Lens fiber cell differentiation occurs independently of fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling in the absence of Pten

SL Padula, etc
Developmental Biology, 2020

Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) signaling patterns multiple tissues in both vertebrates and invertebrates, largely through the activation of intracellular kinases. Recent studies have demonstrated that the phosphatase, PTEN negatively regulates FGFR signaling, such that the loss of PTEN can compensate for reduced FGFR signaling to rescue aspects of normal development. In the developing mouse lens, FGFR signaling promotes cell survival and fiber cell differentiation, and the loss of Pten largely compensates for the loss of Fgfr2 during lens development. To explore this regulatory relationship further, we focused on the phenotypic consequences of Pten loss on lens development and fiber cell differentiation in the absence of all FGFR signaling, both in vivo and in lens epithelial explants. Pten deletion partially rescues primary fiber cell elongation and ¿-crystallin accumulation in FGFR-deficient lenses in vivo but fails to rescue cell survival or proliferation. However, in lens epithelial explants, where cells survive without FGFR signaling, Pten deletion rescues vitreous humor-induced lens fiber cell differentiation in the combined absence of Fgfr1, Fgfr2 and Fgfr3. This represents the first evidence that vitreous-initiated signaling cascades, independent of FGFR signaling, can drive mammalian lens fiber cell differentiation, when freed from repression by PTEN.

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Developmental Biology
doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2020.07.017
Miami University