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Journal Cover Journal of Developmental Biology
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 2221-3759
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [156 journals]
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 10: The Roles of the Wnt-Antagonists Axin and Lrp4
           during Embryogenesis of the Red Flour Beetle Tribolium castaneum

    • Authors: Romy Prühs, Anke Beermann, Reinhard Schröder
      First page: 10
      Abstract: In both vertebrates and invertebrates, the Wnt-signaling pathway is essential for numerous processes in embryogenesis and during adult life. Wnt activity is fine-tuned at various levels by the interplay of a number of Wnt-agonists (Wnt ligands, Frizzled-receptors, Lrp5/6 coreceptors) and Wnt-antagonists (among them Axin, Secreted frizzled and Lrp4) to define anterior–posterior polarity of the early embryo and specify cell fate in organogenesis. So far, the functional analysis of Wnt-pathway components in insects has concentrated on the roles of Wnt-agonists and on the Wnt-antagonist Axin. We depict here additional features of the Wnt-antagonist Axin in the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. We show that Tc-axin is dynamically expressed throughout embryogenesis and confirm its essential role in head development. In addition, we describe an as yet undetected, more extreme Tc-axin RNAi-phenotype, the ectopic formation of posterior abdominal segments in reverse polarity and a second hindgut at the anterior. For the first time, we describe here that an lrp4 ortholog is involved in axis formation in an insect. The Tribolium Lrp4 ortholog is ubiquitously expressed throughout embryogenesis. Its downregulation via maternal RNAi results in the reduction of head structures but not in axis polarity reversal. Furthermore, segmentation is impaired and larvae develop with a severe gap-phenotype. We conclude that, as in vertebrates, Tc-lrp4 functions as a Wnt-inhibitor in Tribolium during various stages of embryogenesis. We discuss the role of both components as negative modulators of Wnt signaling in respect to axis formation and segmentation in Tribolium.
      Citation: Journal of Developmental Biology
      PubDate: 2017-10-15
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5040010
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 11: Contributions of Noncanonical Smoothened Signaling
           During Embryonic Development

    • Authors: Tanushree Pandit, Stacey Ogden
      First page: 11
      Abstract: The Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway is active during embryonic development in metazoans, and provides instructional cues necessary for proper tissue patterning. The pathway signal transducing component, Smoothened (Smo), is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that has been demonstrated to signal through at least two effector routes. The first is a G protein–independent canonical route that signals to Gli transcriptional effectors to establish transcriptional programs specifying cell fate during early embryonic development. The second, commonly referred to as the noncanonical Smo signal, induces rapid, transcription-independent responses that are essential for establishing and maintaining distinct cell behaviors during development. Herein, we discuss contributions of this noncanonical route during embryonic development. We also highlight important open questions regarding noncanonical Smo signal route selection during development, and consider implications of noncanonical signal corruption in disease.
      Citation: Journal of Developmental Biology
      PubDate: 2017-10-17
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5040011
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 12: Roles of the Hedgehog Signaling Pathway in
           Epidermal and Hair Follicle Development, Homeostasis, and Cancer

    • Authors: Yoshinori Abe, Nobuyuki Tanaka
      First page: 12
      Abstract: The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin and provides a protective barrier against environmental insults. It is a rapidly-renewing tissue undergoing constant regeneration, maintained by several types of stem cells. The Hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway is one of the fundamental signaling pathways that contributes to epidermal development, homeostasis, and repair, as well as to hair follicle development and follicle bulge stem cell maintenance. The HH pathway interacts with other signal transduction pathways, including those activated by Wnt, bone morphogenetic protein, platelet-derived growth factor, Notch, and ectodysplasin. Furthermore, aberrant activation of HH signaling is associated with various tumors, including basal cell carcinoma. Therefore, an understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of the HH signaling pathway is important for elucidating fundamental mechanisms underlying both organogenesis and carcinogenesis. In this review, we discuss the role of the HH signaling pathway in the development and homeostasis epidermis and hair follicles, and in basal cell carcinoma formation, providing an update of current knowledge in this field.
      Citation: Journal of Developmental Biology
      PubDate: 2017-11-20
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5040012
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 13: Emerging Roles of DYRK Kinases in Embryogenesis and
           Hedgehog Pathway Control

