Publications by authors named "Anne Boulet"

8 Publications

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The clear cell sarcoma functional genomic landscape.

J Clin Invest 2021 Jun 22. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Department of Orthopedics and Oncological Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, United States of America.

Clear Cell Sarcoma (CCS) is a deadly malignancy affecting adolescents and young adults. It is characterized by reciprocal translocations resulting in the expression of the chimeric EWSR1-ATF1 or EWSR1-CREB1 fusion proteins, driving sarcomagenesis. Besides these characteristics, CCS has remained genomically uncharacterized. Copy number analysis of human CCSs showed frequent amplifications of the MITF locus and chromosomes 7 and 8. Few alterations were shared with Ewing sarcoma or desmoplastic small round cell tumors, other EWSR1-rearranged tumors. Exome sequencing in mouse tumors generated by expressing EWSR1-ATF1 from the Rosa26 locus demonstrated no other repeated pathogenic variants. Additionally, we generated a new CCS mouse by Cre-loxP-induced chromosomal translocation between Ewsr1 and Atf1, resulting in copy number loss of chromosome 6 and chromosome 15 instability, including amplification of a portion syntenic with human chromosome 8, surrounding Myc. Additional experiments in the Rosa26 conditional model demonstrated that Mitf or Myc can contribute to sarcomagenesis. Copy number observations in human tumors and genetic experiments in mice render, for the first time, a functional landscape of the CCS genome. These data advance efforts to understand the biology of CCS with innovative models, in which we can eventually validate preclinical therapies, necessary to move toward longer and better survival of the young victims of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI146301DOI Listing
June 2021

A Microglia Sublineage Protects from Sex-Linked Anxiety Symptoms and Obsessive Compulsion.

Cell Rep 2019 10;29(4):791-799.e3

Department of Human Genetics, School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA. Electronic address:

Aberrant microglia activity is associated with many neurological and psychiatric disorders, yet our knowledge about the pathological mechanisms is incomplete. Here, we describe a genetically defined microglia sublineage in mice which has the ability to suppress obsessive compulsion and anxiety symptoms. These microglia derive from precursors expressing the transcription factor Hoxb8. Selective ablation of Hoxb8-lineage microglia or the Hoxb8 gene revealed that dysfunction in this cell type causes severe over-grooming and anxiety-like behavior and stress responses. Moreover, we show that the severity of the pathology is set by female sex hormones. Together, our findings reveal that different microglia lineages have distinct functions. In addition, our data suggest a mechanistic link between biological sex and genetics, two major risk factors for developing anxiety and related disorders in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.09.045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6876991PMC
October 2019

Two distinct ontogenies confer heterogeneity to mouse brain microglia.

Development 2018 07 4;145(13). Epub 2018 Jul 4.

Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA

mutant mice show compulsive behavior similar to trichotillomania, a human obsessive-compulsive-spectrum disorder. The only lineage-labeled cells in the brains of mice are microglia, suggesting that defective microglia caused the disorder. What is the source of the microglia? It has been posited that all microglia progenitors arise at embryonic day (E) 7.5 during yolk sac hematopoiesis, and colonize the brain at E9.5. In contrast, we show the presence of two microglia subpopulations: canonical, non- microglia and microglia. Unlike non- microglia, microglia progenitors appear to be generated during the second wave of yolk sac hematopoiesis, then detected in the aorto-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) and fetal liver, where they are greatly expanded, prior to infiltrating the E12.5 brain. Further, we demonstrate that hematopoietic progenitor cells taken from fetal liver are competent to give rise to microglia Although the two microglial subpopulations are very similar molecularly, and in their response to brain injury and participation in synaptic pruning, they show distinct brain distributions which might contribute to pathological specificity. Non- microglia significantly outnumber microglia, but they cannot compensate for the loss of function in microglia, suggesting further crucial differences between the two subpopulations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.152306DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6053660PMC
July 2018

Signaling by FGF4 and FGF8 is required for axial elongation of the mouse embryo.

Dev Biol 2012 Nov 30;371(2):235-45. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.

Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling has been shown to play critical roles in vertebrate segmentation and elongation of the embryonic axis. Neither the exact roles of FGF signaling, nor the identity of the FGF ligands involved in these processes, has been conclusively determined. Fgf8 is required for cell migration away from the primitive streak when gastrulation initiates, but previous studies have shown that drastically reducing the level of FGF8 later in gastrulation has no apparent effect on somitogenesis or elongation of the embryo. In this study, we demonstrate that loss of both Fgf8 and Fgf4 expression during late gastrulation resulted in a dramatic skeletal phenotype. Thoracic vertebrae and ribs had abnormal morphology, lumbar and sacral vertebrae were malformed or completely absent, and no tail vertebrae were present. The expression of Wnt3a in the tail and the amount of nascent mesoderm expressing Brachyury were both severely reduced. Expression of genes in the NOTCH signaling pathway involved in segmentation was significantly affected, and somite formation ceased after the production of about 15-20 somites. Defects seen in the mutants appear to result from a failure to produce sufficient paraxial mesoderm, rather than a failure of mesoderm precursors to migrate away from the primitive streak. Although the epiblast prematurely decreases in size, we did not detect evidence of a change in the proliferation rate of cells in the tail region or excessive apoptosis of epiblast or mesoderm cells. We propose that FGF4 and FGF8 are required to maintain a population of progenitor cells in the epiblast that generates mesoderm and contributes to the stem cell population that is incorporated in the tailbud and required for axial elongation of the mouse embryo after gastrulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.08.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3481862PMC
November 2012

The roles of Fgf4 and Fgf8 in limb bud initiation and outgrowth.

