Evolutionary expansion of the human neocortex reflects increased amplification of basal progenitors in the subventricular zone, producing more neurons during fetal corticogenesis. In this work, we analyze the transcriptomes of distinct progenitor subpopulations isolated by a cell polarity-based approach from developing mouse and human neocortex. We identify 56 genes preferentially expressed in human apical and basal radial glia that lack mouse orthologs. Among these, ARHGAP11B has the highest degree of radial glia-specific expression. ARHGAP11B arose from partial duplication of ARHGAP11A (which encodes a Rho guanosine triphosphatase-activating protein) on the human lineage after separation from the chimpanzee lineage. Expression of ARHGAP11B in embryonic mouse neocortex promotes basal progenitor generation and self-renewal and can increase cortical plate area and induce gyrification. Hence, ARHGAP11B may have contributed to evolutionary expansion of human neocortex.
How tissue shape emerges from the collective mechanical properties and behavior of individual cells is not understood. We combine experiment and theory to study this problem in the developing wing epithelium of Drosophila. At pupal stages, the wing-hinge contraction contributes to anisotropic tissue flows that reshape the wing blade. Here, we quantitatively account for this wing-blade shape change on the basis of cell divisions, cell rearrangements and cell shape changes. We show that cells both generate and respond to epithelial stresses during this process, and that the nature of this interplay specifies the pattern of junctional network remodeling that changes wing shape. We show that patterned constraints exerted on the tissue by the extracellular matrix are key to force the tissue into the right shape. We present a continuum mechanical model that quantitatively describes the relationship between epithelial stresses and cell dynamics, and how their interplay reshapes the wing.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07090.001
The expansion of the neocortex during mammalian brain evolution results primarily from an increase in neural progenitor cell divisions in its two principal germinal zones during development, the ventricular zone (VZ) and the subventricular zone (SVZ). Using mRNA sequencing, we analyzed the transcriptomes of fetal human and embryonic mouse VZ, SVZ, and cortical plate. In mouse, the transcriptome of the SVZ was more similar to that of the cortical plate than that of the VZ, whereas in human the opposite was the case, with the inner and outer SVZ being highly related to each other despite their cytoarchitectonic differences. We describe sets of genes that are up-or down-regulated in each germinal zone. These data suggest that cell adhesion and cell-extracellular matrix interactions promote the proliferation and self-renewal of neural progenitors in the developing human neocortex. Notably, relevant extracellular matrix-associated genes include distinct sets of collagens, laminins, proteoglycans, and integrins, along with specific sets of growth factors and morphogens. Our data establish a basis for identifying novel cell-type markers and open up avenues to unravel the molecular basis of neocortex expansion during evolution.cerebral cortex | neural stem cells | neurogenesis N eocortex expansion is a hallmark of mammalian brain evolution. With regard to neuron number, a major cause of this expansion is the increase in the population size of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) and the number of divisions that each of the various NSPC types undergoes during cortical development (1-4). Two principal classes of these cells can be distinguished based on the location of their mitosis: (i) apical progenitors (APs), which undergo mitosis at the luminal surface of the ventricular zone (VZ); and (ii) basal progenitors (BPs), which undergo mitosis at an abventricular location, typically in the subventricular zone (SVZ) (2, 5, 6). Neurons born from AP and BP cell divisions migrate radially and settle at the basal (pial) side of the developing cortical wall to form the cortical plate (CP).Both APs and BPs comprise several types of NSPCs that differ in key cell biological features (e.g., cell polarity, cell processes, cell-to-cell junctions, nuclear migration) and in the principal modes of cell division (symmetric proliferative vs. asymmetric self-renewing vs. symmetric or asymmetric consumptive) (2, 5-10). APs comprise neuroepithelial cells, which transform into apical radial glial cells (aRGCs) at the onset of neurogenesis (11), and short neural precursors (12). BPs include basal (or outer) radial glial cells (bRGCs), transit amplifying progenitors (TAPs), and intermediate progenitor cells (IPCs) (2, 3, 13).The evolutionary expansion of the neocortex is associated with an increase in the thickness of the SVZ, which develops into two cytoarchitecturally distinct zones, an inner SVZ (ISVZ) and an outer SVZ (OSVZ) (1-4, 14, 15). The evolutionary increase in the SVZ is accompanied by a change in the proportion of BP subtypes. Fo...
