The expression of Delta ligands in the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica suggests an ancient role for Notch signaling in metazoan development

Richards, Gemma S. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2012) The expression of Delta ligands in the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica suggests an ancient role for Notch signaling in metazoan development. EvoDevo, 3 1: 15-1-15-15. doi:10.1186/2041-9139-3-15


Author Richards, Gemma S.
Degnan, Bernard M.
Title The expression of Delta ligands in the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica suggests an ancient role for Notch signaling in metazoan development
Journal name EvoDevo   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2041-9139
Publication date 2012-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/2041-9139-3-15
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 3
Issue 1
Start page 15-1
End page 15-15
Total pages 15
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background:
Intercellular signaling via the Notch pathway regulates cell fate, patterning, differentiation and proliferation, and is essential for the proper development of bilaterians and cnidarians. To investigate the origins of the Notch pathway, we are studying its deployment in a representative of an early branching lineage, the poriferan Amphimedon queenslandica. The A. queenslandica genome encodes a single Notch receptor and five membrane-bound Delta ligands, as well as orthologs of many genes that enact and regulate canonical Notch signaling events in other animals.

Methods:
In the present report we analyze the structure of the five A. queenslandica Deltas using bioinformatic methods, and characterize their developmental expression via whole mount in situ hybridization and histological staining.

Results:
Sequence analysis of the A. queenslandica Delta ligands highlights the conservation of their extracellular domains. This contrasts with the divergence of their intracellular regions, each of which is predicted to bear a unique repertoire of protein interaction motifs. In keeping with this diversity, these ligands are expressed differentially and dynamically throughout A. queenslandica embryogenesis, both in cell type specific patterns and broader regional domains. Notably, this expression coincides with the development of the photosensitive larval pigment ring, the non-ciliated cuboidal cells located at the anterior pole of the larva, and the intraepithelial flask cells and globular cells that are presumed to have sensory and/or secretory roles.

Conclusions:

Based on the dynamic and complex patterns of expression of these Delta ligands and the Notch receptor, we propose that the Notch signaling pathway is involved in regulating the development of diverse cell types in A. queenslandica. From these observations we infer that Notch signaling is a conserved feature of metazoan development, ancestrally contributing to cell determination, patterning and differentiation processes.
Keyword Evolutionary origin
Sequence alignment
Sensory system
Pathway
Proteins
Neurogenesis
Drosophila
Neurons
Hydra
Complexity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number15

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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