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Campanale, JP, Gokirmak T, Espinoza JA, Oulhen N, Wessel GM, Hamdoun A.  2014.  Migration of sea urchin primordial germ cells. Developmental Dynamics. 243:917-927.   10.1002/dvdy.24133   AbstractWebsite

Background: Small micromeres are produced at the fifth cleavage of sea urchin development. They express markers of primordial germ cells (PGCs), and are required for the production of gametes. In most animals, PGCs migrate from sites of formation to the somatic gonad. Here, we investigated whether they also exhibit similar migratory behaviors using live-cell imaging of small micromere plasma membranes. Results: Early in gastrulation, small micromeres transition from non-motile epithelial cells, to motile quasi-mesenchymal cells. Late in gastrulation, at 43 hr post fertilization (HPF), they are embedded in the tip of the archenteron, but remain motile. From 43-49 HPF, they project numerous cortical blebs into the blastocoel, and filopodia that contact ectoderm. By 54 HPF, they begin moving in the plane of the blastoderm, often in a directed fashion, towards the coelomic pouches. Isolated small micromeres also produced blebs and filopodia. Conclusions: Previous work suggested that passive translocation governs some of the movement of small micromeres during gastrulation. Here we show that small micromeres are motile cells that can traverse the archenteron, change position along the left-right axis, and migrate to coelomic pouches. These motility mechanisms are likely to play an important role in their left-right segregation. (C) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Campanale, JP, Hamdoun A.  2012.  Programmed reduction of ABC transporter activity in sea urchin germline progenitors. Development. 139:783-792.   10.1242/dev.076752   AbstractWebsite

ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters protect embryos and stem cells from mutagens and pump morphogens that control cell fate and migration. In this study, we measured dynamics of ABC transporter activity during formation of sea urchin embryonic cells necessary for the production of gametes, termed the small micromeres. Unexpectedly, we found small micromeres accumulate 2.32 times more of the ABC transporter substrates calcein-AM, CellTrace RedOrange, BoDipy-verapamil and BoDipy-vinblastine, than any other cell in the embryo, indicating a reduction in multidrug efflux activity. The reduction in small micromere ABC transporter activity is mediated by a pulse of endocytosis occurring 20-60 minutes after the appearance of the micromeres - the precursors of the small micromeres. Treating embryos with phenylarsine oxide, an inhibitor of endocytosis, prevents the reduction of transporter activity. Tetramethylrhodamine dextran and cholera toxin B uptake experiments indicate that micromeres have higher rates of bulk and raft-associated membrane endocytosis during the window of transporter downregulation. We hypothesized that this loss of efflux transport could be required for the detection of developmental signaling molecules such as germ cell chemoattractants. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that the inhibition of ABCB and ABCC-types of efflux transporters disrupts the ordered distribution of small micromeres to the left and right coelomic pouches. These results point to tradeoffs between signaling and the protective functions of the transporters.

Cole, BJ, Hamdoun A, Epel D.  2013.  Cost, effectiveness and environmental relevance of multidrug transporters in sea urchin embryos. Journal of Experimental Biology. 216:3896-3905.   10.1242/jeb.090522   AbstractWebsite

ATP-binding cassette transporters protect cells via efflux of xenobiotics and endogenous byproducts of detoxification. While the cost of this ATP-dependent extrusion is known at the molecular level, i.e. the ATP used for each efflux event, the overall cost to a cell or organism of operating this defense is unclear, especially as the cost of efflux changes depending on environmental conditions. During prolonged exposure to xenobiotics, multidrug transporter activity could be costly and ineffective because effluxed substrate molecules are not modified in the process and could thus undergo repeated cycles of efflux and re-entry. Here we use embryos of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, as a model to determine transport costs and benefits under environmentally relevant xenobiotic concentrations. Strikingly, our results show that efflux transporter activity costs less than 0.2% of total ATP usage, as a proportion of oxygen consumption. The benefits of transport, defined as the reduction in substrate accumulation due to transporter activity, depended largely, but not entirely, on the rate of passive flux of each substrate across the plasma membrane. One of the substrates tested exhibited rapid membrane permeation coupled with high rates of efflux, thus inducing rapid and futile cycles of efflux followed by re-entry of the substrate. This combination significantly reduced transporter effectiveness as a defense and increased costs even at relatively low substrate concentrations. Despite these effects with certain substrates, our results show that efflux transporters are a remarkably effective and low-cost first line of defense against exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of xenobiotics.