Welti, J., Sharp, A., Yuan, W., Dolling, D., Nava Rodrigues, D., Figueiredo, I., Gil, V., Neeb, A., Clarke, M., Seed, G., et al.
(2018). Targeting Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal (BET) Family Proteins in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC). Clinical cancer research,
Lord, C., Guettler, S., Lord, C. & Guettler, S.
(2018). Genome-wide and high-density CRISPR-Cas9 screens identify point mutations in PARP1 causing PARP inhibitor resistance. Nature communications,
Although PARP inhibitors (PARPi) target homologous recombination defective tumours, drug resistance frequently emerges, often via poorly understood mechanisms. Here, using genome-wide and high-density CRISPR-Cas9 "tag-mutate-enrich" mutagenesis screens, we identify close to full-length mutant forms of PARP1 that cause in vitro and in vivo PARPi resistance. Mutations both within and outside of the PARP1 DNA-binding zinc-finger domains cause PARPi resistance and alter PARP1 trapping, as does a PARP1 mutation found in a clinical case of PARPi resistance. This reinforces the importance of trapped PARP1 as a cytotoxic DNA lesion and suggests that PARP1 intramolecular interactions might influence PARP-imediated cytotoxicity. PARP1 mutations are also tolerated in cells with a pathogenic BRCA1 mutation where they result in distinct sensitivities to chemotherapeutic drugs compared to other mechanisms of PARPi resistance (BRCA1 reversion, 53BP1, REV7 (MAD2L2) mutation), suggesting that the underlying mechanism of PARPi resistance that emerges could influence the success of subsequent therapies..
Francis, J.C. & Swain, A.
(2018). Prostate Organogenesis. Cold spring harbor perspectives in medicine,
Francis, J.C., Capper, A., Ning, J., Knight, E., de Bono, J. & Swain, A.
(2018). SOX9 is a driver of aggressive prostate cancer by promoting invasion, cell fate and cytoskeleton alterations and epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Oncotarget,
Shenoy, T.R., Boysen, G., Wang, M.Y., Xu, Q.Z., Guo, W., Koh, F.M., Wang, C., Zhang, L.Z., Wang, Y., Gil, V., et al.
(2017). CHD1 loss sensitizes prostate cancer to DNA damaging therapy by promoting error-prone double-strand break repair. Annals of oncology,
Ahmad, T., Bouwman, R.A., Grigoras, I., Aldecoa, C., Hofer, C., Hoeft, A., Holt, P., Fleisher, L.A., Buhre, W. & Pearse, R.M., et al.
(2017). Use of failure-to-rescue to identify international variation in postoperative care in low-, middle- and high-income countries: a 7-day cohort study of elective surgery. British journal of anaesthesia,
Pettitt, S.J., Krastev, D.B., Pemberton, H.N., Fontebasso, Y., Frankum, J., Rehman, F.L., Brough, R., Song, F., Bajrami, I., Rafiq, R., et al.
(2017). Genome-wide barcoded transposon screen for cancer drug sensitivity in haploid mouse embryonic stem cells. Scientific data,
Szakmany, T., Ditai, J., Kirov, M., Protsenko, D., Osinaike, B., Venara, A., Demartines, N., Hubner, M., Pearse, R.M. & Prowle, J.R., et al.
(2017). In-hospital clinical outcomes after upper gastrointestinal surgery: Data from an international observational study. European journal of surgical oncology,
(2017). Ductal sex determination. Science,
Pearson, A., Smyth, E., Babina, I.S., Herrera-Abreu, M.T., Tarazona, N., Peckitt, C., Kilgour, E., Smith, N.R., Geh, C., Rooney, C., et al.
(2016). High-Level Clonal FGFR Amplification and Response to FGFR Inhibition in a Translational Clinical Trial. Cancer discovery,
(2016). Global patient outcomes after elective surgery: prospective cohort study in 27 low-, middle- and high-income countries. British journal of anaesthesia,
Francis, J.C., Melchor, L., Campbell, J., Kendrick, H., Wei, W., Armisen-Garrido, J., Assiotis, I., Chen, L., Kozarewa, I., Fenwick, K., et al.
(2015). Whole-exome DNA sequence analysis ofBrca2- andTrp53-deficient mouse mammary gland tumours. The journal of pathology,
Mateo, J., Carreira, S., Sandhu, S., Miranda, S., Mossop, H., Perez-Lopez, R., Rodrigues, D.N., Robinson, D., Omlin, A., Tunariu, N., et al.
