Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.424, No.2, 295-300, 2012
Tissue regulation of somitic colloid-like1 gene expression
Body skeletal muscles formation starts with somite differentiation, due to signals from surrounding tissues. Somite ventral portion forms the sclerotome while its dorsal fraction constitutes the dermamyotome, and later the dermatome and myotome. Relative levels of BMP activity have been proposed to control several aspects of somite development, namely the time and location of myogenesis within the somite. The fine-tuning of BMP activity is primarily achieved via negative regulation by diffusible BMP inhibitors, such as Noggin and Chordin, and on a secondary level by proteins cleaving these inhibitors, such as BMP1/Tolloid metalloprotease family members. Herein, we carefully described the somitic expression of colloid-like1, one of the chick BMP1/Tolloid homologues, and found that this gene is specifically expressed in the 10 most anterior somites, suggesting that it may be involved in neck muscle formation. By using in ovo microsurgery and tridimensional embryo tissue culture techniques we assessed the function of surrounding structures, neural tube, notochord, surface ectoderm and lateral plate mesoderm, on the maintenance of somitic colloid-like1 gene expression. We unveil that a signal coming from the neural tube is responsible for this expression and rule out the main candidate pathway, Wnt. By comparing the somitic colloid-like1 gene expression with that of related signaling partners, such as BMP4, Noggin and Chordin, we propose that colloid-like1 plays a role in the reinforcement of BMP4 activity in the medial portion of the 10 most anterior dermomyotomes, thus belonging to the molecular machinery controlling neck muscle development in the chick. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.