    • Authors: Rajeev Singh, Matthias Lauth
      First page: 13
      Abstract: Hedgehog (Hh)/GLI signaling is an important instructive cue in various processes during embryonic development, such as tissue patterning, stem cell maintenance, and cell differentiation. It also plays crucial roles in the development of many pediatric and adult malignancies. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of pathway regulation is therefore of high interest. Dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinases (DYRKs) comprise a group of protein kinases which are emerging modulators of signal transduction, cell proliferation, survival, and cell differentiation. Work from the last years has identified a close regulatory connection between DYRKs and the Hh signaling system. In this manuscript, we outline the mechanistic influence of DYRK kinases on Hh signaling with a focus on the mammalian situation. We furthermore aim to bring together what is known about the functional consequences of a DYRK-Hh cross-talk and how this might affect cellular processes in development, physiology, and pathology.
      Citation: Journal of Developmental Biology
      PubDate: 2017-11-21
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5040013
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 14: The Hedgehog Signaling Pathway Emerges as a
           Pathogenic Target

    • Authors: Margery Smelkinson
      First page: 14
      Abstract: The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays an essential role in the growth, development, and homeostatis of many tissues in vertebrates and invertebrates. Much of what is known about Hh signaling is in the context of embryonic development and tumor formation. However, a growing body of evidence is emerging indicating that Hh signaling is also involved in postnatal processes such as tissue repair and adult immune responses. To that extent, Hh signaling has also been shown to be a target for some pathogens that presumably utilize the pathway to control the local infected environment. In this review, we discuss what is currently known regarding pathogenic interactions with Hh signaling and speculate on the reasons for this pathway being a target. We also hope to shed light on the possibility of using small molecule modulators of Hh signaling as effective therapies for a wider range of human diseases beyond their current use in a limited number of cancers.
      Citation: Journal of Developmental Biology
      PubDate: 2017-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5040014
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 15: Drosophila as a Model to Study the Link between
           Metabolism and Cancer

    • Authors: Héctor Herranz, Stephen Cohen
      First page: 15
      Abstract: Cellular metabolism has recently been recognized as a hallmark of cancer. Investigating the origin and effects of the reprogrammed metabolism of tumor cells, and identifying its genetic mediators, will improve our understanding of how these changes contribute to disease progression and may suggest new approaches to therapy. Drosophila melanogaster is emerging as a valuable model to study multiple aspects of tumor formation and malignant transformation. In this review, we discuss the use of Drosophila as model to study how changes in cellular metabolism, as well as metabolic disease, contribute to cancer.
      Citation: Journal of Developmental Biology
      PubDate: 2017-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5040015
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 7: A Kinase Duet Performance in the Asymmetric Division
           of Drosophila Neuroblasts

    • Authors: Christopher Johnston
      First page: 7
      Abstract: The ability of progenitor stem cells to divide asymmetrically allows for the production of diverse daughter cell fates.[...]
      Citation: Journal of Developmental Biology
      PubDate: 2017-09-14
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5030007
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 8: The α-Tubulin gene TUBA1A in Brain Development: A
           Key Ingredient in the Neuronal Isotype Blend

    • Authors: Jayne Aiken, Georgia Buscaglia, Emily A. Bates, Jeffrey K. Moore
      First page: 8
      Abstract: Microtubules are dynamic cytoskeletal polymers that mediate numerous, essential functions such as axon and dendrite growth and neuron migration throughout brain development. In recent years, sequencing has revealed dominant mutations that disrupt the tubulin protein building blocks of microtubules. These tubulin mutations lead to a spectrum of devastating brain malformations, complex neurological and physical phenotypes, and even fatality. The most common tubulin gene mutated is the α-tubulin gene TUBA1A, which is the most prevalent α-tubulin gene expressed in post-mitotic neurons. The normal role of TUBA1A during neuronal maturation, and how mutations alter its function to produce the phenotypes observed in patients, remains unclear. This review synthesizes current knowledge of TUBA1A function and expression during brain development, and the brain malformations caused by mutations in TUBA1A.
      Citation: Journal of Developmental Biology
      PubDate: 2017-09-19
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5030008
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 9: Introduction: Drosophila—A Model System for
           Developmental Biology

    • Authors: Nicholas Tolwinski
      First page: 9
      Abstract: Drosophila melanogaster, known colloquially as the fruit fly, remains one of the most commonly used model organisms for biomedical science.[...]
      Citation: Journal of Developmental Biology
      PubDate: 2017-09-20
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5030009
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 4: Moving the Shh Source over Time: What Impact on
           Neural Cell Diversification in the Developing Spinal Cord'