(2015). DNA-Repair Defects and Olaparib in Metastatic Prostate Cancer. The new england journal of medicine,
Bryant, S.L., Francis, J.C., Lokody, I.B., Wang, H., Risbridger, G.P., Loveland, K.L. & Swain, A.
(2014). Sex specific retinoic acid signaling is required for the initiation of urogenital sinus bud development. Dev biol,
The mammalian urogenital sinus (UGS) develops in a sex specific manner, giving rise to the prostate in the male and the sinus vagina in the embryonic female. Androgens, produced by the embryonic testis, have been shown to be crucial to this process. In this study we show that retinoic acid signaling is required for the initial stages of bud development from the male UGS. Enzymes involved in retinoic acid synthesis are expressed in the UGS mesenchyme in a sex specific manner and addition of ligand to female tissue is able to induce prostate-like bud formation in the absence of androgens, albeit at reduced potency. Functional studies in mouse organ cultures that faithfully reproduce the initiation of prostate development indicate that one of the roles of retinoic acid signaling in the male is to inhibit the expression of Inhba, which encodes the βA subunit of Activin, in the UGS mesenchyme. Through in vivo genetic analysis and culture studies we show that inhibition of Activin signaling in the female UGS leads to a similar phenotype to that of retinoic acid treatment, namely bud formation in the absence of androgens. Our data also reveals that both androgens and retinoic acid have extra independent roles to that of repressing Activin signaling in the development of the prostate during fetal stages. This study identifies a novel role for retinoic acid as a mesenchymal factor that acts together with androgens to determine the position and initiation of bud development in the male UGS epithelia. .
Francis, J.C., Thomsen, M.K., Taketo, M.M. & Swain, A.
(2013). beta-Catenin Is Required for Prostate Development and Cooperates with Pten Loss to Drive Invasive Carcinoma. Plos genetics,
Strochlic, L., Falk, J., Goillot, E., Sigoillot, S., Bourgeois, F., Delers, P., Rouviere, J., Swain, A., Castellani, V., Schaeffer, L., et al.
(2012). Wnt4 Participates in the Formation of Vertebrate Neuromuscular Junction. Plos one,
Buaas, F.W., Gardiner, J.R., Clayton, S., Val, P. & Swain, A.
(2012). In vivo evidence for the crucial role of SF1 in steroid-producing cells of the testis, ovary and adrenal gland. Development,
Adrenal and gonadal steroids are essential for life and reproduction. The orphan nuclear receptor SF1 (NR5A1) has been shown to regulate the expression of enzymes involved in steroid production in vitro. However, the in vivo role of this transcription factor in steroidogenesis has not been elucidated. In this study, we have generated steroidogenic-specific Cre-expressing mice to lineage mark and delete Sf1 in differentiated steroid-producing cells of the testis, the ovary and the adrenal gland. Our data show that SF1 is a regulator of the expression of steroidogenic genes in all three organs. In addition, Sf1 deletion leads to a radical change in cell morphology and loss of identity. Surprisingly, sexual development and reproduction in mutant animals were not compromised owing, in part, to the presence of a small proportion of SF1-positive cells. In contrast to the testis and ovary, the mutant adult adrenal gland showed a lack of Sf1-deleted cells and our studies suggest that steroidogenic adrenal cells during foetal stages require Sf1 to give rise to the adult adrenal population. This study is the first to show the in vivo requirements of SF1 in steroidogenesis and provides novel data on the cellular consequences of the loss of this protein specifically within steroid-producing cells..
Gardiner, J.R., Shima, Y., Morohashi, K.-. & Swain, A.
(2012). SF-1 expression during adrenal development and tumourigenesis. Molecular and cellular endocrinology,
Tsaousi, A., Williams, H., Lyon, C.A., Taylor, V., Swain, A., Johnson, J.L. & George, S.J.
