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Current Topics in Developmental Biology

Blanche Capel
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Neil J Gemmell, Erica V Todd, Alexander Goikoetxea, Oscar Ortega-Recalde, Timothy A Hore
Sexual fate can no longer be considered an irreversible deterministic process that once established during early embryonic development, plays out unchanged across an organism's life. Rather, it appears to be a dynamic process, with sexual phenotype determined through an ongoing battle for supremacy between antagonistic male and female developmental pathways. That sexual fate is not final and is actively regulated via the suppression or activation of opposing genetic networks creates the potential for flexibility in sexual phenotype in adulthood...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Yoji Yamamoto, Ricardo S Hattori, Reynaldo Patiño, Carlos A Strüssmann
Sex determination is the first step toward the establishment of phenotypic sex in most vertebrates. Aquatic poikilotherms such as teleost fishes exhibit a high diversity of sex-determination mechanisms and gonadal phenotypes that are remarkably plastic and responsive to a variety of environmental factors (e.g., water temperature, pH, salinity, photoperiod, population density). This chapter reviews current knowledge of genotypic and environmental sex determination systems in fishes with special reference to Atheriniformes-one of the best-characterized taxa in this field-and offers perspectives to guide and stimulate further research...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Abhinav Parivesh, Hayk Barseghyan, Emmanuèle Délot, Eric Vilain
The medical and psychosocial challenges faced by patients living with Disorders/Differences of Sex Development (DSD) and their families can be alleviated by a rapid and accurate diagnostic process. Clinical diagnosis of DSD is limited by a lack of standardization of anatomical and endocrine phenotyping and genetic testing, as well as poor genotype/phenotype correlation. Historically, DSD genes have been identified through positional cloning of disease-associated variants segregating in families and validation of candidates in animal and in vitro modeling of variant pathogenicity...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Arthur P Arnold
Evolution of genetic mechanisms of sex determination led to two processes causing sex differences in somatic phenotypes: gonadal differentiation and sex chromosome dosage inequality. In species with heteromorphic sex chromosomes, the sex of the individual is established at the time of formation of the zygote, leading to inherent sex differences in expression of sex chromosome genes beginning as soon as the embryonic transcriptome is activated. The inequality of sex chromosome gene expression causes sexual differentiation of the gonads and of non-gonadal tissues...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Cassy Spiller, Josephine Bowles
Germ cells are the stem cells of the species. Thus, it is critical that we have a good understanding of how they are specified, how the somatic cells instruct and support them, how they commit to one or other sex, and how they ultimately develop into functional gametes. Here, we focus on specifics of how sexual fate is determined during fetal life. Because the majority of relevant experimental work has been done using the mouse model, we focus on that species. We review evidence regarding the identity of instructive signals from the somatic cells, and the molecular responses that occur in germ cells in response to those extrinsic signals...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Nitzan Gonen, Robin Lovell-Badge
The bipotential nature of cell types in the early developing gonad and the process of sex determination leading to either testis or ovary differentiation makes this an interesting system in which to study transcriptional regulation of gene expression and cell fate decisions. SOX9 is a transcription factor with multiple roles during development, including being a key player in mediating testis differentiation and therefore subsequent male development. Loss of Sox9 expression in both humans and mice results in XY female development, whereas its inappropriate activation in XX embryonic gonads can give male development...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Shingo Miyawaki, Makoto Tachibana
Mammalian sex determination is triggered by activation of the mammalian sex-determining gene, Sry, in a spatially and temporally controlled manner. Because reduced or delayed Sry expression results in male-to-female sex reversal, male development is highly dependent on the accurate transcription of Sry. SRY dysregulation is a potential cause of human disorders of sex development (DSD). In addition to changes in DNA sequences, gene expression is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic regulation ensures spatial and temporal accuracy of the expression of developmentally regulated genes...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Serge Nef, Isabelle Stévant, Andy Greenfield
Primary sex determination is the decision by which the bipotential embryonic gonad commits to either the testicular or ovarian fate. The developing gonad constitutes a unique paradigm for the study of lineage specification, cell fate commitment and the exploration of how distinct cell populations diverge from multipotent progenitors. After the separation of the adreno-gonadal primordium into two distinct primordia, somatic progenitor cells of the gonadal primordium undergo several cell fate decisions and sex-specific cell differentiation...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Minoru Tanaka
Germline stem cells are sexually indifferent or flexible even in the mature ovary and testis. Acquiring sex identity consistent with the sex of the body is a critical issue in germline stem cells for producing eggs or sperm. However, the molecular mechanism of the sexual fate decision in germ cells is unclear. Medaka is the first vertebrate in which germline stem cells were found in the mature ovary (Nakamura, Kobayashi, Nishimura, Higashijima, & Tanaka, 2010), and a germ cell autonomous switch gene involved in the sexual fate decision, foxl3, was identified (Nishimura et al...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Michelle E Kossack, Bruce W Draper
