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D'Aniello E.,Molecular Cardiovascular Biology Division and Heart Institute | Waxman J.S.,Molecular Cardiovascular Biology Division and Heart Institute
Developmental Dynamics | Year: 2015

Appropriate levels of retinoic acid (RA) signaling are critical for normal heart development in vertebrates. A fascinating property of RA signaling is the thoroughness by which positive and negative feedback are employed to promote proper embryonic RA levels. In the present short review, we first cover the advancement of hypotheses regarding the impact of RA signaling on cardiac specification. We then discuss our current understanding of RA signaling feedback mechanisms and the implications of recent studies, which have indicated improperly maintained RA signaling feedback can be a contributing factor to developmental malformations. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Rydeen A.,Molecular Cardiovascular Biology Division and Heart Institute | Rydeen A.,University of Cincinnati | Voisin N.,Molecular Cardiovascular Biology Division and Heart Institute | Voisin N.,University Paris Diderot | And 6 more authors.
Developmental Biology | Year: 2015

Teratogenic levels of retinoic acid (RA) signaling can cause seemingly contradictory phenotypes indicative of both increases and decreases of RA signaling. However, the mechanisms underlying these contradictory phenotypes are not completely understood. Here, we report that using a hyperactive RA receptor to enhance RA signaling in zebrafish embryos leads to defects associated with gain and loss of RA signaling. While the gain-of-function phenotypes arise from an initial increase in RA signaling, using genetic epistasis analysis we found that the loss-of-function phenotypes result from a clearing of embryonic RA that requires a rapid and dramatic increase in cyp26a1 expression. Thus, the sensitivity of cyp26a1 expression to increased RA signaling causes an overcompensation of negative feedback and loss of embryonic RA signaling. Additionally, we used blastula transplantation experiments to test if Cyp26a1, despite its cellular localization, can limit RA exposure to neighboring cells. We find that enhanced Cyp26a1 expression limits RA signaling in the local environment, thus providing the first direct evidence that Cyp26 enzymes can have cell non-autonomous consequences on RA levels within tissues. Therefore, our results provide novel insights into the teratogenic mechanisms of RA signaling and the cellular mechanisms by which Cyp26a1 expression can shape a RA gradient. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

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