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Myelination in the CNS requires oligodendrocytes to first select correct axonal targets and then extend their membranes around and along these axons. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Klingseisen et al. (2019) find that the adhesion protein Neurofascin is required in oligodendrocytes for both target selection and myelin growth.
Primary cilia function as cellular signaling hubs, integrating multiple signaling pathways. Patients with the ciliopathy Joubert syndrome have been suggested to have axonal tract defects. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Guo et al. (2019) demonstrate a ciliary signaling requirement for axonal tract development and connectivity through dysregulated PI3K/AKT/ACIII signaling.
Dynamic regulation of lysosomes allows them to play key roles in cell and tissue homeostasis. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Miao et al. find that a novel transcriptional pathway triggered by loss of cell adhesion activates lysosomes in C. elegans epidermis during developmental remodeling of the cuticle.
Germ cells carry genetic information to the next generation, necessitating special attention to their genome maintenance. Two new studies in this issue of Developmental Cell (Bhargava et al., 2020; Dokshin et al., 2020) reveal an essential function of germ cell-specific protein GCNA in the genome maintenance of germ cells.
During development, neurons form growth cones and neurites, but later reduce these activities to maintain a stable architecture. In this issue of Developmental Cell, LaBella et al. demonstrate that CK1δ plays a key role in winding down developmental processes exclusively by regulating poly(A) site choice to promote giant Ankyrin isoform expression.
Legumes, a subset of flowering plants, form root nodules in symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The regulatory network controlling nodule formation has remained mysterious. In a recent issue of Science, Soyano et al. (2019) demonstrate that co-option of an existing lateral root developmental program is used in Lotus for nodule organogenesis.
After axon outgrowth and synapse formation, the nervous system transitions to a stable architecture. In C. elegans, this transition is marked by the appearance of casein kinase 1δ (CK1δ) in the nucleus. In CK1δ mutants, neurons continue to sprout growth cones into adulthood, leading to a highly ramified nervous system. Nervous system architecture in these mutants is completely restored by suppressor mutations in ten genes involved in transcription termination. CK1δ prevents termination by phosphorylati...
Mammalian blastocysts comprise three distinct cell lineages essential for development beyond implantation: the pluripotent epiblast, which generates the future embryo, and surrounding it the extra-embryonic primitive endoderm and the trophectoderm tissues. Embryonic stem cells can reintegrate into embryogenesis but contribute primarily to epiblast lineages. Here, we show that mouse embryonic stem cells cultured under extended pluripotent conditions (EPSCs) can be partnered with trophoblast stem cells to sel...
Appropriate axonal growth and connectivity are essential for functional wiring of the brain. Joubert syndrome-related disorders (JSRD), a group of ciliopathies in which mutations disrupt primary cilia function, are characterized by axonal tract malformations. However, little is known about how cilia-driven signaling regulates axonal growth and connectivity. We demonstrate that the deletion of related JSRD genes, Arl13b and Inpp5e, in projection neurons leads to de-fasciculated and misoriented axonal tracts....
Seipin is an ER protein important for the assembly of cytoplasmic lipid droplets. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Chung et al. (2019) show that a stable seipin-binding protein, LDAF1/promethin, functions with seipin by attracting triacylglycerol and then allowing this lipid to accumulate and partition into nascent droplets.
In this issue of Developmental Cell, Niwayama et al. (2019) describe a model in which cell polarity and cell shape compete to determine the orientation of cell division in the pre-implantation mouse embryo. This model explains how simple cell-intrinsic rules lead to robust tissue-level morphogenesis and lineage segregation.
Ferroptosis causes clinically relevant amounts of necrosis during the course of heart attacks and acute kidney injury. However, ferroptosis is still a very young research field. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Brown et al. describe the pentaspan membrane glycoprotein prominin-2 as a novel endogenous ferroptosis inhibitor.