(2011). Wnt4/beta-Catenin Signaling Induces VSMC Proliferation and Is Associated With Intimal Thickening. Circ res,
Rationale: Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation causes intimal thickening in atherosclerosis and restenosis. Previously, we demonstrated that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling upregulates VSMC proliferation in vitro.Objective: We examined this pathway in vivo and investigated the involvement of specific Wnt proteins in VSMC proliferation.Methods and Results: Left carotid arteries of TOPgal (beta-catenin signaling reporter) transgenic mice were ligated to induce intimal thickening. beta-Catenin signaling was induced in the media and intima at 3 and 28 days after ligation, respectively, and was associated with VSMC proliferation and cyclin D1 expression. In vitro, a Wnt agonist promoted mouse VSMC proliferation, whereas Wnt inhibitory factor (WIF)-1 retarded platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB)-induced VSMC proliferation. Microarray analysis and quantitative PCR detected a significant induction of Wnt2 and Wnt4 mRNA in PDGF-BB-treated (proliferating) VSMCs compared to quiescent VSMCs. Western blotting revealed this increase was only translated into protein for Wnt4. Specific silencing RNA knockdown of Wnt4, but not Wnt2, significantly reduced VSMC proliferation. Recombinant Wnt4, but not Wnt2, significantly increased VSMC proliferation by approximate to 2-fold and silencing RNA knockdown revealed this is via Frizzled 1. Immunohistochemistry showed that increased Wnt4 protein correlated with VSMC proliferation and cyclin D1 expression (P<0.05 and P<0.001, respectively) during intimal thickening after rat carotid artery injury. Importantly, we also showed that intimal thickening and VSMC proliferation after carotid artery ligation was significantly retarded in Wnt(4/-) compared to Wnt4(+/+) mice.Conclusions: This study demonstrates that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling occurs in proliferating VSMCs during intimal thickening and indicates that this is a result of Wnt4 upregulation. (Circ Res. 2011;108:427-436.).
Thomsen, M.K., Ambroisine, L., Wynn, S., Cheah, K.S., Foster, C.S., Fisher, G., Berney, D.M., Møller, H., Reuter, V.E., Scardino, P., et al.
(2010). SOX9 elevation in the prostate promotes proliferation and cooperates with PTEN loss to drive tumor formation. Cancer res,
Dysregulation of tissue development pathways can contribute to cancer initiation and progression. In murine embryonic prostate epithelia, the transcription factor SOX9 is required for proper prostate development. In this study, we examined a role for SOX9 in prostate cancer in mouse and human. In Pten and Nkx3.1 mutant mice, cells with increased levels of SOX9 appeared within prostate epithelia at early stages of neoplasia, and higher expression correlated with progression at all stages of disease. In transgenic mice, SOX9 overexpression in prostate epithelia increased cell proliferation without inducing hyperplasia. In transgenic mice that were also heterozygous for mutant Pten, SOX9 overexpression quickened the induction of high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia. In contrast, Sox9 attenuation led to a decrease proliferating prostate epithelia cells in normal and homozygous Pten mutant mice with prostate neoplasia. Analysis of a cohort of 880 human prostate cancer samples showed that SOX9 expression was associated with increasing Gleason grades and higher Ki67 staining. Our findings identify SOX9 as part of a developmental pathway that is reactivated in prostate neoplasia where it promotes tumor cell proliferation..
Francis, J.C., McCarthy, A., Thomsen, M.K., Ashworth, A. & Swain, A.
(2010). Brca2 and Trp53 Deficiency Cooperate in the Progression of Mouse Prostate Tumourigenesis. Plos genet,
Epidemiological studies have shown that one of the strongest risk factors for prostate cancer is a family history of the disease, suggesting that inherited factors play a major role in prostate cancer susceptibility. Germline mutations in BRCA2 predispose to breast and ovarian cancer with its predominant tumour suppressor function thought to be the repair of DNA double-strand breaks. BRCA2 has also been implicated in prostate cancer etiology, but it is unclear the impact that mutations in this gene have on prostate tumourigenesis. Here we have undertaken a genetic analysis in the mouse to determine the role of Brca2 in the adult prostate. We show that deletion of Brca2 specifically in prostate epithelia results in focal hyperplasia and low-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) in animals over 12 months of age. Simultaneous deletion of Brca2 and the tumour suppressor Trp53 in prostate epithelia gave rise to focal hyperplasia and atypical cells at 6 months, leading to high-grade PIN in animals from 12 months. Epithelial cells in these lesions show an increase in DNA damage and have higher levels of proliferation, but also elevated apoptosis. Castration of Brca2; Trp53 mutant animals led to regression of PIN lesions, but atypical cells persisted that continued to proliferate and express nuclear androgen receptor. This study provides evidence that Brca2 can act as a tumour suppressor in the prostate, and the model we describe should prove useful in the development of new therapeutic approaches..
