Positioning a multifunctional basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor within the Ciona notochord gene regulatory network

Jamie E. Kugler, Yushi Wu, Lavanya Katikala, Yale J. Passamaneck, Jermyn Addy, Natalia Caballero, Izumi Oda-Ishii, Julie E. Maguire, Raymond Li, Anna Di Gregorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In a multitude of organisms, transcription factors of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family control the expression of genes required for organ development and tissue differentiation. The functions of different bHLH transcription factors in the specification of nervous system and paraxial mesoderm have been widely investigated in various model systems. Conversely, the knowledge of the role of these regulators in the development of the axial mesoderm, the embryonic territory that gives rise to the notochord, and the identities of their target genes, remain still fragmentary. Here we investigated the transcriptional regulation and target genes of Bhlh-tun1, a bHLH transcription factor expressed in the developing Ciona notochord as well as in additional embryonic territories that contribute to the formation of both larval and adult structures. We describe its possible role in notochord formation, its relationship with the key notochord transcription factor Brachyury, and suggest molecular mechanisms through which Bhlh-tun1 controls the spatial and temporal expression of its effectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-135
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume448
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019

Keywords

  • Brachyury
  • Ciona
  • Enhancer
  • Gene regulatory network
  • Notochord
  • bHLH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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