- Animals, Laboratory
- Cellular Structures
- Developmental Biology
- Digestive System
- Digestive System Abnormalities
- Digestive System Diseases
Battle Lab - March 2016 CMGH Journal Cover
Transcriptional Regulation of Gastrointestinal Development, Function, and Disease
The Battle lab’s goal is to understand how transcription factors regulate development and function of the gastrointestinal system and how alterations in transcription factor activity contribute to diseases such short bowel syndrome, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal adenocarcinoma. We focus on two main families of transcription factors in our work—GATA factors (GATA4, GATA5, and GATA6) and HNF4 factors (HNF4A and HNF4G)—and use genetically modified mouse models and induced pluripotent stem (hIPS) cells to study these factors in the GI tract.
GATA4 and its role in defining boundaries in the small intestinal epithelium
Although morphologically indistinguishable, enterocytes, the absorptive cells of the small intestine, accomplish different functions in different regions of the intestine. For example, jejunal enterocytes absorb nutrients while ileal enterocytes recycle bile acids. How does a single cell type, the enterocyte, become specialized to accomplish regional-specific functions? This puzzle led us to hypothesize that the repertoire of transcription factors expressed in enterocytes drives regional function. Identification of GATA4 as a factor expressed in duodenum and jejunum but absent in ileum provided a candidate to evaluate as a determinant of regional-specific function. Our lab has demonstrated that GATA4 is indeed an essential regionalizing factor of the small intestinal epithelium by showing that GATA4 directly activates and represses transcription of key targets to determine the jejunal-ileal boundary. Our current work is focused on defining how GATA4 acts as a both a transcriptional activator and repressor with the intestinal epithelium.
GATA4 and its role in Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma
GATA4 is also differentially expressed at another key boundary within the GI tract—the squamocolumnar junction—where it is present within the simple columnar epithelium of the glandular stomach but absent from the stratified squamous epithelium of the esophagus/forestomach. In Barrett’s esophagus, a pathological precursor of esophageal adenocarcinoma, this boundary is disrupted, and the stratified squamous epithelium is replaced by a columnar epithelium in which GATA4 is expressed suggesting a role for GATA4 in this disease. We are using mouse and human models to investigate how GATA4 functions in establishment of this boundary and GATA4’s role in Barrett’s esophagus and cancer.
GATA4 and GATA6 in intestinal development
Our laboratory investigates important questions about mechanisms of intestinal development. Using conditional knockout mouse models, we uncovered a novel role for GATA factors in fine-tuning Notch signaling to mediate intestinal epithelial cell fate decisions. Most recently, we demonstrated that GATA4 regulates epithelial cell proliferation during early intestinal development and that this impacts overall organ growth and this work has implications our understanding of short bowel syndrome. We continue to use mouse models developed in our lab along with directed differentiation of human IPS cells into intestinal organoids to study early intestinal development.
HNF4A and HNF4G in intestinal development
We are using hIPS cells to study the role of HNF4 factors in human intestinal development. Using CRISPR genome editing, we have developed HNF4 mutant hIPS cell lines. We use an intestine-specific differentiation protocol to direct development of hIPS cells into intestinal organoids and determine how HNF4 factors regulate early intestinal development.
(Thompson CA, DeLaForest A, Battle MA.) Dev Biol. 2018 03 15;435(2):97-108 PMID: 29339095 PMCID: PMC6615902 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85042765603 01/18/2018
(Thompson CA, Wojta K, Pulakanti K, Rao S, Dawson P, Battle MA.) Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 May;3(3):422-446 PMID: 28462382 PMCID: PMC5404030 05/04/2017
(Mitzelfelt KA, McDermott-Roe C, Grzybowski MN, Marquez M, Kuo CT, Riedel M, Lai S, Choi MJ, Kolander KD, Helbling D, Dimmock DP, Battle MA, Jou CJ, Tristani-Firouzi M, Verbsky JW, Benjamin IJ, Geurts AM.) Stem Cell Reports. 2017 03 14;8(3):491-499 PMID: 28238794 PMCID: PMC5355643 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85013648619 02/28/2017
(Chin AM, Tsai YH, Finkbeiner SR, Nagy MS, Walker EM, Ethen NJ, Williams BO, Battle MA, Spence JR.) Stem Cell Reports. 2016 11 08;7(5):826-839 PMID: 27720905 PMCID: PMC5106483 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-84992065194 10/11/2016
(Moore BD, Jin RU, Lo H, Jung M, Wang H, Battle MA, Wollheim CB, Urano F, Mills JC.) J Biol Chem. 2016 Mar 18;291(12):6146-57 PMID: 26792861 PMCID: PMC4813565 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-84964891117 01/23/2016
(Kohlnhofer BM, Thompson CA, Walker EM, Battle MA.) Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016 Mar;2(2):189-209 PMID: 27066525 PMCID: PMC4823006 04/12/2016
(Zhong L, Brown J, Kramer A, Kaleka K, Petersen A, Krueger JN, Florence M, Muelbl MJ, Battle M, Murphy GG, Olsen CM, Gerges NZ.) J Neurosci. 2015 May 13;35(19):7503-8 PMID: 25972176 PMCID: PMC4429154 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-84929353508 05/15/2015
(Walker EM, Thompson CA, Kohlnhofer BM, Faber ML, Battle MA.) BMC Res Notes. 2014 Dec 11;7:902 PMID: 25495347 PMCID: PMC4307969 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-84928785787 12/17/2014
(Walker EM, Thompson CA, Battle MA.) Dev Biol. 2014 Aug 15;392(2):283-94 PMID: 24929016 PMCID: PMC4149467 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-84904397909 06/15/2014
(Bondow BJ, Faber ML, Wojta KJ, Walker EM, Battle MA.) Dev Biol. 2012 Nov 01;371(1):1-12 PMID: 22766025 PMCID: PMC3455111 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-84866479999 07/07/2012
(Patankar JV, Obrowsky S, Doddapattar P, Hoefler G, Battle M, Levak-Frank S, Kratky D.) J Hepatol. 2012 Nov;57(5):1061-8 PMID: 22750465 PMCID: PMC3477492 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-84867570915 07/04/2012
(Xuan S, Borok MJ, Decker KJ, Battle MA, Duncan SA, Hale MA, Macdonald RJ, Sussel L.) J Clin Invest. 2012 Oct;122(10):3516-28 PMID: 23006325 PMCID: PMC3461916 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-84867174750 09/26/2012