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World J Gastroenterol January 14, 2013; 19 (2): 227-34.

Inositol-requiring enzyme 1α is required for gut development in Xenopus lavies embryos.

Guo J , Li XX , Feng JJ , Yin CY , Wang XJ , Wang N , Yuan L .

AIM: To investigate the role of inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α) in gut development of Xenopus lavies embryos. METHODS: Xenopus embryos were obtained with in vitro fertilization and cultured in 0.1 × MBSH. One and half nanogram of IRE1α, 1 ng of IRE1α-GR mRNA, 1 ng of IRE1αΔC-GR mRNA, and 50 ng of IRE1α morpholino oligonucleotide (MO) or XBP1(C)MO were injected into four blastomeres at 4-cell stage for scoring the phenotype and marker gene analysis. To rescue the effect of IRE1α MO, 1 ng of IRE1α-GR mRNA was co-injected with 50 ng of MO. For the activation of the GR-fusion proteins, dexamethasone was prepared as 5 mmol/L stock solutions in 100% ethanol and applied to the mRNA injected embryos at desired stages in a concentration of 10 μmol/L in 0.1 × MBSH. Embryos were kept in dexamethasone up to stage 41. Whole-mount in situ hybridization was used to determine specific gene expression, such as IRE1α, IRE1β, Xbra and Xsox17α. IRE1α protein expression during Xenopus embryogenesis was detected by Western blotting. RESULTS: In the whole-mount in situ hybridization analysis, xenopus IRE1α and IRE1β showed quite different expression pattern during tadpole stage. The relatively higher expression of IRE1α was observed in the pancreas, and significant transcription of IRE1β was found in the liver. IRE1α protein could be detected at all developmental stages analyzed, from stage 1 to stage 42. Gain-of-function assay showed that IRE1α mRNA injected embryos at tailbud stage were nearly normal and the expression of the pan-mesodermal marker gene Xbra and the endodermal gene Xsox17α at stage 10.5 was not significantly changed in embryos injected with IRE1α mRNA as compared to uninjected control embryos. And at tadpole stage, the embryos injected with IRE1α-GR mRNA did not display overt phenotype, such as gut-coiling defect. Loss-of-function assay demonstrated that the IRE1α MO injected embryos were morphologically normal before the tailbud stages. We did not observe a significant change of mesodermal and endodermal marker gene expression, while after stage 40, about 80% of the MO injected embryos exhibited dramatic gut defects in which the guts did not coil, but other structures outside the gastrointestinal tract were relatively normal. To test if the phenotypes were specifically caused by the knockdown of IRE1α, a rescue experiment was performed by co-injection of IRE1α-GR mRMA with IRE1α MO. The data obtained demonstrated that the gut coiling defect was rescued. The deletion mutant of IRE1α was constructed, consisting of the N-terminal part without the C-terminal kinase and RNase domains named IRE1αΔC, to investigate the functional domain of IRE1α. Injection of IRE1αΔC-GR mRNA caused similar morphological alterations with gut malformation by interfering with the function of endogenous xIRE1α. In order to investigate if IRE1α/XBP1 pathway was involved in gut development, 50 ng of XBP1 MO was injected and the results showed that knockdown of XBP1 resulted in similar morphological alterations with gut-coiling defect at tadpole stage. CONCLUSION: IRE1α is not required for germ layer formation but for gut development in Xenopus lavies and it may function via XBP1-dependent pathway.

PubMed ID: 23345945
PMC ID: PMC3548012
Article link: World J Gastroenterol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ern1 tbxt xbp1
Morpholinos: ern1 MO1 xbp1 MO2

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Anelli, Protein quality control in the early secretory pathway. 2008, Pubmed