Outside cells of the preimplantation mouse embryo form the trophectoderm (TE), a process requiring the transcription factor Tead4. Here, we show that transcriptionally active Tead4 can induce Cdx2 and other trophoblast genes in parallel in embryonic stem cells. In embryos, the Tead4 coactivator protein Yap localizes to nuclei of outside cells, and modulation of Tead4 or Yap activity leads to changes in Cdx2 expression. In inside cells, Yap is phosphorylated and cytoplasmic, and this involves the Hippo signaling pathway component Lats. We propose that active Tead4 promotes TE development in outside cells, whereas Tead4 activity is suppressed in inside cells by cell contact- and Lats-mediated inhibition of nuclear Yap localization. Thus, differential signaling between inside and outside cell populations leads to changes in cell fate specification during TE formation.
Blastocyst formation marks the segregation of the first two cell lineages in the mammalian preimplantation embryo: the inner cell mass (ICM) that will form the embryo proper and the trophectoderm (TE) that gives rise to the trophoblast lineage. Commitment to ICM lineage is attributed to the function of the two transcription factors, Oct4 (encoded by Pou5f1) and Nanog. However, a positive regulator of TE cell fate has not been described. The T-box protein eomesodermin (Eomes) and the caudal-type homeodomain protein Cdx2 are expressed in the TE, and both Eomes and Cdx2homozygous mutant embryos die around the time of implantation. A block in early TE differentiation occurs in Eomes mutant blastocysts. However, Eomes mutant blastocysts implant, and Cdx2 and Oct4expression are correctly restricted to the ICM TE. Blastocoel formation initiates in Cdx2 mutants but epithelial integrity is not maintained and embryos fail to implant. Loss of Cdx2 results in failure to downregulate Oct4 and Nanog in outer cells of the blastocyst and subsequent death of those cells. Thus, Cdx2 is essential for segregation of the ICM and TE lineages at the blastocyst stage by ensuring repression of Oct4 and Nanog in the TE.
The mouse blastocyst and stem cells derived from its tissue lineages provide a unique genetic system for examining the establishment and loss of pluripotency. The transcription factor Cdx2 plays a central role by repressing pluripotency genes, such as Oct4, and promoting extraembryonic trophoblast fate at the blastocyst stage. However, genetic evidence has suggested that Cdx2 does not work alone in the trophoblast lineage. We have used bioinformatic and functional genomic strategies to identify the transcription factor Gata3 as a trophoblast factor. We show Gata3 to be capable of inducing trophoblast fate in embryonic stem cells and driving trophoblast differentiation in trophoblast stem cells. In addition, Cdx2 is not required for Gata3-induced expression of a subset of trophoblast genes in embryonic stem cells. We show that Gata3 is coexpressed with Cdx2 in the blastocyst, but this does not depend on Cdx2. In the embryo, expression of Gata3, like that of Cdx2, depends on Tead4, and the expression of both factors becomes restricted to trophoblast by a mechanism that does not initially rely on Oct4. These observations suggest that Gata3 and Cdx2 can act in parallel pathways downstream of Tead4 to induce the expression of common and independent targets in the trophoblast lineage, whereas Oct4 is required for continued repression of trophoblast fate in the embryonic lineage.
The first lineage decision during mouse development is the establishment of trophectoderm and inner cell mass lineages, morphologically distinguishable at the blastocyst stage. The Caudal-like transcription factor Cdx2 is required for repression of inner cell mass genes Oct4 and Nanog in the trophectoderm. Expression of Cdx2 in the trophectoderm is thus one of the earliest known events in lineage determination. However, it is not clear whether the Cdx2 expression pattern is the cause or the consequence of this first lineage decision. Here, we show that Cdx2 is initially ubiquitously expressed, and becomes progressively upregulated in outside, future trophectoderm cells prior to blastocyst formation. Ubiquitous Cdx2 expression begins around the time of cell polarization, but we show that cell polarization is independent of zygotic Cdx2. Finally, we show functionally that Cdx2 is downstream of lineage allocation since Cdx2 mutant cells, which show cell-autonomous defects in expression of Oct4, Nanog, and the trophectoderm marker Eomesodermin, do not preferentially contribute to inner cell mass in chimeric blastocysts. Cdx2 therefore appears to act downstream of the first lineage decision, suggesting that processes influencing lineage allocation or morphogenesis may regulate Cdx2 expression along the inside/outside axis of the embryo.