Nuclear export factor 1 (NXF1) exports mRNA to the cytoplasm after recruitment to mRNA by specific adaptor proteins. How and why cells use numerous different export adaptors is poorly understood. Here we critically evaluate members of the SR protein family (SRSF1-7) for their potential to act as NXF1 adaptors that couple pre-mRNA processing to mRNA export. Consistent with this proposal, >1000 endogenous mRNAs required individual SR proteins for nuclear export in vivo. To address the mechanism, transcriptome-wide RNA-binding profiles of NXF1 and SRSF1-7 were determined in parallel by individual-nucleotide-resolution UV cross-linking and immunoprecipitation (iCLIP). Quantitative comparisons of RNA-binding sites showed that NXF1 and SR proteins bind mRNA targets at adjacent sites, indicative of cobinding. SRSF3 emerged as the most potent NXF1 adaptor, conferring sequence specificity to RNA binding by NXF1 in last exons. Interestingly, SRSF3 and SRSF7 were shown to bind different sites in last exons and regulate 3 ′ untranslated region length in an opposing manner. Both SRSF3 and SRSF7 promoted NXF1 recruitment to mRNA. Thus, SRSF3 and SRSF7 couple alternative splicing and polyadenylation to NXF1-mediated mRNA export, thereby controlling the cytoplasmic abundance of transcripts with alternative 3 ′ ends.
BackgroundThe SR proteins comprise a family of essential, structurally related RNA binding proteins. The complexity of their RNA targets and specificity of RNA recognition in vivo is not well understood. Here we use iCLIP to globally analyze and compare the RNA binding properties of two SR proteins, SRSF3 and SRSF4, in murine cells.ResultsSRSF3 and SRSF4 binding sites mapped to largely non-overlapping target genes, and in vivo consensus binding motifs were distinct. Interactions with intronless and intron-containing mRNAs as well as non-coding RNAs were detected. Surprisingly, both SR proteins bound to the 3' ends of the majority of intronless histone transcripts, implicating SRSF3 and SRSF4 in histone mRNA metabolism. In contrast, SRSF3 but not SRSF4 specifically bound transcripts encoding numerous RNA binding proteins. Remarkably, SRSF3 was shown to modulate alternative splicing of its own as well as three other transcripts encoding SR proteins. These SRSF3-mediated splicing events led to downregulation of heterologous SR proteins via nonsense-mediated decay.ConclusionsSRSF3 and SRSF4 display unique RNA binding properties underlying diverse cellular regulatory mechanisms, with shared as well as unique coding and non-coding targets. Importantly, CLIP analysis led to the discovery that SRSF3 cross-regulates the expression of other SR protein family members.
SummaryThe planarian Schmidtea mediterranea is an important model for stem cell research and regeneration. We report the first highly contiguous genome assembly of Schmidtea mediterranea, using long-read sequencing and a de novo assembler (MARVEL) enhanced for low complexity reads. The S. mediterranea genome is highly polymorphic and repetitive genome, and harbors a novel class of giant Gypsy retroelements. Further, the genome assembly lacks a number of highly conserved genes, including critical components of the mitotic spindle assembly checkpoint, yet planarians maintain checkpoint function. Our genome assembly provides a key model system resource that will be useful for studying regeneration and the evolutionary plasticity of cell biological core mechanisms.
Planarian flatworms are in the midst of a renaissance as a model system for regeneration and stem cells. Besides two well-studied model species, hundreds of species exist worldwide that present a fascinating diversity of regenerative abilities, tissue turnover rates, reproductive strategies and other life history traits. PlanMine (http://planmine.mpi-cbg.de/) aims to accomplish two primary missions: First, to provide an easily accessible platform for sharing, comparing and value-added mining of planarian sequence data. Second, to catalyze the comparative analysis of the phenotypic diversity amongst planarian species. Currently, PlanMine houses transcriptomes independently assembled by our lab and community contributors. Detailed assembly/annotation statistics, a custom-developed BLAST viewer and easy export options enable comparisons at the contig and assembly level. Consistent annotation of all transcriptomes by an automated pipeline, the integration of published gene expression information and inter-relational query tools provide opportunities for mining planarian gene sequences and functions. For inter-species comparisons, we include transcriptomes of, so far, six planarian species, along with images, expert-curated information on their biology and pre-calculated cross-species sequence homologies. PlanMine is based on the popular InterMine system in order to make the rich biology of planarians accessible to the general life sciences research community.
Species capable of regenerating lost body parts occur throughout the animal kingdom, yet close relatives are often regeneration incompetent. Why in the face of 'survival of the fittest' some animals regenerate but others do not remains a fascinating question. Planarian flatworms are well known and studied for their ability to regenerate from minute tissue pieces, yet species with limited regeneration abilities have been described even amongst planarians. Here we report the characterization of the regeneration defect in the planarian Dendrocoelum lacteum and its successful rescue. Tissue fragments cut from the posterior half of the body of this species are unable to regenerate a head and ultimately die. We find that this defect originates during the early stages of head specification, which require inhibition of canonical Wnt signalling in other planarian species. Notably, RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of Dlac-β-catenin-1, the Wnt signal transducer, restored the regeneration of fully functional heads on tail pieces, rescuing D. lacteum's regeneration defect. Our results demonstrate the utility of comparative studies towards the reactivation of regenerative abilities in regeneration-deficient animals. Furthermore, the availability of D. lacteum as a regeneration-impaired planarian model species provides a first step towards elucidating the evolutionary mechanisms that ultimately determine why some animals regenerate and others do not.
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