Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
List of Papers
Chikara Meno Last modified date:2022.06.13

Professor / Bioregulation / Department of Basic Medicine / Faculty of Medical Sciences

1. Mizuki Honda, Shinya Oki, Ryuichi Kimura, Akihito Harada, Kazumitsu Maehara, Kaori Tanaka, Chikara Meno, Yasuyuki Ohkawa, High-depth spatial transcriptome analysis by photo-isolation chemistry., Nature communications, 10.1038/s41467-021-24691-8, 12, 1, 4416-4416, 2021.07, In multicellular organisms, expression profiling in spatially defined regions is crucial to elucidate cell interactions and functions. Here, we establish a transcriptome profiling method coupled with photo-isolation chemistry (PIC) that allows the determination of expression profiles specifically from photo-irradiated regions of interest. PIC uses photo-caged oligodeoxynucleotides for in situ reverse transcription. PIC transcriptome analysis detects genes specifically expressed in small distinct areas of the mouse embryo. Photo-irradiation of single cells demonstrated that approximately 8,000 genes were detected with 7 × 104 unique read counts. Furthermore, PIC transcriptome analysis is applicable to the subcellular and subnuclear microstructures (stress granules and nuclear speckles, respectively), where hundreds of genes can be detected as being specifically localised. The spatial density of the read counts is higher than 100 per square micrometre. Thus, PIC enables high-depth transcriptome profiles to be determined from limited regions up to subcellular and subnuclear resolutions..
2. Tomoaki Koga, Fumiyuki Sasaki, Kazuko Saeki, Soken Tsuchiya, Toshiaki Okuno, Mai Ohba, Takako Ichiki, Satoshi Iwamoto, Hirotsugu Uzawa, Keiko Kitajima, Chikara Meno, Eri Nakamura, Norihiro Tada, Yoshinori Fukui, Junichi Kikuta, Masaru Ishii, Yukihiko Sugimoto, Mitsuyoshi Nakao, Takehiko Yokomizo, Expression of leukotriene B4 receptor 1 defines functionally distinct DCs that control allergic skin inflammation., Cellular & molecular immunology, 10.1038/s41423-020-00559-7, 2020.10, Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) receptor 1 (BLT1) is a chemotactic G protein-coupled receptor expressed by leukocytes, such as granulocytes, macrophages, and activated T cells. Although there is growing evidence that BLT1 plays crucial roles in immune responses, its role in dendritic cells remains largely unknown. Here, we identified novel DC subsets defined by the expression of BLT1, namely, BLT1hi and BLT1lo DCs. We also found that BLT1hi and BLT1lo DCs differentially migrated toward LTB4 and CCL21, a lymph node-homing chemoattractant, respectively. By generating LTB4-producing enzyme LTA4H knockout mice and CD11c promoter-driven Cre recombinase-expressing BLT1 conditional knockout (BLT1 cKO) mice, we showed that the migration of BLT1hi DCs exacerbated allergic contact dermatitis. Comprehensive transcriptome analysis revealed that BLT1hi DCs preferentially induced Th1 differentiation by upregulating IL-12p35 expression, whereas BLT1lo DCs accelerated T cell proliferation by producing IL-2. Collectively, the data reveal an unexpected role for BLT1 as a novel DC subset marker and provide novel insights into the role of the LTB4-BLT1 axis in the spatiotemporal regulation of distinct DC subsets..
3. Sachiko Inamori, Mai Fujii, Sayaka Satake, Hideaki Iida, Machiko Teramoto, Tomoyuki Sumi, Chikara Meno, Yasuo Ishii, Hisato Kondoh, Modeling early stages of endoderm development in epiblast stem cell aggregates with supply of extracellular matrices., Development, growth & differentiation, 10.1111/dgd.12663, 62, 4, 243-259, 2020.05, Endoderm precursors expressing FoxA2 and Sox17 develop from the epiblast through the gastrulation process. In this study, we developed an experimental system to model the endoderm-generating gastrulation process using epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs). To this end, we established an EpiSC line i22, in which enhanced green fluorescent protein is coexpressed with Foxa2. Culturing i22 EpiSCs as aggregates for a few days was sufficient to initiate Foxa2 expression, and further culturing of the aggregates in Matrigel promoted the sequential activation of transcription factor genes involved in endoderm precursor development, e.g., Eomes, Gsc, and Sox17. In aggregation culture of i22 cells for 3 days, all cells expressed POU5F1, SOX2, and E-cadherin, a signature of the epiblast, whereas expression of GATA4 and SOX17 was also activated moderately in dispersed cells, suggesting priming of these cells to endodermal development. Embedding the aggregates in Matrigel for further 3 days elicited migration of the cells into the lumen of laminin-rich matrices covering the aggregates, in which FOXA2 and SOX17 were expressed at a high level with the concomitant loss of E-cadherin, indicating the migratory phase of endodermal precursors. Prolonged culturing of the aggregates generated three segregating cell populations found in post-gastrulation stage embryos: (1) definitive endoderm co-expressing high SOX17, GATA4, and E-cadherin, (2) mesodermal cells expressing a low level of GATA4 and lacking E-cadherin, and (3) primed epiblast cells expressing POU5F1, SOX2 without E-cadherin. Thus, aggregation of EpiSCs followed by embedding of aggregates in the laminin-rich matrix models the gastrulation-dependent endoderm precursor development..
4. Rie Saba, Keiko Kitajima, Lucille Rainbow, Silvia Engert, Mami Uemura, Hidekazu Ishida, Ioannis Kokkinopoulos, Yasunori Shintani, Shigeru Miyagawa, Yoshiakira Kanai, Masami Kanai-Azuma, Peter Koopman, Chikara Meno, John Kenny, Heiko Lickert, Yumiko Saga, Ken Suzuki, Yoshiki Sawa, Kenta Yashiro, Endocardium differentiation through Sox17 expression in endocardium precursor cells regulates heart development in mice., Scientific reports, 10.1038/s41598-019-48321-y, 9, 1, 11953-11953, 2019.08, The endocardium is the endothelial component of the vertebrate heart and plays a key role in heart development. Where, when, and how the endocardium segregates during embryogenesis have remained largely unknown, however. We now show that Nkx2-5+ cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) that express the Sry-type HMG box gene Sox17 from embryonic day (E) 7.5 to E8.5 specifically differentiate into the endocardium in mouse embryos. Although Sox17 is not essential or sufficient for endocardium fate, it can bias the fate of CPCs toward the endocardium. On the other hand, Sox17 expression in the endocardium is required for heart development. Deletion of Sox17 specifically in the mesoderm markedly impaired endocardium development with regard to cell proliferation and behavior. The proliferation of cardiomyocytes, ventricular trabeculation, and myocardium thickening were also impaired in a non-cell-autonomous manner in the Sox17 mutant, likely as a consequence of down-regulation of NOTCH signaling. An unknown signal, regulated by Sox17 and required for nurturing of the myocardium, is responsible for the reduction in NOTCH-related genes in the mutant embryos. Our results thus provide insight into differentiation of the endocardium and its role in heart development..
