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Bras-Pereira C.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia | Casares F.,Centro Andaluz Of Biologa Del Desarrollo Cabd | Janody F.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia
Development (Cambridge) | Year: 2015

The Drosophila transcriptional co-activator protein Yorkie and its vertebrate orthologs YAP and TAZ are potent oncogenes, whose activity is normally kept in check by the upstream Hippo kinase module. Upon its translocation into the nucleus, Yorkie forms complexes with several tissue-specific DNA-binding partners, which help to define the tissue-specific target genes of Yorkie. In the progenitor cells of the eye imaginal disc, the DNA-binding transcription factor Homothorax is required for Yorkie-promoted proliferation and survival through regulation of the bantam microRNA (miRNA). The transit from proliferating progenitors to cell cycle quiescent precursors is associated with the progressive loss of Homothorax and gain of Dachshund, a nuclear protein related to the Sno/Ski family of co-repressors. We have identified Dachshund as an inhibitor of Homothorax-Yorkie-mediated cell proliferation. Loss of dachshund induces Yorkie-dependent tissue overgrowth. Conversely, overexpressing dachshund inhibits tissue growth, prevents Yorkie or Homothorax-mediated cell proliferation of disc epithelia and restricts the transcriptional activity of the Yorkie-Homothorax complex on the bantam enhancer in Drosophila cells. In addition, Dachshund collaborates with the Decapentaplegic receptor Thickveins to repress Homothorax and Cyclin B expression in quiescent precursors. The antagonistic roles of Homothorax and Dachshund in Yorkie activity, together with their mutual repression, ensure that progenitor and precursor cells are under distinct proliferation regimes. Based on the crucial role of the human dachshund homolog DACH1 in tumorigenesis, our work suggests that DACH1 might prevent cellular transformation by limiting the oncogenic activity of YAP and/or TAZ. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Source


Marcos S.,CIBER ISCIII | Beccari L.,CIBER ISCIII | Martin-Bermejo M.J.,CIBER ISCIII | Amarie O.,Helmholtz Center Munich | And 9 more authors.
Development (Cambridge) | Year: 2015

Microphthalmos is a rare congenital anomaly characterized by reduced eye size and visual deficits of variable degree. Sporadic and hereditary microphthalmos have been associated with heterozygous mutations in genes fundamental for eye development. Yet,many cases are idiopathic or await the identification of molecular causes. Here we show that haploinsufficiency of Meis1, which encodes a transcription factor with evolutionarily conserved expression in the embryonic trunk, brain and sensory organs, including the eye, causes microphthalmic traits and visual impairment in adultmice. By combining analysis of Meis1 loss-offunction and conditional Meis1 functional rescue with ChIP-seq and RNA-seq approaches we show that, in contrast to its preferential association with Hox-Pbx BSs in the trunk, Meis1 binds to Hox/Pbxindependent sites during optic cup development. In the eye primordium, Meis1 coordinates, in a dose-dependent manner, retinal proliferation and differentiation by regulating genes responsible for human microphthalmia and components of the Notch signaling pathway. In addition, Meis1 is required for eye patterning by controlling a set of eye territory-specific transcription factors, so that in Meis1−/− embryos boundaries among the different eye territories are shifted or blurred.We propose that Meis1 is at the core of a genetic network implicated in eye patterning/microphthalmia, and represents an additional candidate for syndromic cases of these ocular malformations. © 2015. Source

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