Publications by authors named "Marc Fernandez-Guerrero"

3 Publications

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Time-sequenced transcriptomes of developing distal mouse limb buds: A comparative tissue layer analysis.

Dev Dyn 2021 Jul 12. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Instituto de Biomedicina y Biotecnología de Cantabria, IBBTEC (CSIC-University of Cantabria-SODERCAN), Santander, Spain.

Background: The development of the amniote limb has been an important model system to study patterning mechanisms and morphogenesis. For proper growth and patterning, it requires the interaction between the distal sub-apical mesenchyme and the apical ectodermal ridge (AER) that involve the separate implementation of coordinated and tissue-specific genetic programs.

Results: Here, we produce and analyze the transcriptomes of both distal limb mesenchymal progenitors and the overlying ectodermal cells, following time-coursed dissections that cover from limb bud initiation to fully patterned limbs. The comparison of transcriptomes within each layer as well as between layers over time, allowed the identification of specific transcriptional signatures for each of the developmental stages. Special attention was given to the identification of genes whose transcription dynamics suggest a previously unnoticed role in the context of limb development and also to signaling pathways enriched between layers.

Conclusion: We interpret the transcriptomic data in light of the known development pattern and we conclude that a major transcriptional transition occurs in distal limb buds between E9.5 and E10.5, coincident with the switch from an early phase continuation of the signature of trunk progenitors, related to the initial proximo distal specification, to a late intrinsic phase of development.
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July 2021

Mammalian-specific ectodermal enhancers control the expression of genes in developing nails and hair follicles.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 12 16;117(48):30509-30519. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Instituto de Biomedicina y Biotecnología de Cantabria, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Universidad de Cantabria-Sociedad para el Desarrollo de Cantabria, 39011 Santander, Spain;

Vertebrate genes are critical for the establishment of structures during the development of the main body axis. Subsequently, they play important roles either in organizing secondary axial structures such as the appendages, or during homeostasis in postnatal stages and adulthood. Here, we set up to analyze their elusive function in the ectodermal compartment, using the mouse limb bud as a model. We report that the gene cluster was co-opted to be transcribed in the distal limb ectoderm, where it is activated following the rule of temporal colinearity. These ectodermal cells subsequently produce various keratinized organs such as nails or claws. Accordingly, deletion of the cluster led to mice lacking nails (anonychia), a condition stronger than the previously reported loss of function of , which is the causative gene of the ectodermal dysplasia 9 (ECTD9) in human patients. We further identified two mammalian-specific ectodermal enhancers located upstream of the gene cluster, which together regulate gene expression in the hair and nail ectodermal organs. Deletion of these regulatory elements alone or in combination revealed a strong quantitative component in the regulation of genes in the ectoderm, suggesting that these two enhancers may have evolved along with the mammalian taxon to provide the level of HOXC proteins necessary for the full development of hair and nail.
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December 2020

Role of Hox genes in regulating digit patterning.

Int J Dev Biol 2018 ;62(11-12):797-805

Instituto de Biomedicina y Biotecnología de Cantabria, CSIC-SODERCAN Universidad de Cantabria, Santander, Spain.

The distal part of the tetrapod limb, the autopod, is characterized by the presence of digits. The digits display a wide diversity of shapes and number reflecting selection pressure for functional adaptation. Despite extensive study, the different aspects of digit patterning, as well as the factors and mechanisms involved are not completely understood. Here, we review the evidence implicating Hox proteins in digit patterning and the interaction between Hox genes and the Sonic hedgehog/Gli3 pathway, the other major regulator of digit number and identity. Currently, it is well accepted that a self-organizing Turing-type mechanism underlies digit patterning, this being understood as the establishment of an iterative arrangement of digit/interdigit in the hand plate. We also discuss the involvement of 5' Hox genes in regulating digit spacing in the digital plate and therefore the number of digits formed in this self-organizing system.
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May 2019