Title: A forebrain undivided: Unleashing model organisms to solve the mysteries of holoprosencephaly.
Authors: Grinblat, Yevgenya; Lipinski, Robert J
Published In Dev Dyn, (2019 08)
Abstract: Evolutionary conservation and experimental tractability have made animal model systems invaluable tools in our quest to understand human embryogenesis, both normal and abnormal. Standard genetic approaches, particularly useful in understanding monogenic diseases, are no longer sufficient as research attention shifts toward multifactorial outcomes. Here, we examine this progression through the lens of holoprosencephaly (HPE), a common human malformation involving incomplete forebrain division, and a classic example of an etiologically complex outcome. We relate the basic underpinning of HPE pathogenesis to critical cell-cell interactions and signaling molecules discovered through embryological and genetic approaches in multiple model organisms, and discuss the role of the mouse model in functional examination of HPE-linked genes. We then outline the most critical remaining gaps to understanding human HPE, including the conundrum of incomplete penetrance/expressivity and the role of gene-environment interactions. To tackle these challenges, we outline a strategy that leverages new and emerging technologies in multiple model systems to solve the puzzle of HPE.
PubMed ID: 30993762
MeSH Terms: Animals; Gene-Environment Interaction; Holoprosencephaly*/etiology; Holoprosencephaly*/genetics; Holoprosencephaly*/pathology; Humans; Mice; Models, Animal; Penetrance; Prosencephalon/anatomy & histology*; Prosencephalon/embryology; Signal Transduction