This is the lead Component of the Program Project. Its overall objective is to expand understanding, by direct experimental determination, of the sea urchin embryo gene regulatory network (GRN) so as to encompass specification and differentiation of oral and aboral ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm territories up until late gastrula period. This means that with the exception of the apical neurogenic territory (provisionally excepted to avoid redundancy with other labs), and with the exception of a few developmental territorial specifications which occur only late in embryogenesis, the entire embryo will be included in the GRN. This project will yield, for the first time in any example of animal embryonic development, a system-level model of the global genomic regulatory program for the design of the embryo. It will explain the establishment of the spatial regulatory states that define most of its territories, and that ultimately serve to drive differentiation. As shown by current results with the sea urchin embryo endomesodermal GRN (which extends only to the onset of gastrulation) the benefits to scientific knowledge of development that can confidently be expected if the main objective of this proposal can be met, are as follows: (1) The GRN model can and will be validated by direct mutational cis-regulatory analysis at its key nodes and the model is therefore a solid, predictive, and specific, indication of the genomic regulatory system that underlies all embryonic development. (2) The GRN will provide a causal explanation of the biology of embryonic specification, and on a global scale, of the design of the embryo: it will answer why events proceed as they do. (3) The GRN will provide the comparative evidence required to discern the most deeply embedded subcircuits or kernels of mammalian genomic regulatory systems for endoderm, mesoderm, and perhaps ectoderm development. New system level technologies, instrumentation, and enhanced throughput methods of procedure which are already in hand make the ambitious objective of this proposal feasible, and its extensive computational underpinnings are supported by a complementary grant from the NIGMS which has just been renewed. This Component of the Program Project is basic to the success of the other Components: these consist of extensions of the GRN downstream, to encompass the functions of morphogenesis (Component II);its extension into a 4D model of the embryo (Component III);and in addition, transfer of GRN analysis concepts to a vertebrate developmental specification system (Component IV).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-Z)
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California Institute of Technology
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Warner, Jacob F; Miranda, Esther L; McClay, David R (2016) Contribution of hedgehog signaling to the establishment of left-right asymmetry in the sea urchin. Dev Biol 411:314-24
Peter, Isabelle S; Davidson, Eric H (2016) Implications of Developmental Gene Regulatory Networks Inside and Outside Developmental Biology. Curr Top Dev Biol 117:237-51
Simoes-Costa, Marcos; Bronner, Marianne E (2016) Reprogramming of avian neural crest axial identity and cell fate. Science 352:1570-3
Bronner, Marianne E (2016) How inhibitory cues can both constrain and promote cell migration. J Cell Biol 213:505-7
Uribe, Rosa A; Gu, Tiffany; Bronner, Marianne E (2016) A novel subset of enteric neurons revealed by ptf1a:GFP in the developing zebrafish enteric nervous system. Genesis 54:123-8
Hochgreb-Hagele, Tatiana; Koo, Daniel E S; Bronner, Marianne E (2015) Znf385C mediates a novel p53-dependent transcriptional switch to control timing of facial bone formation. Dev Biol 400:23-32
Butler, Samantha J; Bronner, Marianne E (2015) From classical to current: analyzing peripheral nervous system and spinal cord lineage and fate. Dev Biol 398:135-46
Simões-Costa, Marcos; Stone, Michael; Bronner, Marianne E (2015) Axud1 Integrates Wnt Signaling and Transcriptional Inputs to Drive Neural Crest Formation. Dev Cell 34:544-54
Barriga, Elias H; Trainor, Paul A; Bronner, Marianne et al. (2015) Animal models for studying neural crest development: is the mouse different? Development 142:1555-60
Martik, Megan L; McClay, David R (2015) Deployment of a retinal determination gene network drives directed cell migration in the sea urchin embryo. Elife 4:

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