Over the last several decades zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become a major model organism for the study of vertebrate development and physiology. Given this, it may be surprising how little is known about the mechanism that zebrafish use to determine sex. While zebrafish are a gonochoristic species (having two sexes) that do not switch sex as adults, it was appreciated early on that sex ratios obtained from breeding lab domesticated lines were not typically a 1:1 ratio of male and female, suggesting that sex was not determined by a strict chromosomal mechanism...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Tasman Daish, Frank Grützner
The evolution of heteromorphic sex chromosomes has occurred independently many times in different lineages. The differentiation of sex chromosomes leads to dramatic changes in sequence composition and function and guides the evolutionary trajectory and utilization of genes in pivotal sex determination and reproduction roles. In addition, meiotic recombination and pairing mechanisms are key in orchestrating the resultant impact, retention and maintenance of heteromorphic sex chromosomes, as the resulting exposure of unpaired DNA at meiosis triggers ancient repair and checkpoint pathways...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Bjorn R Olsen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Yuan Yuan, Yang Chai
Jaw bones and teeth originate from the first pharyngeal arch and develop in closely related ways. Reciprocal epithelial-mesenchymal interactions are required for the early patterning and morphogenesis of both tissues. Here we review the cellular contribution during the development of the jaw bones and teeth. We also highlight signaling networks as well as transcription factors mediating tissue-tissue interactions that are essential for jaw bone and tooth development. Finally, we discuss the potential for stem cell mediated regenerative therapies to mitigate disorders and injuries that affect these organs...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Sade Williams, Bashar Alkhatib, Rosa Serra
Development of the axial skeleton is a complex, stepwise process that relies on intricate signaling and coordinated cellular differentiation. Disruptions to this process can result in a myriad of skeletal malformations that range in severity. The notochord and the sclerotome are embryonic tissues that give rise to the major components of the intervertebral discs and the vertebral bodies of the spinal column. Through a number of mouse models and characterization of congenital abnormalities in human patients, various growth factors, transcription factors, and other signaling proteins have been demonstrated to have critical roles in the development of the axial skeleton...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Raymond K H Yip, Danny Chan, Kathryn S E Cheah
A complex cascade of highly regulated processes of cell fate determination, differentiation, proliferation and transdifferentiation dictate the patterning, morphogenesis and growth of the vertebrate skeleton, perturbation of which results in malformation. In humans over 450 different dysplasias involving the skeletal system constitute a significant fraction of documented Mendelian disorders. The combination of clinical, phenotypic characterization of rare human skeletal dysmorphologies, the discovery of causative mutations and functional validation in animal models has contributed enormously to the understanding of molecular control of skeletal development...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Ching-Yan Chloé Yeung, Karl E Kadler
Tendons are remarkable tissues that transmit force from muscle to bone during joint movement. They are remarkable because they withstand tensile forces that are orders of magnitude greater than can be withstood by isolated cells. The ability of the cells to survive is directly attributable to the stress shielding properties of the collagen-rich extracellular matrix of the tissue. A further remarkable feature is that the vast majority (>98%) of the collagen is never turned over; it is synthesized during embryonic through early adult development and persists for the lifetime of the person...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Qian Cong, Ruoshi Xu, Yingzi Yang
Skeletal development is exquisitely controlled both spatially and temporally by cell signaling networks. Gαs is the stimulatory α-subunit in a heterotrimeric G protein complex transducing the signaling of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), responsible for controlling both skeletal development and homeostasis. Gαs , encoded by the GNAS gene in humans, plays critical roles in skeletal development and homeostasis by regulating commitment, differentiation and maturation of skeletal cells. Gαs -mediated signaling interacts with the Wnt and Hedgehog signaling pathways, both crucial regulators of skeletal development, remodeling and injury repair...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Carina Prein, Frank Beier
During cartilage development chondrocytes undergo a multi-step process characterized by consecutive changes in cell morphology and gene expression. Cell proliferation, polarity, differentiation, and migration are influenced by chemical and mechanical signaling between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the cell. Several structurally diverse transmembrane receptors such as integrins, discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR 2), and CD44 mediate the crosstalk between cells and their ECM. However, the contribution of cell-matrix interactions during early chondrogenesis and further cartilage development through cell receptors and their signal transduction pathways is still not fully understood...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Stefan Teufel, Christine Hartmann
As the vertebrate skeleton develops it progresses from a solely cartilaginous scaffold to a mineralized bony skeleton. The cells that build up the skeleton, the chondrocytes and osteoblasts, are primarily of mesodermal origin. Yet, some facial bones, as well as the endocranium, are derived from neural crest cells. The differentiation of the mesenchymal cells to skeletal precursors as well as their subsequent differentiation and maturation along the two lineages, chondrogenic and osteogenic, is controlled by various different signaling pathways, among them Wnt-signaling...
2019: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
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