BMP7 and SHH regulate Pax2 in mouse retinal astrocytes by relieving TLX repression.

PubMed ID: 19505455

Author(s): Sehgal R, Sheibani N, Rhodes SJ, Belecky Adams TL. BMP7 and SHH regulate Pax2 in mouse retinal astrocytes by relieving TLX repression. Dev Biol. 2009 Aug 15;332(2):429-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.05.579. Epub 2009 Jun 6. PMID 19505455

Journal: Developmental Biology, Volume 332, Issue 2, Aug 2009

Pax2 is essential for development of the neural tube, urogenital system, optic vesicle, optic cup and optic tract. In the eye, Pax2 deficiency is associated with coloboma, a loss of astrocytes in the optic nerve and retina, and abnormal axonal pathfinding of the ganglion cell axons at the optic chiasm. Thus, appropriate expression of Pax2 is essential for astrocyte determination and differentiation. Although BMP7 and SHH have been shown to regulate Pax2 expression, the molecular mechanism by which this regulation occurs is not well understood. In this study, we determined that BMP7 and SHH activate Pax2 expression in mouse retinal astrocyte precursors in vitro. SHH appeared to play a dual role in Pax2 regulation; 1) SHH may regulate BMP7 expression, and 2) the SHH pathway cooperates with the BMP pathway to regulate Pax2 expression. BMP and SHH pathway members can interact separately or together with TLX, a repressor protein in the tailless transcription factor family. Here we show that the interaction of both pathways with TLX relieves the repression of Pax2 expression in mouse retinal astrocytes. Together these data reveal a new mechanism for the cooperative actions of signaling pathways in astrocyte determination and differentiation and suggest interactions of regulatory pathways that are applicable to other developmental programs.