Molecular and phenotypic characterization of Cecr2 mouse models: implications for the role of mesenchymal/epithelial regulation in neural tube and renal development

  • Author / Creator
    Fairbridge, Nicholas, A
  • Embryogenesis is a crucial process during mammalian development that relies on a wide variety of genetic and epigenetic regulatory factors. Chromatin remodeling complexes are one such epigenetic means to control gene transcription through alteration of DNA-histone packaging. The developmental roles of chromatin remodelling protein CECR2 are determined through the characterization of Cecr2 mouse mutations. To this end, a new Cecr2tm1.1Hemc deletion allele is presented. Phenotypic examination of the Cecr2tm1.1Hemc mutation, alongside the founding Cecr2Gt45Bic allele, expands the Cecr2-associated mutant defects to include the neurulation-associated defects of midline facial clefts, encephaloceles, reduced adult brain weight, and caudal vertebrae malformations in addition to the prevalent exencephaly. The Cecr2 mutations on a FVB/N genetic background further develops a series of congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract. The expression of Cecr2 during renal development is in the condensing metanephric mesenchyme and the transient comma-shaped and S-shaped body epithelium of the developing nephrons. Similarities amongst the affected organ systems suggest an underlying defect in mesenchymal-epithelial transitions. Cecr2Gt45Bic homozygous mutants at the time of neurulation show a variety of transcriptional changes in both the BALB/c and FVB/N strains. Amongst the altered genes is an abundance of mesenchymal and epithelial transcription factors and developmental regulators. The affected transcripts cluster into enriched regions on chromosome 6A, 6F-G and chromosome 12B, which may indicate direct targets of CECR2 remodeling. The molecular and developmental roles of the candidate genes suggest CECR2 regulates a mesenchymal-associated gene network, whose misregulation results in the formation of cranial neural tube defects.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Hoodless, Pamela (Medical Genetics)
    • Pilgrim, David (Biological Sciences)
    • Godbout, Roseline (Oncology)
    • Wevrick, Rachel (Medical Genetics)