HES1 is a novel downstream modifier of the SHH-GLI3 Axis in the development of preaxial polydactyly

Deepika Sharma, Anthony J. Mirando, Abigail Leinroth, Jason T. Long, Courtney M. Karner, Matthew J. Hilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Sonic Hedgehog/GLI3 signaling is critical in regulating digit number, such that Gli3-deficiency results in polydactyly and Shh-deficiency leads to digit number reductions. SHH/GLI3 signaling regulates cell cycle factors controlling mesenchymal cell proliferation, while simultaneously regulating Grem1 to coordinate BMP-induced chondrogenesis. SHH/GLI3 signaling also coordinates the expression of additional genes, however their importance in digit formation remain unknown. Utilizing genetic and molecular approaches, we identified HES1 as a downstream modifier of the SHH/GLI signaling axis capable of inducing preaxial polydactyly (PPD), required for Gli3-deficient PPD, and capable of overcoming digit number constraints of Shh-deficiency. Our data indicate that HES1, a direct SHH/GLI signaling target, induces mesenchymal cell proliferation via suppression of Cdkn1b, while inhibiting chondrogenic genes and the anterior autopod boundary regulator, Pax9. These findings establish HES1 as a critical downstream effector of SHH/GLI3 signaling in the development of PPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1009982
JournalPLoS genetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 20 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research


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