Dev Biol 2004 Sep;273(2):361-72

Department of Human Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.

Although numerous molecules required for limb bud formation have recently been identified, the molecular pathways that initiate this process and ensure that limb formation occurs at specific axial positions have yet to be fully elucidated. Based on experiments in the chick, Fgf8 expression in the intermediate mesoderm (IM) has been proposed to play a critical role in the initiation of limb bud outgrowth via restriction of Fgf10 expression to the appropriate region of the lateral plate mesoderm. Contrary to the outcome predicted by this model, ablation of Fgf8 expression in the intermediate mesoderm before limb bud initiation had no effect on initial limb bud outgrowth or on the formation of normal limbs. When their expression patterns were first elucidated, both Fgf4 and Fgf8 were proposed to mediate critical functions of the apical ectodermal ridge (AER), which is required for proper limb bud outgrowth. Although mice lacking Fgf4 in the AER have normal limbs, limb development is severely affected in Fgf8 mutants and certain skeletal elements are not produced. By creating mice lacking both Fgf4 and Fgf8 function in the forelimb AER, we show that limb bud mesenchyme fails to survive in the absence of both FGF family members. Thus, Fgf4 is responsible for the partial compensation of distal limb development in the absence of Fgf8. A prolonged period of increased apoptosis, beginning at 10 days of gestation in a proximal-dorsal region of the limb bud, leads to the elimination of enough mesenchymal cells to preclude formation of distal limb structures. Expression of Shh and Fgf10 is nearly abolished in double mutant limb buds. By using a CRE driver expressed in both forelimb and hindlimb ectoderm to inactivate Fgf4 and Fgf8, we have produced mice lacking all limbs, allowing a direct comparison of FGF requirements in the two locations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2004.06.012DOI Listing
September 2004

Multiple roles of Hoxa11 and Hoxd11 in the formation of the mammalian forelimb zeugopod.

Development 2004 Jan 10;131(2):299-309. Epub 2003 Dec 10.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.

Mutations in the 5' or posterior murine Hox genes (paralogous groups 9-13) markedly affect the formation of the stylopod, zeugopod and autopod of both forelimbs and hindlimbs. Targeted disruption of Hoxa11 and Hoxd11 or Hoxa10, Hoxc10 and Hoxd10 result in gross mispatterning of the radius and ulna or the femur, respectively. Similarly, in mice with disruptions of both Hoxa13 and Hoxd13, development of the forelimb and hindlimb autopod is severely curtailed. Although these examples clearly illustrate the major roles played by the posterior Hox genes, little is known regarding the stage or stages at which Hox transcription factors intersect with the limb development program to ensure proper patterning of the principle elements of the limb. Moreover, the cellular and/or molecular bases for the developmental defects observed in these mutant mice have not been described. In this study, we show that malformation of the forelimb zeugopod in Hoxa11/Hoxd11 double mutants is a consequence of interruption at multiple steps during the formation of the radius and ulna. In particular, reductions in the levels of Fgf8 and Fgf10 expression may be related to the observed delay in forelimb bud outgrowth that, in turn, leads to the formation of smaller mesenchymal condensations. However, the most significant defect appears to be the failure to form normal growth plates at the proximal and distal ends of the zeugopod bones. As a consequence, growth and maturation of these bones is highly disorganized, resulting in the creation of amorphous bony elements, rather than a normal radius and ulna.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.00936DOI Listing
January 2004

Duplication of the Hoxd11 gene causes alterations in the axial and appendicular skeleton of the mouse.

Dev Biol 2002 Sep;249(1):96-107

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah, School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-5331, USA.

The Hox genes encode a group of transcription factors essential for proper development of the mouse. Targeted mutation of the Hoxd11 gene causes reduced male fertility, vertebral transformation, carpal bone fusions, and reductions in digit length. A duplication of the Hoxd11 gene was created with the expectation that the consequences of restricted overexpression in the appropriate cells would provide further insight into the function of the Hoxd11 gene product. Genetic assays demonstrated that two tandem copies of Hoxd11 were functionally indistinguishable from the normal two copies of the gene on separate chromosomes with respect to formation of the axial and appendicular skeleton. Extra copies of Hoxd11 caused an increase in the lengths of some bones of the forelimb autopod and a decrease in the number of lumbar vertebrae. Further, analysis of the Hoxd11 duplication demonstrated that the Hoxd11 protein can perform some functions supplied by its paralogue Hoxa11. For example, the defects in forelimb bones are corrected when extra copies of Hoxd11 are present in the Hoxa11 homozygous mutant background. Thus, it appears that Hoxd11 can quantitatively compensate for the absence of Hoxa11 protein, and therefore Hoxa11 and Hoxd11 are functionally equivalent in the zeugopod. However, extra copies of Hoxd11 did not improve male or female fertility in Hoxa11 mutants. Interestingly, the insertion of an additional Hoxd11 locus into the HoxD complex does not appear to affect the expression patterns of the neighboring Hoxd10, -d12, or -d13 genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/dbio.2002.0755DOI Listing
September 2002
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