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Warr N.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Siggers P.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Carre G.-A.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Wells S.,The Mary Lyon Center | Greenfield A.,Mammalian Genetics Unit
Biology of Reproduction | Year: 2016

Testis determination in mammals is initiated by expression of SRY in somatic cells of the embryonic gonad. Genetic analyses in the mouse have revealed a requirement for mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling in testis determination: targeted loss of the kinases MAP3K4 and p38 MAPK causes complete XY embryonic gonadal sex reversal. These kinases occupy positions at the top and bottom level, respectively, in the canonical threetier MAPK-signaling cascade: MAP3K, MAP2K, MAPK. To date, no role in sex determination has been attributed to a MAP2K, although such a function is predicted to exist. Here, we report roles for the kinases MAP2K3 and MAP2K6 in testis determination. C57BL/6J (B6) embryos lacking MAP2K3 exhibited no significant abnormalities of testis development, whilst those lacking MAP2K6 exhibited a minor delay in testis determination. Compound mutants lacking three out of four functional alleles at the two loci also exhibited delayed testis determination and transient ovotestis formation as a consequence, suggestive of partially redundant roles for these kinases in testis determination. Early lethality of double-knockout embryos precludes analysis of sexual development. To reveal their roles in testis determination more clearly, we generated Map2k mutant B6 embryos using a weaker Sry allele (SryAKR). Loss of Map2k3 on this highly sensitized background exacerbates ovotestis development, whilst loss of Map2k6 results in complete XY gonadal sex reversal associated with reduction of Sry expression at 11.25 days postcoitum. Our data suggest that MAP2K6 functions in mouse testis determination, via positive effects on Sry, and also indicate a minor role for MAP2K3. © 2016 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc. Source

Ruas M.,University of Oxford | Chuang K.-T.,University of Oxford | Chuang K.-T.,Harvard University | Davis L.C.,University of Oxford | And 6 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Biology | Year: 2014

Organelle ion homeostasis within the endo-lysosomal system is critical for physiological functions. Two-pore channels (TPCs) are cation channels that reside in endo-lysosomal organelles, and overexpression results in endo-lysosomal trafficking defects. However, the impact of a lack of TPC expression on endo-lysosomal trafficking is unknown. Here, we characterize Tpcn1 expression in two transgenic mouse lines (Tpcn1XG716 and Tpcn1T159) and show expression of a novel evolutionarily conserved Tpcn1B transcript from an alternative promoter, raising important questions regarding the status of Tpcn1 expression in mice recently described to be Tpcn1 knockouts. We show that the transgenic Tpcn1T159 line lacks expression of both Tpcn1 isoforms in all tissues analyzed. Using mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from Tpcn1-/- and Tpcn2-/- animals, we show that a lack of Tpcn1 or Tpcn2 expression has no significant impact on resting endo-lysosomal pH or morphology. However, differential effects in endo-lysosomal function were observed upon the loss of Tpcn1 or Tpcn2 expression; thus, while Tpcn1-/- MEFs have impaired trafficking of cholera toxin from the plasma membrane to the Golgi apparatus, Tpcn2-/- MEFs show slower kinetics of ligandinduced platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (PDGFRβ) degradation, which is dependent on trafficking to lysosomes. Our findings indicate that TPC1 and TPC2 have important but distinct roles in the endo-lysosomal pathway. © 2014 Ruas et al. Source

Warr N.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Bogani D.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Siggers P.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Brixey R.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

