Publications by authors named "Jong Uk Chung"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Molecular patterning of the embryonic cranial mesenchyme revealed by genome-wide transcriptional profiling.

Dev Biol 2019 11 24;455(2):434-448. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology, New York University College of Dentistry, New York, NY, 10010, USA. Electronic address:

In the head of an embryo, a layer of mesenchyme surrounds the brain underneath the surface ectoderm. This cranial mesenchyme gives rise to the meninges, the calvaria (top part of the skull), and the dermis of the scalp. Abnormal development of these structures, especially the meninges and the calvaria, is linked to significant congenital defects in humans. It has been known that different areas of the cranial mesenchyme have different fates. For example, the calvarial bone develops from the cranial mesenchyme on the baso-lateral side of the head just above the eye (supraorbital mesenchyme, SOM), but not from the mesenchyme apical to SOM (early migrating mesenchyme, EMM). However, the molecular basis of this difference is not fully understood. To answer this question, we compared the transcriptomes of EMM and SOM using high-throughput sequencing (RNA-seq). This experiment identified a large number of genes that were differentially expressed in EMM and SOM, and gene ontology analyses found very different terms enriched in each region. We verified the expression of about 40 genes in the head by RNA in situ hybridization, and the expression patterns were annotated to make a map of molecular markers for 6 subdivisions of the cranial mesenchyme. Our data also provided insights into potential novel regulators of cranial mesenchyme development, including several axon guidance pathways, lectin complement pathway, cyclic-adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signaling pathway, and ZIC family transcription factors. Together, information in this paper will serve as a unique resource to guide future research on cranial mesenchyme development.
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November 2019

Anti-osteogenic function of a LIM-homeodomain transcription factor LMX1B is essential to early patterning of the calvaria.

Dev Biol 2018 11 28;443(2):103-116. Epub 2018 May 28.

Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology, New York University College of Dentistry, New York, NY, United States. Electronic address:

The calvaria (upper part of the skull) is made of plates of bone and fibrous joints (sutures and fontanelles), and the proper balance and organization of these components are crucial to normal development of the calvaria. In a mouse embryo, the calvaria develops from a layer of head mesenchyme that surrounds the brain from shortly after mid-gestation. The mesenchyme just above the eye (supra-orbital mesenchyme, SOM) generates ossification centers for the bones, which then grow toward the apex gradually. In contrast, the mesenchyme apical to SOM (early migrating mesenchyme, EMM), including the area at the vertex, does not generate an ossification center. As a result, the dorsal midline of the head is occupied by sutures and fontanelles at birth. To date, the molecular basis for this regional difference in developmental programs is unknown. The current study provides vital insights into the genetic regulation of calvarial patterning. First, we showed that osteogenic signals were active in both EMM and SOM during normal development, which suggested the presence of an anti-osteogenic factor in EMM to counter the effect of these signals. Subsequently, we identified Lmx1b as an anti-osteogenic gene that was expressed in EMM but not in SOM. Furthermore, head mesenchyme-specific deletion of Lmx1b resulted in heterotopic ossification from EMM at the vertex, and craniosynostosis affecting multiple sutures. Conversely, forced expression of Lmx1b in SOM was sufficient to inhibit osteogenic specification. Therefore, we conclude that Lmx1b plays a key role as an anti-osteogenic factor in patterning the head mesenchyme into areas with different osteogenic competence. In turn, this patterning event is crucial to generating the proper organization of the bones and soft tissue joints of the calvaria.
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November 2018