5. Shinya Oki, Tazro Ohta, Go Shioi, Hideki Hatanaka, Osamu Ogasawara, Yoshihiro Okuda, Hideya Kawaji, Ryo Nakaki, Jun Sese, Chikara Meno, ChIP-Atlas: a data-mining suite powered by full integration of public ChIP-seq data., EMBO reports, 10.15252/embr.201846255, 19, 12, 2018.12, We have fully integrated public chromatin chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) and DNase-seq data (n > 70,000) derived from six representative model organisms (human, mouse, rat, fruit fly, nematode, and budding yeast), and have devised a data-mining platform-designated ChIP-Atlas ( ChIP-Atlas is able to show alignment and peak-call results for all public ChIP-seq and DNase-seq data archived in the NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRA), which encompasses data derived from GEO, ArrayExpress, DDBJ, ENCODE, Roadmap Epigenomics, and the scientific literature. All peak-call data are integrated to visualize multiple histone modifications and binding sites of transcriptional regulators (TRs) at given genomic loci. The integrated data can be further analyzed to show TR-gene and TR-TR interactions, as well as to examine enrichment of protein binding for given multiple genomic coordinates or gene names. ChIP-Atlas is superior to other platforms in terms of data number and functionality for data mining across thousands of ChIP-seq experiments, and it provides insight into gene regulatory networks and epigenetic mechanisms..
6. Ryo Nabeshima, Osamu Nishimura, Takako Maeda, Natsumi Shimizu, Takahiro Ide, Kenta Yashiro, Yasuo Sakai, Chikara Meno, Mitsutaka Kadota, Hidetaka Shiratori, Shigehiro Kuraku, Hiroshi Hamada, Loss of Fam60a, a Sin3a subunit, results in embryonic lethality and is associated with aberrant methylation at a subset of gene promoters., eLife, 10.7554/eLife.36435, 7, 2018.08, We have examined the role of Fam60a, a gene highly expressed in embryonic stem cells, in mouse development. Fam60a interacts with components of the Sin3a-Hdac transcriptional corepressor complex, and most Fam60a-/- embryos manifest hypoplasia of visceral organs and die in utero. Fam60a is recruited to the promoter regions of a subset of genes, with the expression of these genes being either up- or down-regulated in Fam60a-/- embryos. The DNA methylation level of the Fam60a target gene Adhfe1 is maintained at embryonic day (E) 7.5 but markedly reduced at E9.5 in Fam60a-/- embryos, suggesting that DNA demethylation is enhanced in the mutant. Examination of genome-wide DNA methylation identified several differentially methylated regions, which were preferentially hypomethylated, in Fam60a-/- embryos. Our data suggest that Fam60a is required for proper embryogenesis, at least in part as a result of its regulation of DNA methylation at specific gene promoters..
7. Yuichiro Semba, Akihito Harada, Kazumitsu Maehara, Shinya Oki, Chikara Meno, Jun Ueda, Kazuo Yamagata, Atsushi Suzuki, Mitsuho Onimaru, Jumpei Nogami, Seiji Okada, Koichi Akashi, Yasuyuki Ohkawa, Chd2 regulates chromatin for proper gene expression toward differentiation in mouse embryonic stem cells., Nucleic acids research, 10.1093/nar/gkx475, 45, 15, 8758-8772, 2017.09, Chromatin reorganization is necessary for pluripotent stem cells, including embryonic stem cells (ESCs), to acquire lineage potential. However, it remains unclear how ESCs maintain their characteristic chromatin state for appropriate gene expression upon differentiation. Here, we demonstrate that chromodomain helicase DNA-binding domain 2 (Chd2) is required to maintain the differentiation potential of mouse ESCs. Chd2-depleted ESCs showed suppressed expression of developmentally regulated genes upon differentiation and subsequent differentiation defects without affecting gene expression in the undifferentiated state. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing revealed alterations in the nucleosome occupancy of the histone variant H3.3 for developmentally regulated genes in Chd2-depleted ESCs, which in turn led to elevated trimethylation of the histone H3 lysine 27. These results suggest that Chd2 is essential in preventing suppressive chromatin formation for developmentally regulated genes and determines subsequent effects on developmental processes in the undifferentiated state..
8. Masayasu Hayashi, Kazumitsu Maehara, Akihito Harada, Yuichiro Semba, Kensuke Kudo, Hidehisa Takahashi, Shinya Oki, Chikara Meno, Kenji Ichiyanagi, Koichi Akashi, Yasuyuki Ohkawa, Chd5 Regulates MuERV-L/MERVL Expression in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Via H3K27me3 Modification and Histone H3.1/H3.2., Journal of cellular biochemistry, 10.1002/jcb.25368, 117, 3, 780-92, 2016.03, Chd5 is an essential factor for neuronal differentiation and spermatogenesis and is a known tumor suppressor. H3K27me3 and H3K4un are modifications recognized by Chd5; however, it remains unclear how Chd5 remodels chromatin structure. We completely disrupted the Chd5 locus using the CRISPR-Cas9 system to generate a 52 kbp long deletion and analyzed Chd5 function in mouse embryonic stem cells. Our findings show that Chd5 represses murine endogenous retrovirus-L (MuERV-L/MERVL), an endogenous retrovirus-derived retrotransposon, by regulating H3K27me3 and H3.1/H3.2 function..
