Hes1 regulates corneal development and the function of corneal epithelial stem/progenitor cells
Hes1, a major target gene in Notch signaling, regulates the fate and differentiation of various cell types in many developmental systems. To gain a novel insight into the role of Hes1 in corneal tissue, we performed gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies. We show that corneal development was severely disturbed in Hes1-null mice. Hes1-null corneas manifested abnormal junctional specialization, cell differentiation, and less cell proliferation ability. Worthy of note, Hes1 is expressed mainly in the corneal epithelial stem/progenitor cells and is not detected in the differentiated corneal epithelial cells. Expression of Hes1 is closely linked with corneal epithelial stem/progenitor cell proliferation activity in vivo. Moreover, forced Hes1 expression inhibits the differentiation of corneal epithelial stem/progenitor cells and maintains these cells' undifferentiated state. Our data provide the first evidence that Hes1 regulates corneal development and the homeostatic function of corneal epithelial stem/progenitor cells.
Keywords: cornea ; development ; Hes ; Notch ; stem cell ; Central-Nervous-System ; Helix Factor Hes-1 ; Neural Stem-Cells ; Transcription Factor ; Mammalian Hairy ; Notch ; Differentiation ; P63 ; Expression ; Enhancer
Record created on 2010-11-30, modified on 2016-08-09