The team analyzed the somite segmentation process that results in the formation of the vertebral column. This process is thought to be controlled by two components: a molecular oscillator (the segmentation clock), and the graded activity of several major signaling pathways (the gradient) in the presomitic mesoderm (PSM). The PSM is the middle layer of the three cell layers that form an early embryo. Wnt-signaling has been implicated in both these mechanisms, but precisely how was unclear until now.
In this work, the Pourquié team tested the importance of Beta-catenin, a protein that functions as the principal mediator of the Wnt-signaling pathway, in the process of somite formation. They showed that a newly identified Beta-catenin protein gradient in the PSM is critical in regulating mesoderm maturation. Real-time imaging experiments also demonstrated that, conversely, the segmentation clock is not caused by graded levels of Beta-catenin protein.
“We were able to demonstrate that increasing Beta-catenin protein levels dramatically alters PSM maturation,” said Alexander Aulehla, M.D., Senior Research Associate and first author on the paper. “But, by using the real-time imaging technique in mouse embryos, we could show that increasing Beta-catenin also corresponded with ongoing, even ectopic, oscillations of the segmentation clock, which controls the rate of somite development.”
“This work offers novel insights into how the mechanisms of maturation and oscillation in the PSM are controlled and how they are interconnected,” said Olivier Pourquié, Ph.D., Investigator and senior author on the paper. “Additionally, this project has allowed us to achieve the longstanding goal of visualizing the segmentation clock in real-time using fluorescence-based imaging, which is sure to impact other important projects in our lab”
Since joining the Stowers Institute in 2002, the Pourquié Lab has made a number of significant discoveries related to somite development. Somites eventually give rise to the vertebral column, which is malformed in people born with congenital scoliosis. It is believed that some cases of congenital scoliosis are caused by mutations related to the segmentation clock.
Marie Jennings | EurekAlert!
Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel
06.08.2020 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Tellurium makes the difference
06.08.2020 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences