Publications by authors named "Anne Terrell"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

β1-Integrin Deletion From the Lens Activates Cellular Stress Responses Leading to Apoptosis and Fibrosis.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2017 08;58(10):3896-3922

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, United States.

Purpose: Previous research showed that the absence of β1-integrin from the mouse lens after embryonic day (E) 13.5 (β1MLR10) leads to the perinatal apoptosis of lens epithelial cells (LECs) resulting in severe microphthalmia. This study focuses on elucidating the molecular connections between β1-integrin deletion and this phenotype.

Methods: RNA sequencing was performed to identify differentially regulated genes (DRGs) in β1MLR10 lenses at E15.5. By using bioinformatics analysis and literature searching, Egr1 (early growth response 1) was selected for further study. The activation status of certain signaling pathways (focal adhesion kinase [FAK]/Erk, TGF-β, and Akt signaling) was studied via Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Mice lacking both β1-integrin and Egr1 genes from the lenses were created (β1MLR10/Egr1-/-) to study their relationship.

Results: RNA sequencing identified 120 DRGs that include candidates involved in the cellular stress response, fibrosis, and/or apoptosis. Egr1 was investigated in detail, as it mediates cellular stress responses in various cell types, and is recognized as an upstream regulator of numerous other β1MLR10 lens DRGs. In β1MLR10 mice, Egr1 levels are elevated shortly after β1-integrin loss from the lens. Further, pErk1/2 and pAkt are elevated in β1MLR10 LECs, thus providing the potential signaling mechanism that causes Egr1 upregulation in the mutant. Indeed, deletion of Egr1 from β1MLR10 lenses partially rescues the microphthalmia phenotype.

Conclusions: β1-integrin regulates the appropriate levels of Erk1/2 and Akt phosphorylation in LECs, whereas its deficiency results in the overexpression of Egr1, culminating in reduced cell survival. These findings provide insight into the molecular mechanism underlying the microphthalmia observed in β1MLR10 mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-21721DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5539801PMC
August 2017

Compound mouse mutants of bZIP transcription factors Mafg and Mafk reveal a regulatory network of non-crystallin genes associated with cataract.

Hum Genet 2015 Jul 21;134(7):717-35. Epub 2015 Apr 21.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 19716, USA.

Although majority of the genes linked to early-onset cataract exhibit lens fiber cell-enriched expression, our understanding of gene regulation in these cells is limited to function of just eight transcription factors and largely in the context of crystallins. We report on small Maf transcription factors Mafg and Mafk as regulators of several non-crystallin human cataract-associated genes in fiber cells and establish their significance to this disease. We applied a bioinformatics tool for cataract gene discovery iSyTE to identify Mafg and its co-regulators in the lens, and generated various null-allelic combinations of Mafg:Mafk mouse mutants for phenotypic and molecular analysis. By age 4 months, Mafg-/-:Mafk+/- mutants exhibit lens defects that progressively develop into cataract. High-resolution phenotypic characterization of Mafg-/-:Mafk+/- mouse lens reveals severely disorganized fiber cells, while microarray-based expression profiling identifies 97 differentially regulated genes (DRGs). Integrative analysis of Mafg-/-:Mafk+/- lens-DRGs with (1) binding motifs and genomic targets of small Mafs and their regulatory partners, (2) iSyTE lens expression data, and (3) interactions between DRGs in the String database, unravel a detailed small Maf regulatory network in the lens, several nodes of which are linked to cataract. This approach identifies 36 high-priority candidates from the original 97 DRGs. Significantly, 8/36 (22%) DRGs are associated with cataracts in human (GSTO1, MGST1, SC4MOL, UCHL1) or mouse (Aldh3a1, Crygf, Hspb1, Pcbd1), suggesting a multifactorial etiology that includes oxidative stress and misregulation of sterol synthesis. These data identify Mafg and Mafk as new cataract-associated candidates and define their function in regulating largely non-crystallin genes linked to human cataract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-015-1554-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486474PMC
July 2015

Molecular characterization of mouse lens epithelial cell lines and their suitability to study RNA granules and cataract associated genes.

Exp Eye Res 2015 Feb 19;131:42-55. Epub 2014 Dec 19.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA; Center for Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA. Electronic address:

The discovery of cytosolic RNA granule (RG) component proteins associated with human cataract has initiated investigations on post-transcriptional mechanisms of gene expression control in the lens. Application of established mouse lens epithelial cell lines (LECs) can provide rapid insights on RG function in lens cells, especially because mouse mutants in several RG components are not available. However, although these LECs represent potential reagents for such analyses, they are uncharacterized for lens gene expression or RG formation. Therefore, a detailed molecular and cellular characterization of three permanent mouse LECs 17EM15, 21EM15 and αTN4 is performed in this study. Comparative analysis between microarray gene expression datasets on LEC 21EM15 and iSyTE lens tissue demonstrates that 30% of top 200 iSyTE identified lens-enriched genes are expressed in these cells. Majority of these candidates are independently validated to either have lens expression, function or linkage to cataract. Moreover, analysis of microarray data with genes described in Cat-Map, an online database of cataract associated genes and loci, demonstrates that 131 genes linked to cataract loci are expressed in 21EM15 cells. Furthermore, gene expression in LECs is compared to isolated lens epithelium or fiber cells by qRT-PCR and by comparative analyses with publically available epithelium or fiber-specific microarray and RNA-seq (sequencing) datasets. Expression of select candidate genes was validated by regular and real-time quantitative RT-PCR. Expression of lens epithelium-enriched genes Foxe3, Pax6, Anxa4 and Mcm4 is up-regulated in LEC lines, compared to isolated lens fiber cells. Moreover, similar to isolated lens epithelium, all three LECs exhibit down-regulation of fiber cell-expressed genes Crybb1, Mip and Prox1 when compared to fiber cells. These data indicate that the LEC lines exhibit greater similarity to lens epithelium than to fiber cells. Compared to non-lens cell line NIH3T3, LECs exhibit significantly enriched expression of transcription factors with important function in the lens, namely Pax6, Foxe3 and Prox1. In addition to these genes, all three LECs also express key lens- and cataract-associated genes, namely Dkk3, Epha2, Hsf4, Jag1, Mab21l1, Meis1, Pknox1, Pou2f1, Sfrp1, Sparc, Tdrd7 and Trpm3. Additionally, 21EM15 microarrays indicate expression of Chmp4b, Cryab and Tcfap2a among others important genes. Immunostaining with makers for Processing bodies (P-bodies) and Stress granules (SGs) demonstrates that these classes of RGs are robustly expressed in all three LECs. Moreover, under conditions of stress, 17EM15 and αTN4 exhibit significantly higher numbers of P-bodies and SGs compared to NIH3T3 cells. In sum, these data indicate that mouse LECs 21EM15, 17EM15 and αTN4 express key lens or cataract genes, are similar to lens epithelium than fiber cells, and exhibit high levels of P-bodies and SGs, indicating their suitability for investigating gene expression control and RG function in lens-derived cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2014.12.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387128PMC
February 2015

Development of novel filtering criteria to analyze RNA-sequencing data obtained from the murine ocular lens during embryogenesis.

Genom Data 2014 Dec;2:369-374

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA.

Next-generation sequencing of the transcriptome (RNA-Seq) is a powerful method that allows for the quantitative determination of absolute gene expression, and can be used to investigate how these levels change in response to an experimental manipulation or disease condition. The sensitivity of this method allows one to analyze transcript levels of all expressed genes, including low abundance transcripts that encode important regulatory molecules, providing valuable insights into the global effects of experimental manipulations. However, this increased sensitivity can also make it challenging to ascertain which expression changes are biologically significant. Here, we describe a novel set of filtering criteria - based on biological insights and computational approaches - that were applied to prioritize genes for further study from an extensive number of differentially expressed transcripts in lenses lacking Smad interacting protein 1 (Sip1) obtained via RNA-Seq by Manthey and colleagues in (Manthey et al., 2014). Notably, this workflow allowed an original list of over 7,100 statistically significant differentially expressed genes (DEGs) to be winnowed down to 190 DEGs that likely play a biologically significant role in Sip1 function during lens development. Focusing on genes whose expression was upregulated or downregulated in a manner opposite to what normally occurs during lens development, we identified 78 genes that appear to be strongly dependent on Sip1 function. From these data (GEO accession number GSE49949), it appears that Sip1 regulates multiple genes in the lens that are generally distinct from those regulated by Sip1 in other cellular contexts, including genes whose expression is prominent in the early head ectoderm, from which the lens differentiates. Further, the analysis criteria outlined here represent a filtering scheme that can be used to prioritize genes in future RNA-Seq investigations performed at this stage of ocular lens development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gdata.2014.10.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4248573PMC
December 2014

The Zeb proteins δEF1 and Sip1 may have distinct functions in lens cells following cataract surgery.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014 Jul 31;55(8):5445-55. Epub 2014 Jul 31.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, United States.

Purpose: Posterior capsular opacification (PCO), the most prevalent side effect of cataract surgery, occurs when residual lens epithelial cells (LECs) undergo fiber cell differentiation or epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here, we used a murine cataract surgery model to investigate the role of the Zeb proteins, Smad interacting protein 1 (Sip1) and δ-crystallin enhancer-binding factor 1 (δEF1), during PCO.

Methods: Extracapsular extraction of lens fiber cells was performed on wild-type and Sip1 knockout mice. Protein expression patterns were assessed at multiple time points after surgery using confocal immunofluorescence. βB1-Crystallin mRNA levels were measured using quantitative RT-PCR. We used Transfac searches to identify δEF1 binding sites in the βB1-crystallin promoter and transfection analysis to test the ability of δEF1 to regulate βB1-crystallin expression.

Results: δEF1, which, in other systems, can activate fibrotic genes (e.g., α-smooth muscle actin) and repress epithelial genes, upregulates by 48 hours after fiber cell removal. In culture, δEF1 repressed βB1-crystallin promoter activity, suggesting that it may also turn off lens gene expression following surgery, contributing to "fibrotic PCO" development. Sip1 also upregulates in LECs by 48 hours, but analysis of Sip1 knockout lenses demonstrated that Sip1 does not play a major role in EMT or fiber cell differentiation after surgery. However, Sip1 knockout LECs do express the ectodermal marker keratin 8, suggesting that Sip1 may limit the reprogramming of residual LECs to an embryonic state.

Conclusions: Zeb transcription factors likely play important, but distinct roles in PCO development after cataract surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/iovs.14-14845DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4148927PMC
July 2014

Late-emigrating trunk neural crest cells in turtle embryos generate an osteogenic ectomesenchyme in the plastron.

Dev Dyn 2013 Nov 6;242(11):1223-35. Epub 2013 Sep 6.

Biology Department, Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania.

Background: The turtle plastron is composed of a keratinized epidermis overlying nine dermal bones. Its developmental origin has been controversial; recent evidence suggests that the plastral bones derive from trunk neural crest cells (NCCs).

Results: This study extends the observations that there is a turtle-specific, second wave of trunk NCC delamination and migration, after the original NCCs have reached their destination and differentiated. This second wave was confirmed by immunohistochemistry in whole-mounts and serial sections, by injecting DiI (1,1', di-octadecyl-3,3,3',3',-tetramethylindo-carbocyanine perchlorate) into the lumen of the neural tube and tracing labeled cells into the plastron, and by isolating neural tubes from older turtle embryos and observing delaminating NCCs. This later migration gives rise to a plastral ectomesenchyme that expresses NCC markers and can be induced to initiate bone formation.

Conclusions: The NCCs of this second migration have properties similar to those of the earlier NCCs, but also express markers characteristic of cranial NCCs. The majority of the cells of the plastron mesenchyme express neural crest markers, and have osteogenic differentiation capabilities that are similar or identical to craniofacial ectomesenchyme. Our evidence supports the contention that turtle plastron bones are derived from a late emigrating population of cells derived from the trunk neural crest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dvdy.24018DOI Listing
November 2013

Hdac1 and Hdac2 act redundantly to control p63 and p53 functions in epidermal progenitor cells.

Dev Cell 2010 Dec 18;19(6):807-18. Epub 2010 Nov 18.

Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, 19104, USA.

Epidermal and hair follicle development from surface ectodermal progenitor cells requires coordinated changes in gene expression. Histone deacetylases alter gene expression programs through modification of chromatin and transcription factors. We find that deletion of ectodermal Hdac1 and Hdac2 results in dramatic failure of hair follicle specification and epidermal proliferation and stratification, phenocopying loss of the key ectodermal transcription factor p63. Although expression of p63 and its positively regulated basal cell targets is maintained in Hdac1/2-deficient ectoderm, targets of p63-mediated repression, including p21, 14-3-3σ, and p16/INK4a, are ectopically expressed, and HDACs bind and are active at their promoter regions in normal undifferentiated keratinocytes. Mutant embryos display increased levels of acetylated p53, which opposes p63 functions, and p53 is required for HDAC inhibitor-mediated p21 expression in keratinocytes. Our data identify critical requirements for HDAC1/2 in epidermal development and indicate that HDAC1/2 directly mediate repressive functions of p63 and suppress p53 activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2010.10.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003338PMC
December 2010