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Articles by Anming Meng
Total Records ( 3 ) for Anming Meng
  Shunji Jia , Zhen Ren , Xiang Li , Ying Zheng and Anming Meng
  The transforming growth factor-β ligands Nodal, activin, and Vg1 play important roles in mesendoderm induction and patterning during vertebrate embryogenesis. These ligands are believed to transduce the signal through the receptor-activated transcription factors Smad2 and Smad3. However, the roles of smad2/3 genes in development of zebrafish embryos are largely unknown because the presence of multiple smad2/3 genes and their maternal expression have hampered the investigation of their developmental roles. We generated potent and specific dominant-negative forms of zebrafish Smad2, Smad3a, and Smad3b by mutating multiple amino acids. Overexpression of these mutants abolished mesendoderm induction by ectopic Nodal signaling in zebrafish embryos. Expression of dominant-negative smad2/3 abrogated Smad2/3 activities in wild-type embryos and caused various mesendodermal defects similar to those in Nodal-deficient embryos. Smad2/3-deficient cells transplanted into the blastodermal margin of wild-type hosts preferentially differentiated into ectodermal tissues rather than mesendodermal tissues, supporting the idea that response of cells to mesendoderm inducers requires Smad2/3 activities. Interference with Smad2/3 activities in Zoep, Moep, and MZoep mutant embryos resulted in more severe mesendodermal defects. Thus, our data reveal that Nodal signaling and mesendoderm induction depend on Smad2/3 and suggest that transforming growth factor-β signals other than Nodal also contribute to Smad2/3 signaling and embryonic patterning.
  Zailian Lu , Wei Liu , Huizhe Huang , Ying He , Ying Han , Yanning Rui , Yanhai Wang , Qinxi Li , Ka Ruan , Zhiyun Ye , Boon Chuan Low , Anming Meng and Sheng-Cai Lin
  Axin plays an architectural role in many important signaling pathways that control various aspects of development and tumorigenesis, including the Wnt, transforming growth factor-β, MAP kinase pathways, as well as p53 activation cascades. It is encoded by the mouse Fused (Fu) locus; the AxinFu allele is caused by insertion of an IAP transposon. AxinFu/Fu mice display varying phenotypes ranging from embryonic lethality to relatively normal adulthood with kinky tails. However, the protein product(s) has not been identified or characterized. In the present study, we conducted immunoprecipitation using brain extracts from the AxinFu mice with specific antibodies against different regions of Axin and found that a truncated Axin containing amino acids 1–596 (designated as AxinFu-NT) and the full-length complement of Axin (AxinWT) can both be generated from the AxinFu allele. When tested for functionality changes, AxinFu-NT was found to abolish Axin-mediated activation of JNK, which plays a critical role in dorsoventral patterning. Together with a proteomics approach, we found that AxinFu-NT contains a previously uncharacterized dimerization domain and can form a heterodimeric interaction with AxinWT. The AxinFu-NT/AxinWT is not conducive to JNK activation, providing a molecular explanation for the dominant negative effect of AxinFu-NT on JNK activation by wild-type Axin. Importantly, AxinFu-NT exhibits no difference in the inhibition of Wnt signaling compared with AxinWT as determined by reporter gene assays, interaction with key Wnt regulators, and expression of Wnt marker genes in zebrafish embryos, suggesting that altered JNK signaling contributes, at least in part, to the developmental defects seen in AxinFu mice.
  Xia Gao , Jun Wen , Long Zhang , Xiang Li , Yuanheng Ning , Anming Meng and Ye-Guang Chen
  Wnt signaling, via the activation of the canonical β-catenin and lymphoid enhancer factor (LEF)/T-cell factor pathway, plays an important role in embryogenesis and cancer development by regulating the expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. Dapper (Dpr), as a Dishevelled interactor, has been suggested to modulate Wnt signaling by promoting Dishevelled degradation. Here, we provide evidence that Dpr1 shuttles between the cytoplasm and the nucleus. Although overexpressed Dpr1 was mainly found in the cytoplasm, endogenous Dpr1 was localized over the cell, and Wnt1 induced its nuclear export. Treatment with leptomycin B induced nuclear accumulation of both endogenous and overexpressed Dpr1. We further identified the nuclear localization signal and the nuclear export signal within Dpr1. Using reporter assay and in vivo zebrafish embryo assay, we demonstrated that the forced nuclearly localized Dpr1 possessed the ability to antagonize Wnt signaling. Dpr1 interacted with β-catenin and LEF1 and disrupted their complex formation. Furthermore, Dpr1 could associate with histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) and enhance the LEF1-HDAC1 interaction. Together, our findings suggest that Dpr1 negatively modulates the basal activity of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the nucleus by keeping LEF1 in the repressive state. Thus, Dpr1 controls Wnt/β-catenin signaling in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus.
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