Differentiated tissues may be considered as materials with distinct properties. The differentiation program of a given tissue ensures that it acquires material properties commensurate with its function. It may be hypothesized that some of these properties are acquired through production of tissue-specific metabolites synthesized by metabolic enzymes. To establish correlation between metabolism and organogenesis we have carried out a genome-wide expression study of metabolism related genes by RNA in-situ hybridization. 23% of the metabolism related genes studied are expressed in a tissue-restricted but not tissue-exclusive manner. We have conducted the screen on whole mount chicken (Gallus gallus) embryos from four distinct developmental stages to correlate dynamic changes in expression patterns of metabolic enzymes with spatio-temporally unique developmental events. Our data strongly suggests that unique combinations of metabolism related genes, and not specific metabolic pathways, are upregulated during differentiation. Further, expression of metabolism related genes in well established signaling centers that regulate different aspects of morphogenesis indicates developmental roles of some of the metabolism related genes. The database of tissue-restricted expression patterns of metabolism related genes, generated in this study, should serve as a resource for systematic identification of these genes with tissue-specific functions during development. Finally, comprehensive understanding of differentiation is not possible unless the downstream genes of a differentiation cascade are identified. We propose, metabolic enzymes constitute a significant portion of these downstream target genes. Thus our study should help elucidate different aspects of tissue differentiation. © 2013 Roy et al.
Roy, P., Kumar, B., Shende, A., Singh, A., Meena, A., Ghosal, R., … Bandyopadhyay, A. (2013). A Genome-Wide Screen Indicates Correlation between Differentiation and Expression of Metabolism Related Genes. PLoS ONE, 8(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0063670