9. Yumiko Ishii, Kazuko Saeki, Min Liu, Fumiyuki Sasaki, Tomoaki Koga, Keiko Kitajima, Chikara Meno, Toshiaki Okuno, Takehiko Yokomizo, Leukotriene B4 receptor type 2 (BLT2) enhances skin barrier function by regulating tight junction proteins., FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 10.1096/fj.15-279653, 30, 2, 933-47, 2016.02, GPCRs are involved in numerous physiologic functions and are important drug targets. Although the epithelial barrier is important for protection from invading pathogens, the correlation between GPCRs and epithelial barrier function remains unknown. Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) receptor type 2 (BLT2), mainly expressed in epithelial cells, is a GPCR for 12(S)-hydroxyheptadeca-5Z,8E,10E-trienoic acid (12-HHT) and LTB4. In our study, BLT2 localized at the lateral membrane in BLT2-overexpressing Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) II cells and in the small intestine of BLT2-transgenic mice. BLT2-deficient mice exhibited higher transepidermal water loss and were more sensitive to epicutaneous sensitization. MDCK-BLT2 cells recovered transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) after a calcium switch faster than did MDCK-Mock cells, and 12-HHT stimulation accelerated TER recovery only in MDCK-BLT2 cells. Quantitative PCR and immunoblot analyses revealed that the 12-HHT/BLT2 axis up-regulated claudin-4 (CLDN4) expression in MDCK-BLT2 cells and human primary keratinocytes, and CLDN4 knockdown abolished 12-HHT-dependent TER recovery. Acceleration of TER recovery and induction of CLDN4 expression by 12-HHT stimulation were abolished by inhibition of Gαi protein or p38 MAPK. These results show that 12-HHT/BLT2 enhances epithelial barrier function by increasing CLDN4 expression via the Gαi protein-p38 MAPK pathway..
10. Masahiro Hachisuga, Shinya Oki, Keiko Kitajima, Satomi Ikuta, Tomoyuki Sumi, Kiyoko Kato, Norio Wake, Chikara Meno, Hyperglycemia impairs left-right axis formation and thereby disturbs heart morphogenesis in mouse embryos., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 10.1073/pnas.1504529112, 112, 38, E5300-7, 2015.09, Congenital heart defects with heterotaxia are associated with pregestational diabetes mellitus. To provide insight into the mechanisms underlying such diabetes-related heart defects, we examined the effects of high-glucose concentrations on formation of the left-right axis in mouse embryos. Expression of Pitx2, which plays a key role in left-right asymmetric morphogenesis and cardiac development, was lost in the left lateral plate mesoderm of embryos of diabetic dams. Embryos exposed to high-glucose concentrations in culture also failed to express Nodal and Pitx2 in the left lateral plate mesoderm. The distribution of phosphorylated Smad2 revealed that Nodal activity in the node was attenuated, accounting for the failure of left-right axis formation. Consistent with this notion, Notch signal-dependent expression of Nodal-related genes in the node was also down-regulated in association with a reduced level of Notch signaling, suggesting that high-glucose concentrations impede Notch signaling and thereby hinder establishment of the left-right axis required for heart morphogenesis..
11. Robert H. Anderson, Nigel A. Brown, Chikara Meno, Diane E. Spicer, The importance of being isomeric, Clin Anat., doi: 10.1002/ca.22517., 28, 4, 477-486, 2015.05.
12. Shinya Oki, Kazumitsu Maehara, Yasuyuki Ohkawa, Chikara Meno, SraTailor: graphical user interface software for processing and visualizing ChIP-seq data., Genes to cells : devoted to molecular & cellular mechanisms, 10.1111/gtc.12190, 19, 12, 919-26, 2014.12, Raw data from ChIP-seq (chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with massively parallel DNA sequencing) experiments are deposited in public databases as SRAs (Sequence Read Archives) that are publically available to all researchers. However, to graphically visualize ChIP-seq data of interest, the corresponding SRAs must be downloaded and converted into BigWig format, a process that involves complicated command-line processing. This task requires users to possess skill with script languages and sequence data processing, a requirement that prevents a wide range of biologists from exploiting SRAs. To address these challenges, we developed SraTailor, a GUI (Graphical User Interface) software package that automatically converts an SRA into a BigWig-formatted file. Simplicity of use is one of the most notable features of SraTailor: entering an accession number of an SRA and clicking the mouse are the only steps required to obtain BigWig-formatted files and to graphically visualize the extents of reads at given loci. SraTailor is also able to make peak calls, generate files of other formats, process users' own data, and accept various command-line-like options. Therefore, this software makes ChIP-seq data fully exploitable by a wide range of biologists. SraTailor is freely available at, and runs on both Mac and Windows machines..
13. Keiko Kitajima, Shinya Oki, Yasuyuki Ohkawa, Tomoyuki Sumi, Chikara Meno, Wnt signaling regulates left-right axis formation in the node of mouse embryos., Developmental biology, 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.05.011, 380, 2, 222-32, 2013.08, The node triggers formation of the left-right axis in mouse embryos by establishing local asymmetry of Nodal and Cerl2 expression. We found that Wnt3 is expressed in perinodal crown cells preferentially on the left side. The enhancer responsible for Wnt3 expression was identified and found to be regulated by Foxa2 and Rbpj under the control of Notch signaling. Rbpj binding sites suppress enhancer activity in pit cells of the node, thereby ensuring crown cell-specific expression. In addition, we found that the expression of Gdf1 and Cerl2 is also regulated by Notch signaling, suggesting that such signaling may induce the expression of genes related to left-right asymmetry as a set. Furthermore, Cerl2 expression became symmetric in response to inhibition of Wnt-β-catenin signaling. Our results suggest that Wnt signaling regulates the asymmetry of Cerl2 expression, which likely generates a left-right difference in Nodal activity at the node for further amplification in lateral plate mesoderm..
14. Tomoyuki Sumi, Shinya Oki, Keiko Kitajima, Chikara Meno, Epiblast ground state is controlled by canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the postimplantation mouse embryo and epiblast stem cells., PloS one, 10.1371/journal.pone.0063378, 8, 5, e63378, 2013.05, Epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) are primed pluripotent stem cells and can be derived from postimplantation mouse embryos. We now show that the absence of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling is essential for maintenance of the undifferentiated state in mouse EpiSCs and in the epiblast of mouse embryos. Attenuation of Wnt signaling with the small-molecule inhibitor XAV939 or deletion of the β-catenin gene blocked spontaneous differentiation of EpiSCs toward mesoderm and enhanced the expression of pluripotency factor genes, allowing propagation of EpiSCs as a homogeneous population. EpiSCs were efficiently established and propagated from single epiblast cells in the presence of both XAV939 and the Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibitor Y27632. Cell transplantation revealed that EpiSCs were able to contribute to primordial germ cells and descendants of all three germ layers in a host embryo, suggesting that they maintained pluripotency, even after prolonged culture with XAV939. Such an improvement in the homogeneity of pluripotency achieved with the use of a Wnt inhibitor should prove advantageous for manipulation of primed pluripotent stem cells..