In mammals, the Y chromosome is a dominant male determinant, causing the bipotential gonad to develop as a testis. Recently, cases of familial and spontaneous 46,XY disorders of sex development (DSD) have been attributed to mutations in the human gene encoding mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 1, MAP3K1, a component of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal transduction pathway. In individuals harbouring heterozygous mutations in MAP3K1, dysregulation of MAPK signalling was observed in lymphoblastoid cell lines, suggesting a causal role for these mutations in disrupting XY sexual development. Mice lacking the cognate gene, Map3k1, are viable and exhibit the eyes open at birth (EOB) phenotype on a mixed genetic background, but on the C57BL/6J genetic background most mice die at around 14.5 dpc due to a failure of erythropoiesis in the fetal liver. However, no systematic examination of sexual development in Map3k1-deficient mice has been described, an omission that is especially relevant in the case of C57BL/6J, a genetic background that is sensitized to disruptions to testis determination. Here, we report that on a mixed genetic background mice lacking Map3k1 are fertile and exhibit no overt abnormalities of testis development. On C57BL/6J, significant non-viability is observed with very few animals surviving to adulthood. However, an examination of development in Map3k1-deficient XY embryos on this genetic background revealed no significant defects in testis determination, although minor abnormalities were observed, including an increase in gonadal length. Based on these observations, we conclude that MAP3K1 is not required for mouse testis determination. We discuss the significance of these data for the functional interpretation of sex-reversing MAP3K1 mutations in humans. © 2011 Warr, et al. Source

Warr N.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Carre G.-A.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Siggers P.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Faleato J.V.,Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine | And 13 more authors.
Developmental Cell | Year: 2012

Loss of the kinase MAP3K4 causes mouse embryonic gonadal sex reversal due to reduced expression of the testis-determining gene, Sry. However, because of widespread expression of MAP3K4, the cellular basis of this misregulation was unclear. Here, we show that mice lacking Gadd45γ also exhibit XY gonadal sex reversal caused by disruption to Sry expression. Gadd45γ is expressed in a dynamic fashion in somatic cells of the developing gonads from 10.5 days postcoitum (dpc) to 12.5 dpc. Gadd45γ and Map3k4 genetically interact during sex determination, and transgenic overexpression of Map3k4 rescues gonadal defects in Gadd45γ-deficient embryos. Sex reversal in both mutants is associated with reduced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and GATA4. In addition, embryos lacking both p38α and p38β also exhibit XY gonadal sex reversal. Taken together, our data suggest a requirement for GADD45γ in promoting MAP3K4-mediated activation of p38 MAPK signaling in embryonic gonadal somatic cells for testis determination in the mouse. Testis determination in mammals is initiated by Sry expression. Warr et al. report XY gonadal sex reversal in mice lacking GADD45γ, a protein associated with cellular stress. Genetic and biochemical studies suggest a molecular pathway, linking GADD45γ, MAP3K4, p38 MAPK, and GATA4, required for the proper regulation of Sry expression. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

Warr N.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Siggers P.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Carre G.-A.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | Bogani D.,Mammalian Genetics Unit | And 8 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2014

Disorders of sex development in thehumanpopulation range in severity from mild genital defects to gonadal sex reversal. XY female development has been associated with heterozygous mutations in several genes, including SOX9, WT1 and MAP3K1. In contrast, XY sex reversal in mice usually requires complete absence of testis-determining gene products.Oneexception to this involvesT-associatedsex reversal (Tas), aphenomenon characterized by the formation of ovotestes or ovaries in XY mice hemizygous for the hairpin-tail (Thp) or T-Orleans (TOrl) deletions on proximal mouse chromosome 17. We recently reported that mice heterozygous for a null allele of Map3k4, which resides in the Thp deletion, exhibit XY ovotestis development and occasional gonadal sex reversalonthe sensitized C57BL/6J-YAKR (B6-YAKR) geneticbackground, reminiscent of theTasphenotype. However, these experiments did not exclude the possibility that loss of other loci in the Thp deletion, or other effects of the deletion itself, might contribute to Tas. Here, we show that disruption to Sry expression underlies XY gonadal defects in B6-YAKR embryos harbouring the Thp deletion and that a functional Map3k4 bacterial artificial chromosome rescues these abnormalities by re-establishing a normal Sry expression profile. These data demonstrate that Map3k4 haploinsufficiency is the cause of T-associated sex reversal and that levels of this signalling molecule are a major determinant of the expression profile of Sry. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

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