Control of liver cell fate decision by a gradient of TGFβ signaling modulated by Onecut transcription factors

Frédéric Clotman, Patrick Jacquemin, Nicolas Plumb-Rudewiez, Christophe E. Pierreux, Patrick Van Der Smissen, Harry C. Dietz, Pierre J. Courtoy, Guy G. Rousseau, Frédéric P. Lemaigre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

242 Scopus citations

Abstract

During liver development, hepatocytes and biliary cells differentiate from common progenitors called hepatoblasts. The factors that control hepatoblast fate decision are unknown. Here we report that a gradient of activin/TGFβ signaling controls hepatoblast differentiation. High activin/TGFβ signaling is required near the portal vein for differentiation of biliary cells. The Onecut transcription factors HNF-6 and OC-2 inhibit activin/TGFβ signaling in the parenchyma, and this allows normal hepatocyte differentiation. In the absence of Onecut factors, the shape of the activin/TGFβ gradient is perturbed and the hepatoblasts differentiate into hybrid cells that display characteristics of both hepatocytes and biliary cells. Thus, a gradient of activin/TGFβ signaling modulated by Onecut factors is required to segregate the hepatocytic and the biliary lineages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1849-1854
Number of pages6
JournalGenes and Development
Volume19
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2005

Keywords

  • Activin/TGFβ signaling gradient
  • Hepatic differentiation
  • Hepatoblasts
  • Liver development
  • Onecut transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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