15. José Manuel Inácio, Sara Marques, Tetsuya Nakamura, Kyosuke Shinohara, Chikara Meno, Hiroshi Hamada, José António Belo, The dynamic right-to-left translocation of Cerl2 is involved in the regulation and termination of Nodal activity in the mouse node., PloS one, 10.1371/journal.pone.0060406, 8, 3, e60406, 2013.03, The determination of left-right body asymmetry in mouse embryos depends on the interplay of molecules in a highly sensitive structure, the node. Here, we show that the localization of Cerl2 protein does not correlate to its mRNA expression pattern, from 3-somite stage onwards. Instead, Cerl2 protein displays a nodal flow-dependent dynamic behavior that controls the activity of Nodal in the node, and the transmission of the laterality information to the left lateral plate mesoderm (LPM). Our results indicate that Cerl2 initially localizes and prevents the activation of Nodal genetic circuitry on the right side of the embryo, and later its right-to-left translocation shutdowns Nodal activity in the node. The consequent prolonged Nodal activity in the node by the absence of Cerl2 affects local Nodal expression and prolongs its expression in the LPM. Simultaneous genetic removal of both Nodal node inhibitors, Cerl2 and Lefty1, sustains even longer and bilateral this LPM expression..
16. Teppei Noda, Shinya Oki, Keiko Kitajima, Tetsuro Harada, Shizuo Komune, Chikara Meno, Restriction of Wnt signaling in the dorsal otocyst determines semicircular canal formation in the mouse embryo., Developmental biology, 10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.11.019, 362, 1, 83-93, 2012.02, The mouse inner ear develops from a simple epithelial pouch, the otocyst, with the dorsal and ventral portions giving rise to the vestibule and cochlea, respectively. The otocyst undergoes a morphological change to generate flattened saclike structures, known as outpocketings, in the dorsal and lateral regions. The semicircular canals of the vestibule form from the periphery of the outpocketings, with the central region (the fusion plate) undergoing de-epithelialization and disappearing. However, little is known of the mechanism that orchestrates formation of the semicircular canals. We now show that the area of canonical Wnt signaling changes dynamically in the dorsal otocyst during its morphogenesis. The genes for several Wnt ligands were found to be expressed in the dorsal otocyst according to specific patterns, whereas those for secreted inhibitors of Wnt ligands were expressed exclusively in the ventral otocyst. With the use of whole-embryo culture in combination with potent modulators of canonical Wnt signaling, we found that forced persistence of such signaling resulted in impaired formation both of the lateral outpocketing and of the fusion plates of the dorsal outpocketing. Canonical Wnt signaling was found to suppress Netrin1 expression and to preserve the integrity of the outpocketing epithelium. In addition, inhibition of canonical Wnt signaling reduced the size of the otocyst, likely through suppression of cell proliferation and promotion of apoptosis. Our stage-specific functional analysis suggests that strict regulation of canonical Wnt signaling in the dorsal otocyst orchestrates the process of semicircular canal formation..
17. Fumiyuki Sanematsu, Masanori Hirashima, Mélanie Laurin, Ryosuke Takii, Akihiko Nishikimi, Keiko Kitajima, Guo Ding, Mamiko Noda, Yuzo Murata, Yoshihiko Tanaka, Sadahiko Masuko, Toshio Suda, Chikara Meno, Jean-François Côté, Takashi Nagasawa, Yoshinori Fukui, DOCK180 is a Rac activator that regulates cardiovascular development by acting downstream of CXCR4., Circulation research, 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.110.223388, 107, 9, 1102-5, 2010.10, RATIONALE: During embryogenesis, the CXC chemokine ligand (CXCL)12 acts on endothelial cells to control cardiac development and angiogenesis. Although biological functions of CXCL12 are exerted in part through activation of the small GTPase Rac, the pathway leading from its receptor CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR)4 to Rac activation remains to be determined. OBJECTIVE: DOCK180 (dedicator of cytokinesis), an atypical Rac activator, has been implicated in various cellular functions. Here, we examined the role of DOCK180 in cardiovascular development. METHODS AND RESULTS: DOCK180 associates with ELMO (engulfment and cell motility) through the N-terminal region containing a Src homology 3 domain. We found that targeted deletion of the Src homology 3 domain of DOCK180 in mice leads to embryonic lethality with marked reduction of DOCK180 expression at the protein level. These mutant mice, as well as DOCK180-deficient mice, exhibited multiple cardiovascular abnormalities resembling those seen in CXCR4-deficient mice. In DOCK180 knocked down endothelial cells, CXCL12-induced Rac activation was impaired, resulting in a marked reduction of cell motility. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that DOCK180 links CXCR4 signaling to Rac activation to control endothelial cell migration during cardiovascular development..
18. Shinya Oki, Keiko Kitajima, Chikara Meno, Dissecting the role of Fgf signaling during gastrulation and left-right axis formation in mouse embryos using chemical inhibitors., Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists, 10.1002/dvdy.22282, 239, 6, 1768-78, 2010.06, Fgf signaling plays pivotal roles in mouse gastrulation and left-right axis formation. However, although genetic analyses have revealed important aspects of Fgf signaling in these processes, the temporal resolution of genetic studies is low. Here, we combined whole-embryo culture with application of chemical compounds to inhibit Fgf signaling at specific time points. We found that sodium chlorate and PD173074 are potent inhibitors of Fgf signaling in early mouse embryos. Fgf signaling is required for the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of the primitive streak before the onset of gastrulation. Once gastrulation begins, Fgf signaling specifies mesodermal fates via the Ras/MAPK downstream cascade. Finally, Fgf signaling on the posterior side of the embryo during gastrulation induces Nodal expression in the node via Tbx6-Dll1, the initial event required for Nodal expression in the left lateral plate mesoderm..
19. Masakazu Hashimoto, Kyosuke Shinohara, Jianbo Wang, Shingo Ikeuchi, Satoko Yoshiba, Chikara Meno, Shigenori Nonaka, Shinji Takada, Kohei Hatta, Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, Hiroshi Hamada, Planar polarization of node cells determines the rotational axis of node cilia., Nature cell biology, 10.1038/ncb2020, 12, 2, 170-6, 2010.02, Rotational movement of the node cilia generates a leftward fluid flow in the mouse embryo because the cilia are posteriorly tilted. However, it is not known how anterior-posterior information is translated into the posterior tilt of the node cilia. Here, we show that the basal body of node cilia is initially positioned centrally but then gradually shifts toward the posterior side of the node cells. Positioning of the basal body and unidirectional flow were found to be impaired in compound mutant mice lacking Dvl genes. Whereas the basal body was normally positioned in the node cells of Wnt3a(-/-) embryos, inhibition of Rac1, a component of the noncanonical Wnt signalling pathway, impaired the polarized localization of the basal body in wild-type embryos. Dvl2 and Dvl3 proteins were found to be localized to the apical side of the node cells, and their location was polarized to the posterior side of the cells before the posterior positioning of the basal body. These results suggest that posterior positioning of the basal body, which provides the posterior tilt to node cilia, is determined by planar polarization mediated by noncanonical Wnt signalling..
