Growth differentiation factor 11 signaling controls retinoic acid activity for axial vertebral development
Mice deficient in growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) signaling display anterior transformation of axial vertebrae and truncation of caudal vertebrae. However, the in vivo molecular mechanisms by which GDF11 signaling regulates the development of the vertebral column have yet to be determined. We found that Gdf11 and Acvr2b mutants are sensitive to exogenous RA treatment on vertebral specification and caudal vertebral development. We show that diminished expression of Cyp26a1, a retinoic acid inactivating enzyme, and concomitant elevation of retinoic acid activity in the caudal region of Gdf11-/- embryos may account for this phenomenon. Reduced expression or function of Cyp26a1 enhanced anterior transformation of axial vertebrae in wild-type and Acvr2b mutants. Furthermore, a pan retinoic acid receptor antagonist (AGN193109) could lessen the anterior transformation phenotype and rescue the tail truncation phenotype of Gdf11-/- mice. Taken together, these results suggest that GDF11 signaling regulates development of caudal vertebrae and is involved in specification of axial vertebrae in part by maintaining Cyp26a1 expression, which represses retinoic acid activity in the caudal region of embryos during the somitogenesis stage. © 2010.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Lee, Young Jae; McPherron, Alexandra; Choe, Susan; Sakai, Yasuo; Chandraratna, Roshantha A.; Lee, Se Jin; and Oh, S. Paul, "Growth differentiation factor 11 signaling controls retinoic acid activity for axial vertebral development" (2010). Neurobiology. 685.