Strabismus-mediated primary archenteron invagination is uncoupled from Wnt/β-catenin-dependent endoderm cell fate specification in Nematostella vectensis (Anthozoa, Cnidaria): Implications for the evolution of gastrulation

Shalika Kumburegama, Naveen Wijesena, Ronghui Xu, Athula Wikramanayake

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36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Gastrulation is a uniquely metazoan character, and its genesis was arguably the key step that enabled the remarkable diversification within this clade. The process of gastrulation involves two tightly coupled events during embryogenesis of most metazoans. Morphogenesis produces a distinct internal epithelial layer in the embryo, and this epithelium becomes segregated as an endoderm/endomesodermal germ layer through the activation of a specific gene regulatory program. The developmental mechanisms that induced archenteron formation and led to the segregation of germ layers during metazoan evolution are unknown. But an increased understanding of development in early diverging taxa at the base of the metazoan tree may provide insights into the origins of these developmental mechanisms.Results: In the anthozoan cnidarian Nematostella vectensis, initial archenteron formation begins with bottle cell-induced buckling of the blastula epithelium at the animal pole. Here, we show that bottle cell formation and initial gut invagination in Nematostella requires NvStrabismus (NvStbm), a maternally-expressed core component of the Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway. The NvStbm protein is localized to the animal pole of the zygote, remains asymmetrically expressed through the cleavage stages, and becomes restricted to the apical side of invaginating bottle cells at the blastopore. Antisense morpholino-mediated NvStbm-knockdown blocks bottle cell formation and initial archenteron invagination, but it has no effect on Wnt/ß-catenin signaling-mediated endoderm cell fate specification. Conversely, selectively blocking Wnt/ß-catenin signaling inhibits endoderm cell fate specification but does not affect bottle cell formation and initial archenteron invagination.Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that Wnt/PCP-mediated initial archenteron invagination can be uncoupled from Wnt/ß-catenin-mediated endoderm cell fate specification in Nematostella, and provides evidence that these two processes could have evolved independently during metazoan evolution. We propose a two-step model for the evolution of an archenteron and the evolution of endodermal germ layer segregation. Asymmetric accumulation and activation of Wnt/PCP components at the animal pole of the last common ancestor to the eumetazoa may have induced the cell shape changes that led to the initial formation of an archenteron. Activation of Wnt/ß-catenin signaling at the animal pole may have led to the activation of a gene regulatory network that specified an endodermal cell fate in the archenteron.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalEvoDevo
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 21 2011

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Cnidaria
Gastrula
Catenins
Anthozoa
Gastrulation
Endoderm
Strabismus
metazoan
animal
bottles
Germ Layers
Cell Polarity
cells
gene
buckling
morphogenesis
common ancestry
cleavage
embryo
Epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

@article{325b0f83315a47beab012b4230296fea,
title = "Strabismus-mediated primary archenteron invagination is uncoupled from Wnt/β-catenin-dependent endoderm cell fate specification in Nematostella vectensis (Anthozoa, Cnidaria): Implications for the evolution of gastrulation",
abstract = "Background: Gastrulation is a uniquely metazoan character, and its genesis was arguably the key step that enabled the remarkable diversification within this clade. The process of gastrulation involves two tightly coupled events during embryogenesis of most metazoans. Morphogenesis produces a distinct internal epithelial layer in the embryo, and this epithelium becomes segregated as an endoderm/endomesodermal germ layer through the activation of a specific gene regulatory program. The developmental mechanisms that induced archenteron formation and led to the segregation of germ layers during metazoan evolution are unknown. But an increased understanding of development in early diverging taxa at the base of the metazoan tree may provide insights into the origins of these developmental mechanisms.Results: In the anthozoan cnidarian Nematostella vectensis, initial archenteron formation begins with bottle cell-induced buckling of the blastula epithelium at the animal pole. Here, we show that bottle cell formation and initial gut invagination in Nematostella requires NvStrabismus (NvStbm), a maternally-expressed core component of the Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway. The NvStbm protein is localized to the animal pole of the zygote, remains asymmetrically expressed through the cleavage stages, and becomes restricted to the apical side of invaginating bottle cells at the blastopore. Antisense morpholino-mediated NvStbm-knockdown blocks bottle cell formation and initial archenteron invagination, but it has no effect on Wnt/{\ss}-catenin signaling-mediated endoderm cell fate specification. Conversely, selectively blocking Wnt/{\ss}-catenin signaling inhibits endoderm cell fate specification but does not affect bottle cell formation and initial archenteron invagination.Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that Wnt/PCP-mediated initial archenteron invagination can be uncoupled from Wnt/{\ss}-catenin-mediated endoderm cell fate specification in Nematostella, and provides evidence that these two processes could have evolved independently during metazoan evolution. We propose a two-step model for the evolution of an archenteron and the evolution of endodermal germ layer segregation. Asymmetric accumulation and activation of Wnt/PCP components at the animal pole of the last common ancestor to the eumetazoa may have induced the cell shape changes that led to the initial formation of an archenteron. Activation of Wnt/{\ss}-catenin signaling at the animal pole may have led to the activation of a gene regulatory network that specified an endodermal cell fate in the archenteron.",
author = "Shalika Kumburegama and Naveen Wijesena and Ronghui Xu and Athula Wikramanayake",
year = "2011",
month = "1",
day = "21",
doi = "10.1186/2041-9139-2-2",
language = "English",
volume = "2",
journal = "EvoDevo",
issn = "2041-9139",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
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T1 - Strabismus-mediated primary archenteron invagination is uncoupled from Wnt/β-catenin-dependent endoderm cell fate specification in Nematostella vectensis (Anthozoa, Cnidaria)