20. Shinya Oki, Keiko Kitajima, Sara Marques, José António Belo, Takahiko Yokoyama, Hiroshi Hamada, Chikara Meno, Reversal of left-right asymmetry induced by aberrant Nodal signaling in the node of mouse embryos., Development (Cambridge, England), 10.1242/dev.039305, 136, 23, 3917-25, 2009.12, The node at the anterior tip of the primitive streak serves as an initial generator of the left-right (L-R) axis in mammalian embryos. We now show that a small disturbance in molecular signaling at the node is responsible for the L-R reversal of visceral organs in the inv mutant mouse. In the node of wild-type embryos, the expression of Nodal and Cerl2 (Dand5), which encodes an inhibitor of Nodal, is asymmetric, with the level of Nodal expression being higher on the left side and that of Cerl2 expression higher on the right. In inv/inv embryos, however, a localized reduction in the level of Cerl2 expression results in upregulation of the Nodal signal and a consequent induction of Lefty expression in the node. The ectopic expression of Lefty1 delays the onset of Nodal expression in the lateral plate mesoderm. L-R asymmetry of Cerl2 expression in the node also becomes reversed in a manner dependent on the Nodal signal. Nodal expression in the lateral plate mesoderm then appears on the right side, probably reflecting the balance between Nodal and Cerl2 in the node. The inhibition of Cerl2 expression by the Nodal signal suggests a mechanism for amplification of the cue for L-R asymmetry provided by nodal flow and for stabilization of asymmetric gene expression around the node. In inv/inv embryos, this system may function in reverse as a result of ectopic production of Lefty, which inhibits the Nodal signal on the left side in a manner dependent on leftward nodal flow..
21. Masamichi Yamamoto, Hideyuki Beppu, Katsuyoshi Takaoka, Chikara Meno, En Li, Kohei Miyazono, Hiroshi Hamada, Antagonism between Smad1 and Smad2 signaling determines the site of distal visceral endoderm formation in the mouse embryo., The Journal of cell biology, 10.1083/jcb.200808044, 184, 2, 323-34, 2009.01, The anterior-posterior axis of the mouse embryo is established by formation of distal visceral endoderm (DVE) and its subsequent migration. The precise mechanism of DVE formation has remained unknown, however. Here we show that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling plays dual roles in DVE formation. BMP signaling is required at an early stage for differentiation of the primitive endoderm into the embryonic visceral endoderm (VE), whereas it inhibits DVE formation, restricting it to the distal region, at a later stage. A Smad2-activating factor such as Activin also contributes to DVE formation by generating a region of VE positive for the Smad2 signal and negative for Smad1 signal. DVE is thus formed at the distal end of the embryo, the only region of VE negative for the Smad1 signal and positive for Smad2 signal. An inverse relation between the level of phosphorylated Smad1 and that of phosphorylated Smad2 in VE suggests an involvement of antagonism between Smad1- and Smad2-mediated signaling..
22. Tetsuya Nakamura, Naoki Mine, Etsushi Nakaguchi, Atsushi Mochizuki, Masamichi Yamamoto, Kenta Yashiro, Chikara Meno, Hiroshi Hamada, Generation of robust left-right asymmetry in the mouse embryo requires a self-enhancement and lateral-inhibition system., Developmental cell, 11, 4, 495-504, 2006.10, The bilateral symmetry of the mouse embryo is broken by leftward fluid flow in the node. However, it is unclear how this directional flow is then translated into the robust, left side-specific Nodal gene expression that determines and coordinates left-right situs throughout the embryo. While manipulating Nodal and Lefty gene expression, we have observed phenomena that are indicative of the involvement of a self-enhancement and lateral-inhibition (SELI) system. We constructed a mathematical SELI model that not only simulates, but also predicts, experimental data. As predicted by the model, Nodal expression initiates even on the right side. These results indicate that directional flow represents an initial small difference between the left and right sides of the embryo, but is insufficient to determine embryonic situs. Nodal and Lefty are deployed as a SELI system required to amplify this initial bias and convert it into robust asymmetry..
23. Katsuyoshi Takaoka, Masamichi Yamamoto, Hidetaka Shiratori, Chikara Meno, Janet Rossant, Yukio Saijoh, Hiroshi Hamada, The mouse embryo autonomously acquires anterior-posterior polarity at implantation., Developmental cell, 10.1016/j.devcel.2006.02.017, 10, 4, 451-9, 2006.04, The earliest recognizable sign of patterning of the mouse embryo along the anteroposterior (A-P) axis is the migration of the distal visceral endoderm (DVE) toward the future anterior side. Here we report an asymmetry in the mouse embryo at an unexpectedly early stage. The gene for Lefty1, a Nodal antagonist that influences the direction of DVE migration, was found to be asymmetrically expressed in the primitive endoderm of the implanting blastocyst. Lefty1 expression begins randomly in the inner cell mass (ICM) of the blastocyst but is regionalized to one side of the tilted ICM shortly after implantation. Asymmetric expression of Lefty1 can be established by in vitro culture, indicating that it does not require interaction with the uterus. The asymmetric Lefty1 expression is induced by Nodal signaling, although Nodal and genes for its effectors are expressed symmetrically. This asymmetry in molecular patterning of the mouse embryo pushes back the origin of the A-P body axis to the peri-implantation stage..
24. Masamichi Yamamoto, Yukio Saijoh, Aitana Perea-Gomez, William Shawlot, Richard R Behringer, Siew-Lan Ang, Hiroshi Hamada, Chikara Meno, Nodal antagonists regulate formation of the anteroposterior axis of the mouse embryo., Nature, 10.1038/nature02418, 428, 6981, 387-92, 2004.03, Patterning of the mouse embryo along the anteroposterior axis during body plan development requires migration of the distal visceral endoderm (DVE) towards the future anterior side by a mechanism that has remained unknown. Here we show that Nodal signalling and the regionalization of its antagonists are required for normal migration of the DVE. Whereas Nodal signalling provides the driving force for DVE migration by stimulating the proliferation of visceral endoderm cells, the antagonists Lefty1 and Cerl determine the direction of migration by asymmetrically inhibiting Nodal activity on the future anterior side..