Val, P. & Swain, A.
(2010). Gene dosage effects and transcriptional regulation of early mammalian adrenal cortex development. Mol cell endocrinol,
Buaas, F.W., Val, P. & Swain, A.
(2009). The transcription co-factor CITED2 functions during sex determination and early gonad development. Hum mol genet,
The early bi-potential mammalian gonad requires the expression of a Y-linked gene, Sry, during a brief window of time to ensure proper testis development. WT1 and its direct target gene Sf1 function during sex determination as well as in the specified testes and ovaries. We have previously shown that the transcription co-factor CITED2 interacts with WT1 to stimulate the expression of Sf1 in the adrenogonadal primordium to ensure adrenal development. We now show through genetic interactions and expression analyses that Cited2 acts in the gonad with Wt1 and Sf1 to increase the expression of Sry levels to attain a critical threshold to efficiently initiate testis development. Reducing the gene dosage of Wt1 or Sf1 in Cited2 mutant gonads was sufficient to produce partial XY sex reversal while full sex reversal was attained in mutants containing a hypomorphic Sry(POS) allele. A direct correlation was observed between XY sex reversal and reduced expression levels of Sry and Sf1 during sex determination, which indicated that Sry is a downstream target of the CITED2/WT1/SF1 regulatory pathway. Our results provide in vivo evidence for the identification of the first transcription co-factor to function during mammalian sex determination, as part of the WT1/SF1 regulatory mechanism. This highlights the gene dosage sensitivity of the pathway's effect on Sry levels and embryonic gonad development..
Thomsen, M.K., Francis, J.C. & Swain, A.
(2008). The role of Sox9 in prostate development. Differentiation,
The mammalian prostate arises from the urogenital sinus under the influence of testicular androgens. Few factors have been identified to be important in the early stages of prostate development. Here we review the role of the transcription factor Sox9 in prostate development. Sox9 is a member of the Sox gene family that plays an important role during embryogenesis in the cellular differentiation of various tissues, including testicular Sertoli cells, neural crest cells and chondrocytes. This gene is expressed in the epithelia of all mouse prostatic lobes from the initial stages of their development. Mice with a prostate specific deletion of Sox9 showed a lack of ventral prostate development and abnormal anterior prostate differentiation. In depth analysis of these mutant animals suggested that Sox9 is required for the early differentiation of the prostate bud epithelia, consistent with the function of this factor in other developmental processes. These studies also revealed different phases of prostate bud development. These phases were characterized by being dependent on different molecular pathways and having lobe specific properties. Future studies on the identification of pathways regulated by Sox9 will provide insight into the molecular networks required for prostate epithelia differentiation..
Thomsen, M.K., Butler, C.M., Shen, M.M. & Swain, A.
(2008). Sox9 is required for prostate development. Dev biol,
The mammalian prostate arises from the urogenital sinus and few factors have been identified to be important in the early stages of prostate development. In this study we show that the transcription factor Sox9 is expressed in the epithelia of all mouse prostatic lobes from the initial stages of their development. We used a conditional approach with mice expressing Cre recombinase under the control of Nkx3.1 regulatory sequences to delete Sox9 from the developing prostate. Mice with a prostate specific deletion of Sox9 showed a lack of ventral prostate development and abnormal anterior prostate differentiation. Analysis of these mutant animals revealed an early loss of expression of genes specific to the prostate epithelia such as Nkx3.1 and Shh and a marked reduction in proliferation in the ventral prostate but not in other lobes. Fgf signalling, through the MAPK pathway, has been shown to be important in prostate development and a lobe specific phenotype was reported for a prostate specific Fgfr2 mutant mouse model. Here we show that the levels of Fgfr2 and Sprouty2, a downstream target of Fgf signalling, were severely reduced in the ventral prostate of Sox9 mutant animals but not in other lobes. Prostate organ culture studies with a Mek inhibitor, U0126, and a Fgf receptor inhibitor, SU5402, indicate that the timing of expression of Cre in the mutant animals could account for the lobe specific phenotype in the Sox9 and Fgfr2 mutants. These studies imply that Sox9 is required for the early differentiation of the prostate bud epithelia..
Val, P., Martinez-Barbera, J.-. & Swain, A.
(2007). Adrenal development is initiated by Cited2 and Wt1 through modulation of Sf-1 dosage. Development,
It has been proposed that the mammalian adrenal cortex and gonad are derived from the same primordium present during early urogenital development. Molecular pathways involved in the differentiation of the adrenal cortex from the adrenogonadal primordium (AGP) have yet to be determined. Here we show in mice that the transcription co-factor Cited2 is required for the specification of the adrenal cortex from the AGP. We present genetic and molecular evidence demonstrating that Cited2 interacts with the transcription factor Wt1 to stimulate expression of the nuclear hormone receptor Sf-1 (Nr5a1) in the AGP prior to the separation between gonad and adrenal cortex. We show a direct correlation between the expression levels of Sf-1 in the AGP and the defects in adrenal development found in mice with different Cited2 and Wt1 mutant backgrounds. Analysis of embryos heterozygous for mutations in both Sf-1 and Cited2 confirmed that these genes act in the same pathway during adrenal development. Our studies reveal a regulatory mechanism in which Cited2 acts as a Wt1 co-factor to increase, at a critical time in embryogenesis, the levels of the essential transcription factor Sf-1 in the AGP above the threshold required to determine adrenal development. These results highlight the importance of transcription factor dosage in organogenesis and the role of transcription co-factors such as Cited2 in determining the levels of these factors..
Val, P., Jeays-Ward, K. & Swain, A.
(2006). Identification of a novel population of adrenal-like cells in the mammalian testis. Dev biol,
Steroidogenic cells of the adrenal and gonad are thought to be derived from a common primordium that divides into separate tissues during embryogenesis. In this paper, we show that cells with mixed adrenal and Leydig cell properties are found dispersed in the insterstitium of the embryonic and adult mouse testis. They express the adrenal markers Cyp11b1 and Cyp21 and respond to ACTH. Consistent with these properties, we show that the embryonic testis produces the adrenal steroid corticosterone. These cells also express Cyp17 and respond to hCG stimulation but do not express the Leydig specific marker Insl3 showing that they are a population of steroidogenic cells distinct from Leydig cells. Based on their properties, we refer to these cells as adrenal-like cells of the testis and propose that they are the mouse equivalent of the precursors of human adrenal rests, tumors found primarily in male patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Organ culture studies show that ACTH-responsive cells are present at the gonad/mesonephros border and seem to migrate into the XY but not the XX gonad during development. Consistent with this, using transgenic Cyp11a1 reporter mice, we definitively show that steroidogenic cells can migrate from the mesonephros into the XY gonad. We also show that the region between the mesonephros and the gonad harbors steroidogenic cell precursors that are repressed by the presence of the mesonephros. We propose that this region is the source of the adrenal-like cells that migrate into the testis as it develops and are activated when Leydig cells differentiate. These studies reveal the complex nature of steroidogenic cell differentiation during urogenital development..
(2006). Sex determination: time for meiosis? The gonad decides. Curr biol,
Germ cell sex determination is directed by the gonad and is characterized by a difference in the timing of entry into meiosis. Recent data show that retinoic acid signalling is responsible for the induction of germ cell meiosis in the developing ovary. In the fetal testis, this process is inhibited by a retinoic acid metabolizing enzyme..
Val, P. & Swain, A.
(2005). Mechanisms of disease: normal and abnormal gonadal development and sex determination in mammals. Nat clin pract urol,
Sex differentiation in mammels occur in three steps. The first is the establishments of chromosomal sex at fertilization, followed by the differentiation of the gonad into an ovary or testis, and finally the establishment of the phenotypic sex of the embryo and adult, which is regulated by the gonad. Distruption of any of these sages gives rise to sexual ambiguities that include 46,XY pure gonadal dysgenesis, 46,XX true hermaphroditism, and variable degrees of intersexuality. In this review, we focus on the development of the mammalian gonad from a bipotential primordium that differentiates into either an ovary or a testis. We describe the recent increase in our knowledge of the genetic defects that directly affect gonadal development, sex determination, and sex differentiation, with emphasis on the comparision of genetic studies in mice with studies of naturally occuring mutations in humans..
Yao, H.H., Matzuk, M.M., Jorgez, C.J., Menke, D.B., Page, D.C., Swain, A. & Capel, B.
(2004). Follistatin operates downstream of Wnt4 in mammalian ovary organogenesis. Dev dynam,
Wnt4(-/-) XX gonads display features normally associated with testis differentiation, suggesting that WNT4 actively represses elements of the male pathway during ovarian development. Here, we show that follistatin (Fst) which encodes a TGFbeta superfamily binding protein, is a downstream component of Wnt signaling. Fst inhibits formation of the XY-specific coelomic vessel in XX gonads. In addition, germ cells in the ovarian cortex are almost completely lost in both Wnt4 and Fst null gonads before birth. Thus, we propose that WNT4 acts through FST to regulate vascular boundaries and maintain germ cell survival in the ovary. (C) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc..
Jeays-Ward, K., Dandonneau, M. & Swain, A.
(2004). Wnt4 is required for proper male as well as female sexual development. Dev biol,
Genes previously implicated in mammalian sexual development have either a male- or female-specific role. The signaling molecule WNT4 has been shown to be important in female sexual development. Lack of Wnt4 gives rise to masculinization of the XX gonad and we showed previously that the role of WNT4 was to inhibit endothelial and steroidogenic cell migration into the developing ovary. Here we show that Wnt4 also has a function in the male gonad. We find that Sertoli cell differentiation is compromised in Wnt4 mutant testes and that this defect occurs downstream of the testis-determining gene Sry but upstream of Sox9 and Dhh, two early Sertoli cell markers. Genetic analysis shows that this phenotype is primarily due to the action of WNT4 within the early genital ridge. Analysis of different markers identifies the most striking difference in the genital ridge at early stages of its development between wild-type and Wnt4 mutant embryos to be a significant increase of steroidogenic cells in the Wnt4 -/- gonad. These results identify WNT4 as a new factor involved in the mammalian testis determination pathway and show that genes can have a specific but distinct role in both male and female gonad development..
Mizusaki, H., Kawabe, K., Mukai, T., Ariyoshi, E., Kasahara, M., Yoshioka, H., Swain, A. & Morohashi, K.
(2003). Dax-1 (dosage-sensitive sex reversal-adrenal hypoplasia congenita critical region on the X chromosome, gene 1) gene transcription is regulated by Wnt4 in the female developing gonad. Mol endocrinol,
Dax-1 [dosage-sensitive sex reversal-adrenal hypoplasia congenita critical region on the X chromosome, gene 1 (NR0B1)] is an orphan nuclear receptor acting as a suppressor of Ad4 binding protein/steroidogenic factor 1 [Ad4BP/SF-1 (NR5A1)] and as an anti-Sry factor in the process of gonadal sex differentiation. The roles of these nuclear receptors in the differentiation of the gonads and the adrenal cortex have been established through studies of the mutant phenotype in both mice and humans. However, the mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation of these genes remain largely unknown. Here, we examined the relationship between Dax-1 gene transcription and the Wnt4 pathway. Reporter gene analysis revealed that Dax-1 gene transcription was activated by beta-catenin, a key signal-transducing protein in the Writ pathway, acting in synergy with Ad4BP/SF-1. Interaction between beta-catenin and Ad4BP/SF-1 was observed using yeast two-hybrid and in vitro pull-down assays. The region of Ad4BP/SF-1 essential for this interaction consists of an acidic amino acid cluster, which resides in the first helix of the ligand-binding domain. Mutation of the amino acid cluster impaired transcriptional activation of Dax-1 as well as interaction of Ad4BP/SF-1 with beta-catenin. These results were supported by in vivo observations using Wnt4 gene-disrupted mice, in which Dax-1 gene expression was decreased significantly in sexually differentiating female gonads. We thus conclude that Wnt4 signaling mediates the increased expression of Dax-1 as the ovary becomes sexually differentiated..
Jeays-Ward, K., Hoyle, C., Brennan, J., Dandonneau, M., Alldus, G., Capel, B. & Swain, A.
(2003). Endothelial and steroidogenic cell migration are regulated by WNT4 in the developing mammalian gonad. Development,
The signalling molecule WNT4 has been associated with sex reversal phenotypes in mammals. Here we show that the role of WNT4 in gonad development is to pattern the sex-specific vasculature and to regulate steroidogenic cell recruitment. Vascular formation and steroid production in the mammalian gonad occur in a sex-specific manner. During testis development, endothelial cells migrate from the mesonephros into the gonad to form a coelomic blood vessel. Leydig cells differentiate and produce steroid hormones a day later. Neither of these events occurs in the XX gonad. We show that WNT4 represses mesonephric endothelial and steroidogenic cell migration in the XX gonad, preventing the formation of a male-specific coelomic blood vessel and the production of steroids. In the XY gonad, Wnt4 expression is downregulated after sex determination. Transgenic misexpression of Wnt4 in the embryonic testis did not inhibit coelomic vessel formation but vascular pattern was affected. Leydig cell differentiation was not affected in these transgenic animals and our data implies that Wnt4 does not regulate steroidogenic cell differentiation but represses the migration of steroidogenic adrenal precursors into the gonad. These studies provide a model for understanding how the same signalling molecule can act on two different cell types to coordinate sex development..
