Publications

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2019
Gordon, WE, Espinoza JA, Leerberg DM, Yelon D, Hamdoun A.  2019.  Xenobiotic transporter activity in zebrafish embryo ionocytes. Aquatic Toxicology. 212:88-97.   10.1016/j.aquatox.2019.04.013   AbstractWebsite

Ionocytes are specialized cells in the epidermis of embryonic zebrafish (Danio rerio) that play important roles in ion homeostasis and have functional similarities to mammalian renal cells. Here, we examined whether these cells might also share another functional similarity with renal cells, which is the presence of efflux transporter activities useful for elimination of toxic small molecules. Xenobiotic transporters (XTs), including the ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC) family, are a major defense mechanism against diffusible toxic molecules in aquatic embryos, including zebrafish, but their activity in the ionocytes has not previously been studied. Using fluorescent small molecule substrates of XT, we observed that specific populations of ionocytes uptake and efflux fluorescent small molecules in a manner consistent with active transport. We specifically identified a P-gp/ABCB1 inhibitor-sensitive efflux activity in the H+-ATPase-rich (HR) ionocytes, and show that these cells exhibit enriched expression of the ABCB gene, abcb5. The results extend our understanding of the functional significance of zebrafish ionocytes and indicate that these cells could play an important role in protection of the fish embryo from harmful small molecules.

2014
Swartz, SZ, Reich AM, Oulhen N, Raz T, Milos PM, Campanale JP, Hamdoun A, Wessel GM.  2014.  Deadenylase depletion protects inherited mRNAs in primordial germ cells. Development. 141:3134-3142.   10.1242/dev.110395   AbstractWebsite

A crucial event in animal development is the specification of primordial germ cells (PGCs), which become the stem cells that create sperm and eggs. How PGCs are created provides a valuable paradigm for understanding stem cells in general. We find that the PGCs of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus exhibit broad transcriptional repression, yet enrichment for a set of inherited mRNAs. Enrichment of several germline determinants in the PGCs requires the RNA-binding protein Nanos to target the transcript that encodes CNOT6, a deadenylase, for degradation in the PGCs, thereby creating a stable environment for RNA. Misexpression of CNOT6 in the PGCs results in their failure to retain Seawi transcripts and Vasa protein. Conversely, broad knockdown of CNOT6 expands the domain of Seawi RNA as well as exogenous reporters. Thus, Nanos-dependent spatially restricted CNOT6 differential expression is used to selectively localize germline RNAs to the PGCs. Our findings support a 'time capsule' model of germline determination, whereby the PGCs are insulated from differentiation by retaining the molecular characteristics of the totipotent egg and early embryo.

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.

2012
Shipp, LE, Hamdoun A.  2012.  ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter expression and localization in sea urchin development. Developmental Dynamics. 241:1111-1124.   10.1002/dvdy.23786   AbstractWebsite

Background: ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are membrane proteins that regulate intracellular concentrations of myriad compounds and ions. There are >100 ABC transporter predictions in the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus genome, including 40 annotated ABCB, ABCC, and ABCG multidrug efflux transporters. Despite the importance of multidrug transporters for protection and signaling, their expression patterns have not been characterized in deuterostome embryos. Results: Sea urchin embryos expressed 20 ABCB, ABCC, and ABCG transporter genes in the first 58 hr of development, from unfertilized egg to early prism. We quantified transcripts of ABCB1a, ABCB4a, ABCC1, ABCC5a, ABCC9a, and ABCG2b, and found that ABCB1a mRNA was 10100 times more abundant than other transporter mRNAs. In situ hybridization showed ABCB1a was expressed ubiquitously in embryos, while ABCC5a was restricted to secondary mesenchyme cells and their precursors. Fluorescent protein fusions showed localization of ABCB1a on apical cell surfaces, and ABCC5a on basolateral surfaces. Conclusions: Embryos use many ABC transporters with predicted functions in cell signaling, lysosomal and mitochondrial homeostasis, potassium channel regulation, pigmentation, and xenobiotic efflux. Detailed characterization of ABCB1a and ABCC5a revealed that they have different temporal and spatial gene expression profiles and protein localization patterns that correlate to their predicted functions in protection and development, respectively. Developmental Dynamics 241:11111124, 2012. (c) 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

2004
Hamdoun, AM, Cherr GN, Roepke TA, Epel D.  2004.  Activation of multidrug efflux transporter activity at fertilization in sea urchin embryos (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). Developmental Biology. 276:452-462.   10.1016/j.ydbio.2004.09.013   AbstractWebsite

This study presents functional and molecular evidence for acquisition of multidrug transporter-mediated efflux activity as a consequence of fertilization in the sea urchin. Sea urchin eggs and embryos express low levels of efflux transporter genes with homology to the multidrug resistance associated protein (mrp) and permeability glycoprotein (p-gp) families of ABC transporters. The corresponding efflux activity is low in unfertilized eggs but is dramatically upregulated within 25 min of fertilization; the expression of this activity does not involve de novo gene expression and is insensitive to inhibitors of transcription and translation indicating activation of pre-existing transporter protein. Our study, using specific inhibitors of efflux transporters, indicates that the major activity is from one or more mrp-like transporters. The expression of activity at fertilization requires microfilaments, suggesting that the transporters are in vesicles and moved to the surface after fertilization. Pharmacological inhibition of mrp-mediated efflux activity with MK571 sensitizes embryos to the toxic compound vinblastine, confirming that one role for the efflux transport activity is embryo protection from xenobiotics. In addition, inhibition of mrp activity with MK571 alone retards mitosis indicating that mrp-like activity may also be required for early cell divisions. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.