25. Masamichi Yamamoto, Naoki Mine, Kyoko Mochida, Yasuo Sakai, Yukio Saijoh, Chikara Meno, Hiroshi Hamada, Nodal signaling induces the midline barrier by activating Nodal expression in the lateral plate., Development (Cambridge, England), 10.1242/dev.00408, 130, 9, 1795-804, 2003.05, The transcription factor Foxh1 mediates Nodal signaling. The role of Foxh1 in left-right (LR) patterning was examined with mutant mice that lack this protein in lateral plate mesoderm (LPM). The mutant mice failed to express Nodal, Lefty2 and Pitx2 on the left side during embryogenesis and exhibited right isomerism. Ectopic introduction of Nodal into right LPM, by transplantation of left LPM or by electroporation of a Nodal vector, induced Nodal expression in wild-type embryos but not in the mutant. Ectopic Nodal expression in right LPM also induced Lefty1 expression in the floor plate. Nodal signaling thus initiates asymmetric Nodal expression in LPM and induces Lefty1 at the midline. Monitoring of Nodal activity in wild-type and Foxh1 mutant embryos suggested that Nodal activity travels from the node to left LPM, and from left LPM to the midline..
26. Aitana Perea-Gomez, Francis D J Vella, William Shawlot, Mustapha Oulad-Abdelghani, Claire Chazaud, Chikara Meno, Veronique Pfister, Lan Chen, Elizabeth Robertson, Hiroshi Hamada, Richard R Behringer, Siew-Lan Ang, Nodal antagonists in the anterior visceral endoderm prevent the formation of multiple primitive streaks., Developmental cell, 3, 5, 745-56, 2002.11, The anterior visceral endoderm plays a pivotal role in establishing anterior-posterior polarity of the mouse embryo, but the molecular nature of the signals required remains to be determined. Here, we demonstrate that Cerberus-like(-/-);Lefty1(-/-) compound mutants can develop a primitive streak ectopically in the embryo. This defect is not rescued in chimeras containing wild-type embryonic, and Cerberus-like(-/-);Lefty1(-/-) extraembryonic, cells but is rescued in Cerberus-like(-/-); Lefty1(-/-) embryos after removal of one copy of the Nodal gene. Our findings provide support for a model whereby Cerberus-like and Lefty1 in the anterior visceral endoderm restrict primitive streak formation to the posterior end of mouse embryos by antagonizing Nodal signaling. Both antagonists are also required for proper patterning of the primitive streak..
27. Rui Sakuma, Yu-ichiro Ohnishi Yi, Chikara Meno, Hideta Fujii, Hou Juan, Jun Takeuchi, Toshihiko Ogura, En Li, Kohei Miyazono, Hiroshi Hamada, Inhibition of Nodal signalling by Lefty mediated through interaction with common receptors and efficient diffusion., Genes to cells : devoted to molecular & cellular mechanisms, 7, 4, 401-12, 2002.04, BACKGROUND: Two TGFbeta-related proteins, Nodal and Lefty, are implicated in early embryonic patterning of vertebrates. Genetic data suggest that Nodal is a signalling molecule, while Lefty is an antagonist of Nodal, but their precise function remains unknown. RESULTS: The signalling pathway of Nodal was investigated with the use of a Nodal-responsive assay system based on frog animal caps. Expression of dominant negative mutants of various receptors indicated that ALK4, and either ActRIIA or ActRIIB, function as type I and type II receptors for Nodal, respectively. A soluble form of Cripto lacking the COOH-terminal region interacted with Nodal but failed to mediate Nodal signalling, indicating that the native Cripto protein functions as a membrane-bound co-receptor for Nodal. Processed forms of Lefty proteins, both smaller and larger forms, inhibited Nodal signalling. Such Lefty-induced inhibition was rescued by excess ActRIIA or ActRIIB, suggesting that Lefty antagonizes Nodal signalling through competitive binding to the common receptor ActRIIA or ActRIIB. This idea was supported by the demonstration of a genetic interaction between lefty2 and ActRIIB in mouse. Behaviours of GFP-Nodal and GFP-Lefty2 proteins were also investigated in chick embryos. Both proteins could diffuse over a long distance, but the latter diffused faster than the former. CONCLUSIONS: Efficient inhibition of Nodal signals by Lefty may involve competitive binding of Lefty to the common receptors and faster diffusion of Lefty..
28. C Meno, J Takeuchi, R Sakuma, K Koshiba-Takeuchi, S Ohishi, Y Saijoh, J Miyazaki, P ten Dijke, T Ogura, H Hamada, Diffusion of nodal signaling activity in the absence of the feedback inhibitor Lefty2, DEVELOPMENTAL CELL, 1, 1, 127-138, 2001.07, The role of Lefty2 in left-right patterning was investigated by analysis of mutant mice that lack asymmetric expression of lefty2. These animals exhibited various situs defects including left isomerism. The asymmetric expression of nodal was prolonged and the expression of Pitx2 was upregulated in the mutant embryos. The absence of Lefty2 conferred on Nodal the ability to diffuse over a long distance. Thus, Nodal-responsive genes, including Pitx2, that are normally expressed on the left side were expressed bilaterally in the mutant embryos, even though nodal expression was confined to the left side. These results suggest that Nodal is a long-range signaling molecule but that its range of action is normally limited by the feedback inhibitor Lefty2..
29. M Yamamoto, C Meno, Y Sakai, H Shiratori, K Mochida, Y Ikawa, Y Saijoh, H Hamada, The transcription factor FoxH1 (FAST) mediates Nodal signaling during anterior-posterior patterning and node formation in the mouse, GENES & DEVELOPMENT, 15, 10, 1242-1256, 2001.05, FoxH1 (FAST) is a transcription factor that mediates signaling by transforming growth factor-beta, Activin, and Nodal. The role of FoxH1 in development has now been investigated by the generation and analysis of FoxH1-deficient (FoxH1(-/-)) mice. The FoxH1(-/-) embryos showed various patterning defects that recapitulate most of the defects induced by the loss of Nodal signaling. A substantial proportion of FoxH1(-/-) embryos failed to orient the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis correctly, as do mice lacking Cripto, a coreceptor for Nodal. In less severely affected FoxH1(-/-) embryos, A-P polarity was established, but the primitive streak failed to elongate, resulting in the lack of a definitive node and its derivatives. Heterozygosity for nodal renders the FoxH1(-/-) phenotype more severe, indicative of a genetic interaction between FoxH1 and nodal. The expression of FoxH1 in the primitive endoderm rescued the A-P patterning defects, but not the midline defects, of FoxH1(-/-) mice. These results indicate that a Nodal-FoxH1 signaling pathway plays a central role in A-P patterning and node formation in the mouse..