(2002). Vertebrate sex determination: a new player in the field. Curr biol,
Sex-determining genes have been identified in flies, worms and mammals but not, until recently, in non-mammalian vertebrates. Now, a gene has been isolated from the Y chromosome of the teleost fish medaka that is functionally comparable to the mammalian testis-determining gene, Sry..
Hoyle, C., Narvaez, V., Alldus, G., Lovell-Badge, R. & Swain, A.
(2002). Dax1 expression is dependent on steroidogenic factor 1 in the developing gonad. Mol endocrinol,
The nuclear hormone receptor DAX1 has been implicated in mammalian gonad development and sex determination. The expression of the gene in the gonad follows a dynamic pattern in time and place in the embryo and the adult. We have undertaken the first in vivo study of the regulation of Dax1 expression. Using a transgenic mouse approach we have identified a novel 500-bp region 4 kb upstream of the mouse Dax1 start codon that is essential for LacZ reporter gene expression in the embryonic gonad. Within this region, a highly conserved steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1) consensus-binding site is necessary to direct LacZ expression to the embryonic gonad implicating SF1 in the regulation of Dax1 in the developing gonad. Consistent with this, Dax1 is expressed at much reduced levels in gonads of embryos that are deficient in SF1. In addition, our results show that SF1 consensus-binding sites close to the start of Dax1 transcription are important in regulating levels of expression in the developing gonad. These studies have identified the critical in vivo regulatory region for expression of Dax1 in the early gonad and provide novel information on how a specific enhancer element acts in different cell types at different stages of development..
De Vries, G.J., Rissman, E.F., Simerly, R.B., Yang, L.Y., Scordalakes, E.M., Auger, C.J., Swain, A., Lovell-Badge, R., Burgoyne, P.S. & Arnold, A.P., et al.
(2002). A model system for study of sex chromosome effects on sexually dimorphic neural and behavioral traits. J neurosci,
We tested the hypothesis that genes encoded on the sex chromosomes play a direct role in sexual differentiation of brain and behavior. We used mice in which the testis-determining gene (Sry) was moved from the Y chromosome to an autosome (by deletion of Sry from the Y and subsequent insertion of an Sry transgene onto an autosome), so that the determination of testis development occurred independently of the complement of X or Y chromosomes. We compared XX and XY mice with ovaries (females) and XX and XY mice with testes (males). These comparisons allowed us to assess the effect of sex chromosome complement (XX vs XY) independent of gonadal status (testes vs ovaries) on sexually dimorphic neural and behavioral phenotypes. The phenotypes included measures of male copulatory behavior, social exploration behavior, and sexually dimorphic neuroanatomical structures in the septum, hypothalamus, and lumbar spinal cord. Most of the sexually dimorphic phenotypes correlated with the presence of ovaries or testes and therefore reflect the hormonal output of the gonads. We found, however, that both male and female mice with XY sex chromosomes were more masculine than XX mice in the density of vasopressin-immunoreactive fibers in the lateral septum. Moreover, two male groups differing only in the form of their Sry gene showed differences in behavior. The results show that sex chromosome genes contribute directly to the development of a sex difference in the brain..
Jordan, B.K., Mohammed, M., Ching, S.T., Délot, E., Chen, X.-., Dewing, P., Swain, A., Rao, P.N., Elejalde, B.R. & Vilain, E., et al.
(2001). Up-Regulation of WNT-4 Signaling and Dosage-Sensitive Sex Reversal in Humans. The american journal of human genetics,
(2000). Molecular mechanisms in sex determination and gonadal development. Biol reprod,
Swain, A. & Lovell-Badge, R.
(1999). Mammalian sex determination: a molecular drama. Gene dev,
Swain, A. & Lovell-Badge, R.
(1998). Developmental genetics - Too much sex is bad for males. Nature,
Swain, A., Narvaez, V., Burgoyne, P., Camerino, G. & Lovell-Badge, R.
