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BMC Dev Biol 2011 Jan 26;11:54. doi: 10.1186/1471-213X-11-54.
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Transdifferentiation from cornea to lens in Xenopus laevis depends on BMP signalling and involves upregulation of Wnt signalling.

Day RC , Beck CW .

Surgical removal of the lens from larval Xenopus laevis results in a rapid transdifferention of central corneal cells to form a new lens. The trigger for this process is understood to be an induction event arising from the unprecedented exposure of the cornea to the vitreous humour that occurs following lens removal. The molecular identity of this trigger is unknown. Here, we have used a functional transgenic approach to show that BMP signalling is required for lens regeneration and a microarray approach to identify genes that are upregulated specifically during this process. Analysis of the array data strongly implicates Wnt signalling and the Pitx family of transcription factors in the process of cornea to lens transdifferentiation. Our analysis also captured several genes associated with congenital cataract in humans. Pluripotency genes, in contrast, were not upregulated, supporting the idea that corneal cells transdifferentiate without returning to a stem cell state. Several genes from the array were expressed in the forming lens during embryogenesis. One of these, Nipsnap1, is a known direct target of BMP signalling. Our results strongly implicate the developmental Wnt and BMP signalling pathways in the process of cornea to lens transdifferentiation (CLT) in Xenopus, and suggest direct transdifferentiation between these two anterior eye tissues.

PubMed ID: 21896182
PMC ID: PMC3184090
Article link: BMC Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: amph cbx1 ccdc124 celf1 creld1 cryaa cryba1 crybb1 crybb3 crygbl.1 dvl2 fgf8 fut6 fzd7 gdf3 glb1 gnai2 h2ac21 hsp70 hsp90ab1 kif19 lin28a lmo4.1 lmo4.2 lrp6 luc7l3 mmp11 mmp14 mta2 mybph nipsnap1 nog pax6 pdik1l pdlim1 pitx1 pitx2 pou5f3 pou5f3.2 pou5f3.3 prox1 six1 sox2 taf1b tcf4 tcf7 tcf7l2 tert tsr1 tsr2 unk wnt2 wnt6 wnt7a zic3

GEO Series: GSE28014: NCBI

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Alward, Autosomal dominant iris hypoplasia is caused by a mutation in the Rieger syndrome (RIEG/PITX2) gene. 1998, Pubmed