30. Y Sakai, C Meno, H Fujii, J Nishino, H Shiratori, Y Saijoh, J Rossant, H Hamada, The retinoic acid-inactivating enzyme CYP26 is essential for establishing an uneven distribution of retinoic acid along the anterio-posterior axis within the mouse embryo, GENES & DEVELOPMENT, 10.1101/gad.851501, 15, 2, 213-225, 2001.01, Retinoic acid (RA), a derivative of vitamin A, plays a pivotal role in vertebrate development. The level of RA may be determined by the balance between its synthesis and degradation. We have examined the role of CYP26, a P450 enzyme that may degrade RA, by generating mutant mice that lack CYP26. CYP26(-/-) mice exhibited anomalies, including caudal agenesis, similar to those induced by administration of excess RA. The concentration of endogenous RA, as revealed by marker gene activity, was markedly increased in the tailbud of the mutant animals, in which CYP26 is normally expressed. Expression of T (Brachyury) and Wnt3a in the tailbud was down-regulated in CYP26(-/-) mice, which may underlie the caudal truncation. The lack of CYP26 also resulted in homeotic transformation of vertebrae as well as in misspecification of the rostral hindbrain associated with anterior expansion of RA-positive domains. These results suggest that local degradation of RA by CYP26 is required for establishing an uneven distribution of RA along the anterio-posterior axis, which is essential for patterning the hindbrain, vertebrae, and tailbud..
31. C Meno, K Gritsman, S Ohishi, Y Ohfuji, E Heckscher, K Mochida, A Shimono, H Kondoh, WS Talbot, EJ Robertson, AF Schier, H Hamada, Mouse lefty2 and zebrafish antivin are feedback inhibitors of nodal signaling during vertebrate gastrulation, MOLECULAR CELL, 10.1016/S1097-2765(00)80331-7, 4, 3, 287-298, 1999.09, Mammalian lefty and zebrafish antivin form a subgroup of the TGF beta superfamily. We report that mouse mutants for lefty2 have an expanded primitive! streak and form excess mesoderm, a phenotype opposite to that of mutants for the TGF beta gene nodal. Analogously, overexpression of Antivin or Lefty2 in zebrafish embryos blocks head and trunk mesoderm formation, a phenotype identical to that of mutants caused by loss of Nodal signaling. The lefty2 mutant phenotype is partially suppressed by heterozygosity for nodal. Similarly, the effects of Antivin and Lefty2 can be suppressed by overexpression of the nodal-related genes cyclops and squint or the extracellular domain of ActRIIB. Expression of antivin is dependent on Nodal signaling, revealing a feedback loop wherein Nodal signals induce their antagonists Lefty2 and Antivin to restrict Nodal signaling during gastrulation..
32. J Nishino, K Mochida, Y Ohfuji, T Shimazaki, C Meno, S Ohishi, Y Matsuda, H Fujii, Y Saijoh, H Hamada, GFR alpha 3, a component of the artemin receptor, is required for migration and survival of the superior cervical ganglion, NEURON, 10.1016/S0896-6273(01)80031-3, 23, 4, 725-736, 1999.08, GFR alpha 3 is a component of the receptor for the neurotrophic factor artemin. The role of GFR alpha 3 in nervous system development was examined by generating mice in which the Gfr alpha 3 gene was disrupted. The Gfr alpha 3(-/-) mice exhibited severe defects in the superior cervical ganglion (SCG), whereas other ganglia appeared normal. SCG precursor cells in the mutant embryos failed to migrate to the correct position, and they subsequently failed to innervate the target organs. In wildtype embryos, Gfr alpha 3 was expressed in migrating SCG precursors, and artemin was expressed in and near the SCG. After birth, SCG neurons in the mutant mice underwent progressive cell death. These observations suggest that GFR alpha 3-mediated signaling is required both for the rostral migration of SCG precursors and for the survival of mature SCG neurons..
33. H Yoshioka, C Meno, K Koshiba, M Sugihara, H Itoh, Y Ishimaru, T Inoue, H Ohuchi, EV Semina, JC Murray, H Hamada, S Noji, Pitx2, a bicoid-type homeobox gene, is involved in a lefty-signaling pathway in determination of left-right asymmetry, CELL, 10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81473-7, 94, 3, 299-305, 1998.08, Signaling molecules such as Activin, Sonic hedgehog, Nodal, Lefty, and Vg1 have been found to be involved in determination of left-right (L-R) asymmetry in the chick, mouse, or frog. However, a common signaling pathway has not yet been identified in vertebrates. We report that Pitx2, a bicoid-type homeobox gene expressed asymmetrically in the left lateral plate mesoderm, may be involved in determination of L-R asymmetry in both mouse and chick. Since Pitx2 appears to be downstream of lefty-1 in the mouse pathway, we examined whether mouse Lefty proteins could affect the expression of Pitx2 in the chick. Our results indicate that a common pathway from lefty-1 to Pitx2 likely exists for determination of L-R asymmetry in vertebrates..
34. C Meno, A Shimono, Y Saijoh, K Yashiro, K Mochida, S Ohishi, S Noji, H Kondoh, H Hamada, lefty-1 is required for left-right determination as a regulator of lefty-2 and nodal, CELL, 10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81472-5, 94, 3, 287-297, 1998.08, lefty-1, leffy-2 and nodal are expressed on the left side of developing mouse embryos and are implicated in left-right (L-R) determination. The role of lefty-1 was examined by analyzing mutant mice lacking this gene. The lefty-1-deficient mice showed a variety of L-R positional defects in visceral organs. Unexpectedly, however, the most common feature of lefty-1(-/-) mice was thoracic left isomerism (rather than right isomerism). The lack of lefty-1 resulted in bilateral expression of nodal, lefty-2, and Pitx2 (a homeobox gene normally expressed on the left side). These observations suggest that the role of lefty-1 is to restrict the expression of lefty-2 and nodal to the left side, and that lefty-2 or nodal encodes a signal for "leftness.".