T2 - Implications for the evolution of gastrulation

AU - Kumburegama, Shalika

AU - Wijesena, Naveen

AU - Xu, Ronghui

AU - Wikramanayake, Athula

PY - 2011/1/21

Y1 - 2011/1/21

N2 - Background: Gastrulation is a uniquely metazoan character, and its genesis was arguably the key step that enabled the remarkable diversification within this clade. The process of gastrulation involves two tightly coupled events during embryogenesis of most metazoans. Morphogenesis produces a distinct internal epithelial layer in the embryo, and this epithelium becomes segregated as an endoderm/endomesodermal germ layer through the activation of a specific gene regulatory program. The developmental mechanisms that induced archenteron formation and led to the segregation of germ layers during metazoan evolution are unknown. But an increased understanding of development in early diverging taxa at the base of the metazoan tree may provide insights into the origins of these developmental mechanisms.Results: In the anthozoan cnidarian Nematostella vectensis, initial archenteron formation begins with bottle cell-induced buckling of the blastula epithelium at the animal pole. Here, we show that bottle cell formation and initial gut invagination in Nematostella requires NvStrabismus (NvStbm), a maternally-expressed core component of the Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway. The NvStbm protein is localized to the animal pole of the zygote, remains asymmetrically expressed through the cleavage stages, and becomes restricted to the apical side of invaginating bottle cells at the blastopore. Antisense morpholino-mediated NvStbm-knockdown blocks bottle cell formation and initial archenteron invagination, but it has no effect on Wnt/ß-catenin signaling-mediated endoderm cell fate specification. Conversely, selectively blocking Wnt/ß-catenin signaling inhibits endoderm cell fate specification but does not affect bottle cell formation and initial archenteron invagination.Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that Wnt/PCP-mediated initial archenteron invagination can be uncoupled from Wnt/ß-catenin-mediated endoderm cell fate specification in Nematostella, and provides evidence that these two processes could have evolved independently during metazoan evolution. We propose a two-step model for the evolution of an archenteron and the evolution of endodermal germ layer segregation. Asymmetric accumulation and activation of Wnt/PCP components at the animal pole of the last common ancestor to the eumetazoa may have induced the cell shape changes that led to the initial formation of an archenteron. Activation of Wnt/ß-catenin signaling at the animal pole may have led to the activation of a gene regulatory network that specified an endodermal cell fate in the archenteron.

AB - Background: Gastrulation is a uniquely metazoan character, and its genesis was arguably the key step that enabled the remarkable diversification within this clade. The process of gastrulation involves two tightly coupled events during embryogenesis of most metazoans. Morphogenesis produces a distinct internal epithelial layer in the embryo, and this epithelium becomes segregated as an endoderm/endomesodermal germ layer through the activation of a specific gene regulatory program. The developmental mechanisms that induced archenteron formation and led to the segregation of germ layers during metazoan evolution are unknown. But an increased understanding of development in early diverging taxa at the base of the metazoan tree may provide insights into the origins of these developmental mechanisms.Results: In the anthozoan cnidarian Nematostella vectensis, initial archenteron formation begins with bottle cell-induced buckling of the blastula epithelium at the animal pole. Here, we show that bottle cell formation and initial gut invagination in Nematostella requires NvStrabismus (NvStbm), a maternally-expressed core component of the Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway. The NvStbm protein is localized to the animal pole of the zygote, remains asymmetrically expressed through the cleavage stages, and becomes restricted to the apical side of invaginating bottle cells at the blastopore. Antisense morpholino-mediated NvStbm-knockdown blocks bottle cell formation and initial archenteron invagination, but it has no effect on Wnt/ß-catenin signaling-mediated endoderm cell fate specification. Conversely, selectively blocking Wnt/ß-catenin signaling inhibits endoderm cell fate specification but does not affect bottle cell formation and initial archenteron invagination.Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that Wnt/PCP-mediated initial archenteron invagination can be uncoupled from Wnt/ß-catenin-mediated endoderm cell fate specification in Nematostella, and provides evidence that these two processes could have evolved independently during metazoan evolution. We propose a two-step model for the evolution of an archenteron and the evolution of endodermal germ layer segregation. Asymmetric accumulation and activation of Wnt/PCP components at the animal pole of the last common ancestor to the eumetazoa may have induced the cell shape changes that led to the initial formation of an archenteron. Activation of Wnt/ß-catenin signaling at the animal pole may have led to the activation of a gene regulatory network that specified an endodermal cell fate in the archenteron.

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