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Publication - Professor Jo Adams

    Hydra Mesoglea Proteome Identifies Thrombospondin as a Conserved Component Active in Head Organizer Restriction


    Lommel, M, Strompen, J, Hellewell, AL, Balasubramanian, GP, Christofidou, ED, Thomson, AR, Boyle, AL, Woolfson, DN, Puglisi, K, Hartl, M, Holstein, TW, Adams, JC & Özbek, S, 2018, ‘Hydra Mesoglea Proteome Identifies Thrombospondin as a Conserved Component Active in Head Organizer Restriction’. Scientific Reports, vol 8.


    Thrombospondins (TSPs) are multidomain glycoproteins with complex matricellular functions in tissue homeostasis and remodeling. We describe a novel role of TSP as a Wnt signaling target in the basal eumetazoan Hydra. Proteome analysis identified Hydra magnipapillata TSP (HmTSP) as a major component of the cnidarian mesoglea. In general, the domain organization of cnidarian TSPs is related to the pentameric TSPs of bilaterians, and in phylogenetic analyses cnidarian TSPs formed a separate clade of high sequence diversity. HmTSP expression in polyps was restricted to the hypostomal tip and tentacle bases that harbor Wnt-regulated organizer tissues. In the hypostome, HmTSP- and Wnt3-expressing cells were identical or in close vicinity to each other, and regions of ectopic tentacle formation induced by pharmacological β-Catenin activation (Alsterpaullone) corresponded to foci of HmTSP expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) confirmed binding of Hydra TCF to conserved elements in the HmTSP promotor region. Accordingly, β-Catenin knockdown by siRNAs reduced normal HmTSP expression at the head organizer. In contrast, knockdown of HmTSP expression led to increased numbers of ectopic organizers in Alsterpaullone-treated animals, indicating a negative regulatory function. Our data suggest an unexpected role for HmTSP as a feedback inhibitor of Wnt signaling during Hydra body axis patterning and maintenance.

    Full details in the University publications repository