    • Authors: Cathy Danesin, Cathy Soula
      First page: 4
      Abstract: A substantial amount of data has highlighted the crucial influence of Shh signalling on the generation of diverse classes of neurons and glial cells throughout the developing central nervous system. A critical step leading to this diversity is the establishment of distinct neural progenitor cell domains during the process of pattern formation. The forming spinal cord, in particular, has served as an excellent model to unravel how progenitor cells respond to Shh to produce the appropriate pattern. In recent years, considerable advances have been made in our understanding of important parameters that control the temporal and spatial interpretation of the morphogen signal at the level of Shh-receiving progenitor cells. Although less studied, the identity and position of Shh source cells also undergo significant changes over time, raising the question of how moving the Shh source contributes to cell diversification in response to the morphogen. Here, we focus on the dynamics of Shh-producing cells and discuss specific roles for these time-variant Shh sources with regard to the temporal events occurring in the receiving field.
      PubDate: 2017-04-12
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5020004
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 5: Special Issue on HOX Genes in Development

    • Authors: Vincenzo Zappavigna
      First page: 5
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2017-05-10
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5020005
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 6: Sonic Hedgehog Signaling and Development of the

    • Authors: Maisa Seppala, Gareth Fraser, Anahid Birjandi, Guilherme Xavier, Martyn Cobourne
      First page: 6
      Abstract: Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is an essential signaling peptide required for normal embryonic development. It represents a highly-conserved marker of odontogenesis amongst the toothed vertebrates. Signal transduction is involved in early specification of the tooth-forming epithelium in the oral cavity, and, ultimately, in defining tooth number within the established dentition. Shh also promotes the morphogenetic movement of epithelial cells in the early tooth bud, and influences cell cycle regulation, morphogenesis, and differentiation in the tooth germ. More recently, Shh has been identified as a stem cell regulator in the continuously erupting incisors of mice. Here, we review contemporary data relating to the role of Shh in odontogenesis, focusing on tooth development in mammals and cartilaginous fishes. We also describe the multiple actions of this signaling protein at the cellular level.
      PubDate: 2017-05-31
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5020006
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 1: Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Journal of
           Developmental Biology in 2016

    • Authors: JDB Editorial Office
      First page: 1
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2017-01-11
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5010001
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 2: Sonic Hedgehog—‘Jack-of-All-Trades’ in Neural
           Circuit Formation

    • Authors: Nikole Zuñiga, Esther Stoeckli
      First page: 2
      Abstract: As reflected by the term morphogen, molecules such as Shh and Wnts were identified based on their role in early development when they instruct precursor cells to adopt a specific cell fate. Only much later were they implicated in neural circuit formation. Both in vitro and in vivo studies indicated that morphogens direct axons during their navigation through the developing nervous system. Today, the best understood role of Shh and Wnt in axon guidance is their effect on commissural axons in the spinal cord. Shh was shown to affect commissural axons both directly and indirectly via its effect on Wnt signaling. In fact, throughout neural circuit formation there is cross-talk and collaboration of Shh and Wnt signaling. Thus, although the focus of this review is on the role of Shh in neural circuit formation, a separation from Wnt signaling is not possible.
      PubDate: 2017-02-08
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5010002
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2017)
  • JDB, Vol. 5, Pages 3: Canonical Sonic Hedgehog Signaling in Early Lung

    • Authors: Hugo Fernandes-Silva, Jorge Correia-Pinto, Rute Moura
      First page: 3
      Abstract: The canonical hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway is of major importance during embryonic development. HH is a key regulatory morphogen of numerous cellular processes, namely, cell growth and survival, differentiation, migration, and tissue polarity. Overall, it is able to trigger tissue-specific responses that, ultimately, contribute to the formation of a fully functional organism. Of all three HH proteins, Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) plays an essential role during lung development. In fact, abnormal levels of this secreted protein lead to severe foregut defects and lung hypoplasia. Canonical SHH signal transduction relies on the presence of transmembrane receptors, such as Patched1 and Smoothened, accessory proteins, as Hedgehog-interacting protein 1, and intracellular effector proteins, like GLI transcription factors. Altogether, this complex signaling machinery contributes to conveying SHH response. Pulmonary morphogenesis is deeply dependent on SHH and on its molecular interactions with other signaling pathways. In this review, the role of SHH in early stages of lung development, specifically in lung specification, primary bud formation, and branching morphogenesis is thoroughly reviewed.
      PubDate: 2017-03-13
      DOI: 10.3390/jdb5010003
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2017)
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