In Drosophila, the secreted BMP-binding protein Short gastrulation (Sog) inhibits signaling by sequestering BMPs from receptors, but enhances signaling by transporting BMPs through tissues. We show that Crossveinless 2 (Cv-2) is also a secreted BMP-binding protein that enhances or inhibits BMP signaling. Unlike Sog, however, Cv-2 does not promote signaling by transporting BMPs. Rather, Cv-2 binds cell surfaces and heparan sulfate proteoglygans and acts over a short range. Cv-2 binds the type I BMP receptor Thickveins (Tkv), and we demonstrate how the exchange of BMPs between Cv-2 and receptor can produce the observed biphasic response to Cv-2 concentration, where low levels promote and high levels inhibit signaling. Importantly, we show also how the concentration or type of BMP present can determine whether Cv-2 promotes or inhibits signaling. We also find that Cv-2 expression is controlled by BMP signaling, and these combined properties enable Cv-2 to exquisitely tune BMP signaling.
Animals use diverse strategies to specify tissue lineages during development. A common strategy is to partition maternally supplied and localized lineage determinants into progenitor cells. The mouse embryo appears to use a different, more regulative strategy to specify the first three lineages: the epiblast (EPI: future embryo), the trophectoderm (TE: future placenta), and the primitive endoderm (PE: future yolk sac). These lineages are specified during two successive differentiation steps leading to formation of the blastocyst. Here, we review classic and contemporary models of early lineage specification in the mouse, and describe recent efforts to understand the molecular regulation of these events. We describe evidence that trophectoderm differentiation bears resemblance to the process of epithelialization and describe the importance of apical/basal protein complexes in regulating this process. Next, we present a revised model of PE specification, and describe evidence that PE cells in the inner cell mass sort out to occupy their ultimate position on the surface of the EPI. Finally, we describe factors that reinforce these lineages and three distinct stem cell types that can be isolated from them. Together, these mechanisms guide the differentiation of the first lineages of the mouse and thereby set up tissues that will be important for the first steps of embryonic body patterning. Developmental Dynamics 235:2301-2314, 2006.
Summary In embryonic stem (ES) cells and in early mouse embryos, the transcription factor Oct4 is an essential regulator of pluripotency. Oct4 transcriptional targets have been described in ES cell lines; however, the molecular mechanisms by which Oct4 regulates establishment of pluripotency in the epiblast (EPI) have not been fully elucidated. Here we show that neither maternal nor zygotic Oct4 are required for formation of EPI cells in the blastocyst. Rather, Oct4 is first required for development of the primitive endoderm (PE), an extraembryonic lineage. EPI cells promote PE fate in neighboring cells by secreting Fgf4, and Oct4 is required for expression of Fgf4, but we show that Oct4 promotes PE development cell-autonomously, downstream of Fgf4 and Mapk. Finally, we show that Oct4 is required for expression of multiple EPI and PE genes, as well as multiple metabolic pathways essential for the continued growth of the preimplantation embryo.
Pluripotent epiblast (EPI) cells, present in the inner cell mass (ICM) of the mouse blastocyst, are progenitors of both embryonic stem (ES) cells and the fetus. Discovering how pluripotency genes regulate cell fate decisions in the blastocyst provides a valuable way to understand how pluripotency is normally established. EPI cells are specified by two consecutive cell fate decisions. The first decision segregates ICM from trophectoderm (TE), an extraembryonic cell type. The second decision subdivides ICM into EPI and primitive endoderm (PE), another extraembryonic cell type. Here, we investigate the roles and regulation of the pluripotency gene Sox2 during blastocyst formation. First, we investigate the regulation of Sox2 patterning and show that SOX2 is restricted to ICM progenitors prior to blastocyst formation by members of the HIPPO pathway, independent of CDX2, the TE transcription factor that restricts Oct4 and Nanog to the ICM. Second, we investigate the requirement for Sox2 in cell fate specification during blastocyst formation. We show that neither maternal (M) nor zygotic (Z) Sox2 is required for blastocyst formation, nor for initial expression of the pluripotency genes Oct4 or Nanog in the ICM. Rather, Z Sox2 initially promotes development of the primitive endoderm (PE) non cell-autonomously via FGF4, and then later maintains expression of pluripotency genes in the ICM. The significance of these observations is that 1) ICM and TE genes are spatially patterned in parallel prior to blastocyst formation and 2) both the roles and regulation of Sox2 in the blastocyst are unique compared to other pluripotency factors such as Oct4 or Nanog.
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.
334 Leonard St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Copyright © 2023 scite Inc. All rights reserved.
Made with 💙 for researchers