Integration of growth and specification in chick wing digit-patterning

Matthew Towers, Ruth Mahood, Yili Yin, Cheryll Tickle

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    130 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In the classical model of chick wing digit-patterning, the polarizing region--a group of cells at the posterior margin of the early bud--produces a morphogen gradient, now known to be based on Sonic hedgehog (Shh), that progressively specifies anteroposterior positional identities in the posterior digit-forming region. Here we add an integral growth component to this model by showing that Shh-dependent proliferation of prospective digit progenitor cells is essential for specifying the complete pattern of digits across the anteroposterior axis. Inhibiting Shh signalling in early wing buds reduced anteroposterior expansion, and posterior digits were lost because all prospective digit precursors formed anterior structures. Inhibiting proliferation also irreversibly reduced anteroposterior expansion, but instead anterior digits were lost because all prospective digit precursors formed posterior structures. When proliferation recovered in such wings, Shh transcription was maintained for longer than normal, suggesting that duration of Shh expression is controlled by a mechanism that measures proliferation. Rescue experiments confirmed that Shh-dependent proliferation controls digit number during a discrete time-window in which Shh-dependent specification normally occurs. Our findings that Shh signalling has dual functions that can be temporally uncoupled have implications for understanding congenital and evolutionary digit reductions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)882-886
    Number of pages5
    JournalNature
    Volume452
    Issue number7189
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2008

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    Stem Cells
    Growth

    Keywords

    • Animals
    • Body Patterning
    • Chick Embryo
    • Female
    • Hedgehog Proteins
    • Limb Buds
    • Models, Biological
    • Wing

    Cite this

    Towers, M., Mahood, R., Yin, Y., & Tickle, C. (2008). Integration of growth and specification in chick wing digit-patterning. Nature, 452(7189), 882-886. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06718
    Towers, Matthew ; Mahood, Ruth ; Yin, Yili ; Tickle, Cheryll. / Integration of growth and specification in chick wing digit-patterning. In: Nature. 2008 ; Vol. 452, No. 7189. pp. 882-886.
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    abstract = "In the classical model of chick wing digit-patterning, the polarizing region--a group of cells at the posterior margin of the early bud--produces a morphogen gradient, now known to be based on Sonic hedgehog (Shh), that progressively specifies anteroposterior positional identities in the posterior digit-forming region. Here we add an integral growth component to this model by showing that Shh-dependent proliferation of prospective digit progenitor cells is essential for specifying the complete pattern of digits across the anteroposterior axis. Inhibiting Shh signalling in early wing buds reduced anteroposterior expansion, and posterior digits were lost because all prospective digit precursors formed anterior structures. Inhibiting proliferation also irreversibly reduced anteroposterior expansion, but instead anterior digits were lost because all prospective digit precursors formed posterior structures. When proliferation recovered in such wings, Shh transcription was maintained for longer than normal, suggesting that duration of Shh expression is controlled by a mechanism that measures proliferation. Rescue experiments confirmed that Shh-dependent proliferation controls digit number during a discrete time-window in which Shh-dependent specification normally occurs. Our findings that Shh signalling has dual functions that can be temporally uncoupled have implications for understanding congenital and evolutionary digit reductions.",
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    Towers, M, Mahood, R, Yin, Y & Tickle, C 2008, 'Integration of growth and specification in chick wing digit-patterning', Nature, vol. 452, no. 7189, pp. 882-886. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06718

    Integration of growth and specification in chick wing digit-patterning. / Towers, Matthew; Mahood, Ruth; Yin, Yili; Tickle, Cheryll.

    In: Nature, Vol. 452, No. 7189, 17.04.2008, p. 882-886.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Towers, Matthew

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