Age-associated decay of intercellular interactions impairs the cells' capacity to tightly associate within tissues and form a functional barrier. This barrier dysfunction compromises organ physiology and contributes to systemic failure. The actin cytoskeleton represents a key determinant in maintaining tissue architecture. Yet, it is unclear how age disrupts the actin cytoskeleton and how this, in turn, promotes mortality. Here, we show that an uncharacterized phosphorylation of a low-abundant actin varian...
Mutations in the lamin A/C gene (LMNA) cause cardiomyopathy and also disrupt nuclear positioning in fibroblasts. LMNA mutations causing cardiomyopathy elevate ERK1/2 activity in the heart, and inhibition of the ERK1/2 kinase activity ameliorates pathology, but the downstream effectors remain largely unknown. We now show that cardiomyocytes from mice with an Lmna mutation and elevated cardiac ERK1/2 activity have altered nuclear positioning. In fibroblasts, ERK1/2 activation negatively regulated nuclear move...
Cardiac valve disease can lead to severe cardiac dysfunction and is thus a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality. Its main treatment is valve replacement, which is currently greatly limited by the poor recellularization and tissue formation potential of the implanted valves. As we still lack suitable animal models to identify modulators of these processes, here we used adult zebrafish and found that, upon valve decellularization, they initiate a rapid regenerative program that leads to the formation of ...
Dickkopf-1 (Dkk1) is a secreted Wnt antagonist with a well-established role in head induction during development. Numerous studies have emerged implicating Dkk1 in various malignancies and neurodegenerative diseases through an unknown mechanism. Using zebrafish gastrulation as a model for collective cell migration, we unveil such a mechanism, identifying a role for Dkk1 in control of cell connectivity and polarity in vivo, independent of its known function. We find that Dkk1 localizes to adhesion complexes...
The actin remodeling factor N-WASP is best known as an Arp2/3 complex activator in processes like endocytosis, extracellular matrix degradation, and host-pathogen interaction. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Juin et al. establish a novel trafficking function for N-WASP in driving lysophosphatidic acid-dependent chemotaxis and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells.
Carcinoma cells often acquire mobility and invasiveness by undergoing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and yet most metastatic lesions remain epithelial in nature. Recently, in Nature, Padmanaban et al. (2019) demonstrated that the quintessential epithelial marker E-cadherin promotes metastasis of invasive ductal breast carcinoma by enhancing the survival of tumor cells.
Membrane contact sites (MCS) between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the plasma membrane (PM) play fundamental roles in all eukaryotic cells. ER-PM MCS are particularly abundant in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where approximately half of the PM surface is covered by cortical ER (cER). Several proteins, including Ist2, Scs2/22, and Tcb1/2/3 are implicated in cER formation, but the specific roles of these molecules are poorly understood. Here, we use cryo-electron tomography to show that ER-PM tethers are key...
Lipid flow between cellular organelles occurs via membrane contact sites. Extended-synaptotagmins, known as tricalbins in yeast, mediate lipid transfer between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and plasma membrane (PM). How these proteins regulate membrane architecture to transport lipids across the aqueous space between bilayers remains unknown. Using correlative microscopy, electron cryo-tomography, and high-throughput genetics, we address the interplay of architecture and function in budding yeast. We find ...
Defective coronary network function and insufficient blood supply are both cause and consequence of myocardial infarction. Efficient revascularization after infarction is essential to support tissue repair and function. Zebrafish hearts exhibit a remarkable ability to regenerate, and coronary revascularization initiates within hours of injury, but how this process is regulated remains unknown. Here, we show that revascularization requires a coordinated multi-tissue response culminating with the formation of...
Most animals exhibit mirror-symmetric body plans, yet the molecular constituents from which they are formed are often chiral. In planarian flatworms, centrioles are arranged in a bilaterally symmetric pattern across the ventral epidermis. Here, we found that this pattern is generated by a network of centrioles with prominent chiral asymmetric properties. We identify centriole components required for establishing asymmetric connections between centrioles and balancing their effects to align centrioles along ...