold for centriole formation, whereas they can retain pericentriolar material and microtubule nucleation activity. Moreover, we find that, upon RBM14 depletion, a part of the ectopic centriolar protein complexes in turn assemble into structures more akin to centrioles, presumably by incorporating HsSAS-6, a cartwheel component, and cause multipolar spindle formation. We further demonstrate that such structures assemble in the cytoplasm even in the presence of pre-existing centrioles. This study sheds light on the possibility that ectopic formation of aberrant structures related to centrioles may contribute to genome instability and tumorigenesis.
Anterior-posterior polarity of the mouse embryo has been thought to be established when distal visceral endoderm (DVE) at embryonic day (E) 5.5 migrates toward the future anterior side to form anterior visceral endoderm (AVE). Lefty1, a marker of DVE and AVE, is asymmetrically expressed in implanting mouse embryos. We now show that Lefty1 is expressed first in a subset of epiblast progenitor cells and then in a subset of primitive endoderm progenitors. Genetic fate mapping indicated that the latter cells are destined to become DVE. In contrast to the accepted notion, however, AVE is not derived from DVE but is newly formed after E5.5 from Lefty1(-) visceral endoderm cells that move to the distal tip. Concomitant with DVE migration, all visceral endoderm cells in the embryonic region undergo global movement. In embryos subjected to genetic ablation of Lefty1-expressing DVE cells, AVE was formed de novo but the visceral endoderm including the newly formed AVE failed to migrate, indicating that DVE guides the migration of AVE by initiating the global movement of visceral endoderm cells. Future anterior-posterior polarity is thus already determined by Lefty1(+) blastomeres in the implanting blastocyst.
The abundance of retinoic acid (RA) is determined by the balance between its synthesis by retinaldehyde dehydrogenase (RALDH) and its degradation by CYP26. In particular, the dynamic expression of three CYP26 genes controls the regional level of RA within the body. Pregastrulation mouse embryos express CYP26 but not RALDH. We now show that mice lacking all three CYP26 genes manifest duplication of the body axis as a result of expansion of the Nodal expression domain throughout the epiblast. Mouse Nodal was found to contain an RA-responsive element in intron 1 that is highly conserved among mammals. In the absence of CYP26, maternally derived RA activates Nodal expression in the entire epiblast of pregastrulation embryos via this element. These observations suggest that maternal RA must be removed by embryonic CYP26 for correct Nodal expression during embryonic patterning.
The anterior-posterior axis of the mouse embryo is established by formation of distal visceral endoderm (DVE) and its subsequent migration. The precise mechanism of DVE formation has remained unknown, however. Here we show that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling plays dual roles in DVE formation. BMP signaling is required at an early stage for differentiation of the primitive endoderm into the embryonic visceral endoderm (VE), whereas it inhibits DVE formation, restricting it to the distal region, at a later stage. A Smad2-activating factor such as Activin also contributes to DVE formation by generating a region of VE positive for the Smad2 signal and negative for Smad1 signal. DVE is thus formed at the distal end of the embryo, the only region of VE negative for the Smad1 signal and positive for Smad2 signal. An inverse relation between the level of phosphorylated Smad1 and that of phosphorylated Smad2 in VE suggests an involvement of antagonism between Smad1- and Smad2-mediated signaling.
Breaking of left-right symmetry in mouse embryos requires fluid flow at the node, but the precise action of the flow has remained unknown. Here we show that the left-right asymmetry of Cerl2 expression around the node, a target of the flow, is determined post-transcriptionally by decay of Cerl2 mRNA in a manner dependent on its 3 untranslated region. Cerl2 mRNA is absent specifically from the apical region of crown cells on the left side of the node. Preferential decay of Cerl2 mRNA on the left is initiated by the leftward flow and further enhanced by the operation of Wnt-Cerl2 interlinked feedback loops, in which Wnt3 upregulates Wnt3 expression and promotes Cerl2 mRNA decay, whereas Cerl2 promotes Wnt degradation. Mathematical modelling and experimental data suggest that these feedback loops behave as a bistable switch that can amplify in a noise-resistant manner a small bias conferred by fluid flow.
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