Characterization of the Rx1-dependent transcriptome during early retinal development

Authors

  • Guido Giudetti,

    1. Unità di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
    Current affiliation:
    1. Scuola Superiore S. Anna, The BioRobotics Institute, Translational Neural Engineering Group, Pontedera (Pisa), Italy
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    • Guido Giudetti and Martina Giannaccini contributed equally to this work.

  • Martina Giannaccini,

    1. Unità di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
    2. Istituto di Scienze della Vita, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy
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    • Guido Giudetti and Martina Giannaccini contributed equally to this work.

  • Daniele Biasci,

    1. Unità di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
    Current affiliation:
    1. Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge, UK
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  • Sara Mariotti,

    1. Unità di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
    Current affiliation:
    1. Laboratorio di Scienze Mediche, Istituto di Scienze della Vita, Scuola Superiore S. Anna, Pisa, Italy
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  • Andrea Degl'innocenti,

    1. Unità di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
    Current affiliation:
    1. Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysik, Max-Planck-Forschungsstelle für Neurogenetik, Germany
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  • Michele Perrotta,

    1. Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
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  • Giuseppina Barsacchi,

    1. Unità di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
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  • Massimiliano Andreazzoli

    Corresponding author
    1. Unità di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
    • Correspondence to: Unità di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, 56126 Italy. E-mail: mandreazzoli@biologia.unipi.it

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Abstract

Background: The transcription factor Rx1, also known as Rax, controls key properties of retinal precursors including migration behavior, proliferation, and maintenance of multipotency. However, Rx1 effector genes are largely unknown. Results: To identify genes controlled by Rx1 in early retinal precursors, we compared the transcriptome of Xenopus embryos overexpressing Rx1 to that of embryos in which Rx1 was knocked-down. In particular, we selected 52 genes coherently regulated, i.e., actived in Rx1 gain of function and repressed in Rx1 loss of function experiments, or vice versa. RT-qPCR and in situ hybridization confirmed the trend of regulation predicted by microarray data for the selected genes. Most of the genes upregulated by Rx1 are coexpressed with this transcription factor, while downregulated genes are either not expressed or expressed at very low levels in the early developing retina. Putative direct Rx1 target genes, activated by GR-Rx1 in the absence of protein synthesis, include Ephrin B1 and Sh2d3c, an interactor of ephrinB1 receptor, which represent candidate novel effectors for the migration promoting activity of Rx1. Conclusions: This study identifies previously undescribed Rx1 regulated genes mainly involved in transcription regulation, cell migration/adhesion, and cell proliferation that contribute to delineate the molecular mechanisms underlying Rx1 activities. Developmental Dynamics 243:1352–1361, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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