35. C Meno, Y Ito, Y Saijoh, Y Matsuda, K Tashiro, S Kuhara, H Hamada, Two closely-related left-right asymmetrically expressed genes, lefty-1 and lefty-2: their distinct expression domains, chromosomal linkage and direct neuralizing activity in Xenopus embryos, GENES TO CELLS, 10.1046/j.1365-2443.1997.1400338.x, 2, 8, 513-524, 1997.08, Background: Vertebrates have numerous lateral asymmetries in the position of their organs, but the molecular basis for the determination of left-right (L-R) asymmetries remains largely unknown. TGF beta-related genes such as lefty and nodal are L-R asymmetrically expressed in developing mouse embryos, and may be involved in GR determination.
Results: We have identified two highly conserved genes, lefty-1 and lefty-2, in the mouse genome. These two genes are tightly linked on mouse chromosome 1. lefty-1 and lefty-2 are both expressed in a L-R asymmetric fashion in mouse embryos. However, the major expression domains of the two genes are different: lefty-1 expression is predominantly confied to the left side of ventral neural tube, whereas lefty-2 is strongly expressed in the lateral plate mesoderm on the left side. In embryos homozygous for the iv and inv mutation, which cause situs inversus, the expression sites of both genes are affected, either reversed or bilaterally, indicating that lefty-1 and lefty-2 are downstream of iv and inv. Although Lefty-1 and Lefty-2 prepro-proteins are not readily processed in cultured cells, BMP2-Lefty chimeric proteins can be processed to a secreted form. We have examined the activities of Lefty-1 and Lefty-2 in Xenopus embryos. In animal cap explants, Lefty-1 and Lefty-2 induce neural cells in the absence of mesoderm induction. The direct neuralizing activities of Lefty-1 and Lefty-2 thus seem remarkably similar to those of BMP antagonists such as noggin and chordin, suggesting that the action of Lefty-1 and Lefty-2 may be to locally antagonize BMP (bone morphogenic protein)mediated signals in tissues positioned on the left side of the mouse embryos.
Conclusion: There are two lefty genes in mice (lefty-1 and lefty-2), both of which are expressed in a LR asymmetric fashion and are downstream of iv and inv. Lefty-1 and Lefty-2 possess direct neuralizing activity in Xenopus embryos, resembling the activities of BMP antagonists..
36. C Meno, Y Saijoh, H Fujii, M Ikeda, T Yokoyama, M Yokoyama, Y Toyoda, H Hamada, Left-right asymmetric expression of the TGF beta-family member lefty in mouse embryos, NATURE, 10.1038/381151a0, 381, 6578, 151-155, 1996.05, EXAMPLES Of lateral asymmetry are often found in vertebrates, such as the heart being on the left side, but the molecular mechanism governing the establishment of this left-right (LR) handedness is unknown(1). A diffusible morphogen may determine L-R polarity(2), but a likely molecule has not so far been identified. Here we report on the gene lefty, a member of the transforming growth factor-beta family, which may encode a morphogen for L-R determination. Lefty protein contains the cysteine-knot motif(3) characteristic of this superfamily(4,5) and is secreted as a processed form of relative molecular mass 25K-32K. Surprisingly, lefty is expressed in the left half of gastrulating mouse embryos. This asymmetric expression is very transient and occurs just before the first sign of lateral asymmetry appears. In the mouse mutants iv and inv, which cause situs inversus, the sites of lefty expression are inverted, indicating that lefty is downstream of iv and inv. These results suggest that lefty may be involved in setting up L-R asymmetry in the organ systems of mammals..
37. Y Saijoh, H Fujii, C Meno, M Sato, Y Hirota, S Nagamatsu, M Ikeda, H Hamada, Identification of putative downstream genes of Oct-3, a pluripotent cell-specific transcription factor, GENES TO CELLS, 1, 2, 239-252, 1996.02, Background: Oct-3, a pluripotent cell-specific POU transcription factor, appears to be a key regulator in pluripotential early embryonic cells and germ cells. In order to study how pluripotency is maintained, it is essential to know what genes are regulated by Oct-3.
Results: By employing a subtraction method, we identified several pluripotent cell-specific genes. Based upon expression patterns in various cell lines lacking or possessing Oct-3 function, about half of the genes were placed downstream of Oct-3. These downstream genes included a previously-known gene (Glut-3: a gene for a glucose transporter) and novel genes (226, 383 and 880). Their expression patterns paralleled that of Oct-3: all of these genes were highly expressed in pluripotent cells such as EC/ES cells, but switched off upon differentiation. More importantly, their expression was rescued in 'revertant' cells that ectopically acquired the Oct-3 transactivating function. Furthermore, the expression profiles of Glut-3, 226 and 383 during mouse development also overlapped that of Oct-3. The Glut-3 gene possessed multiple Oct-3 binding sites in its transcriptional regulatory regions, suggesting that at least one of the downstream genes was a direct target of Oct-3.
Conclusions: A large proportion of pluripotent cell-specific genes appear to be downstream targets of Oct-3..
38. Y TAKAHASHI, C MENO, E SATO, Y TOYODA, SYNCHRONOUS SPERM PENETRATION OF ZONA-FREE MOUSE EGGS IN-VITRO, BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION, 53, 2, 424-430, 1995.08, To synchronize sperm penetration of zona-free eggs immediately after insemination, zona-free eggs preloaded with Hoechst-33342 were inseminated under various conditions, Insemination was mostly conducted at 10 sperm/mu l. In preliminary experiments, fatty acid-free BSA (FAF) was more satisfactory for sperm penetration than fraction V BSA, and FAF was used in the following experiments. Only 26% of zona-free eggs were fertilized at 10 min after insemination when the eggs were inseminated immediately after zona removal and preloading. However, egg preincubation significantly improved the penetration rate (1 h preincubation: 63%, 2 h preincubation: 82% penetrated 10 min after insemination). Some eggs preincubated for 2 h were already penetrated at 3 min (7%), and the rate gradually increased in a time-dependent manner (3 min: 7%, 5 min: 30%, 10 min: 80%). The rate further improved as the sperm concentration was increased; the maximal level was obtained at 160 sperm/mu l. At 160 sperm/mu l, 54% of the eggs were penetrated at 3 min and 78% were at 5 min. These results indicate that it is possible to synchronize the sperm entry and that not only sperm but zona-free eggs should be preincubated before insemination. These data are considered valuable for investigating early events in fertilization..