(1998). Dax1 antagonizes Sry action in mammalian sex determination. Nature,
DAX1, which encodes an unusual member of the nuclear hormone-receptor superfamily, is a gene that may be responsible for a sex-reversal syndrome in humans, referred to as dosage-sensitive sex reversal, in which XY individuals carrying duplications of Xp21, part of the small arm of the X chromosome, develop as females. XY mice carrying extra copies of mouse Dax1 as a transgene show delayed testis development when the gene is expressed at high levels, but do not normally show sex reversal. Complete sex reversal occurs, however, when the transgene is tested against weak alleles of the sex-determining Y-chromosome gene Sry. These results show that DAX1 is largely, if not solely, responsible for dosage-sensitive sex reversal and provide a model for early events in mammalian sex determination, when precise levels and timing of gene expression are critical..
Swain, A. & Lovell-Badge, R.
(1997). A molecular approach to sex determination in mammals. Acta paediatr suppl,
Mammalian sex determination occurs in the gonad of the developing embryo. This process is dependent on the Y-chromosome-encoded Sry gene that acts in the somatic cells of the genital ridge. The transient nature of Sry gene expression suggests that it acts as a switch from one cell fate to another. One of the roles of Sry is to initiate the differentiation of Sertoli cells, which are the first cell type of the testis to be formed. Two genes are thought to be important in Sertoli cell differentiation and function, Sox9, an Sry-related gene, and SF-1, a nuclear hormone receptor. Sox9 is expressed in Sertoli cells throughout development of the mouse embryo, and inactivating mutations in this gene in humans give rise to XY females. SF-1 is also expressed in Sertoli cells and is thought to activate the AMH gene--an early marker of these cells. DAX-1, an X-linked member of the nuclear hormone superfamily, is a candidate for a human condition in which duplication of regions of the X chromosome results in XY females. Expression of this gene during mouse development is associated with ovary development and is down-regulated in the differentiating testis. Mutations in DAX-1 in humans have shown that this gene is not necessary for testis development. The properties of the DAX-1 gene suggest that it is important in ovary determination and might therefore be antagonistic to the action of the Sry gene..
Swain, A., Zanaria, E., Hacker, A., Lovell-Badge, R. & Camerino, G.
(1996). Mouse Dax1 expression is consistent with a role in sex determination as well as in adrenal and hypothalamus function. Nat genet,
Duplications of a chromosome Xp21 locus DSS (Dosage Sensitive Sex reversal) are associated with male to female sex reversal. An unusual member of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, DAX1, maps to the DSS critical region and is responsible for X-linked adrenal hypoplasia congenita. Here we describe the isolation of the mouse Dax1 gene and its pattern of expression during development. Expression was detected in the first stages of gonadal and adrenal differentiation and in the developing hypothalamus. Moreover, Dax1 expression is down-regulated coincident with overt differentiation in the testis, but persists in the developing ovary. Comparison of the predicted protein products of the human and mouse genes show that specific domains are evolving rapidly. Our results suggest a basis for adrenal insufficiency and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in males affected by adrenal hypoplasia congenita and are consistent with a role for DAX1 in gonadal sex determination..
Morais da Silva, S., Hacker, A., Harley, V., Goodfellow, P., Swain, A. & Lovell-Badge, R.
(1996). Sox9 expression during gonadal development implies a conserved role for the gene in testis differentiation in mammals and birds. Nat genet,
Heterozygous mutations in SOX9 lead to a human dwarfism syndrome, Campomelic dysplasia. Consistent with a role in sex determination, we find that Sox9 expression closely follows differentiation of Sertoli cells in the mouse testis, in experimental sex reversal when fetal ovaries are grafted to adult kidneys and in the chick where there is no evidence for a Sry gene. Our results imply that Sox9 plays an essential role in sex determination, possibly immediately downstream of Sry in mammals, and that it functions as a critical Sertoli cell differentiation factor, perhaps in all vertebrates..
Ikeda, Y., Swain, A., Weber, T.J., Hentges, K.E., Zanaria, E., Lalli, E., Tamai, K.T., Sassone-Corsi, P., Lovell-Badge, R., Camerino, G., et al.
(1996). Steroidogenic factor 1 and Dax-1 colocalize in multiple cell lineages: potential links in endocrine development. Molecular endocrinology,
Lokody, I.B., Francis, J.C., Gardiner, J.R., Erler, J.T. & Swain, A.
Pten Regulates Epithelial Cytodifferentiation during Prostate Development. Plos one,