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R-spondin 2 OKDB#: 3906
 Symbols: RSPO2 Species: human
 Synonyms: HHRRD, TETAMS2, CRISTIN2  Locus: 8q23.1 in Homo sapiens

For retrieval of Nucleotide and Amino Acid sequences please go to: OMIM Entrez Gene
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DNA Microarrays
link to BioGPS
General Comment R-Spondin proteins: a novel link to beta-catenin activation. Kim KA et al. The R-spondin (Rspo) protein family is a recently described group of four distinct human secreted proteins. Reported activities for Rspo proteins include essential roles in vertebrate development and their ligand-type activities overlap substantially with those of the canonical Wnt ligands in that both Rspo and canonical Wnt signaling result in the activation of beta-catenin. In a general functional screen for human secreted proteins using transgenic mouse models, we identified human R-spondin1 (hRspo1) protein as a potent and specific mitogen for the gastrointestinal epithelium and demonstrated a potential therapeutic application for the protein in mouse models of cancer therapy-induced mucositis. In contrast to previous studies, our data indicated only partial overlap between Wnt and Rspo ligand activities, suggesting that there may be independent receptor/signaling pathways for Rspo proteins that intersect those of Wnt at the level of beta-catenin. Here we summarize the current reported data on the Rspo family and discuss these results in terms of alternate mechanisms of action. We have extended our observations on the potential therapeutic application of Rspo proteins by showing that all four human Rspo family members are capable of inducing epithelial proliferation and report the first non-vertebrate Rspo family member.

NCBI Summary: This gene encodes a member of the R-spondin family of proteins. These proteins are secreted ligands of leucine-rich repeat containing G protein-coupled receptors that enhance Wnt signaling through the inhibition of ubiquitin E3 ligases. A chromosomal translocation including this locus that results in the formation of a gene fusion has been identified in multiple human cancers. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Dec 2015]
General function
Cellular localization Secreted
Ovarian function Preantral follicle growth
Comment DNA methylation mediated RSPO2 to promote follicular development in mammals. Zhou X et al. (2021) In female mammals, the proliferation, apoptosis, and estradiol-17β (E2) secretion of granulosa cells (GCs) have come to decide the fate of follicles. DNA methylation and RSPO2 gene of Wnt signaling pathway have been reported to involve in the survival of GCs and follicular development. However, the molecular mechanisms for how DNA methylation regulates the expression of RSPO2 and participates in the follicular development are not clear. In this study, we found that the mRNA and protein levels of RSPO2 significantly increased during follicular development, but the DNA methylation level of RSPO2 promoter decreased gradually. Inhibition of DNA methylation or DNMT1 knockdown could decrease the methylation level of CpG island (CGI) in RSPO2 promoter and upregulate the expression level of RSPO2 in porcine GCs. The hypomethylation of -758/-749 and -563/-553 regions in RSPO2 promoter facilitated the occupancy of transcription factor E2F1 and promoted the transcriptional activity of RSPO2. Moreover, RSPO2 promoted the proliferation of GCs with increasing the expression level of PCNA, CDK1, and CCND1 and promoted the E2 secretion of GCs with increasing the expression level of CYP19A1 and HSD17B1 and inhibited the apoptosis of GCs with decreasing the expression level of Caspase3, cleaved Caspase3, cleaved Caspase8, cleaved Caspase9, cleaved PARP, and BAX. In addition, RSPO2 knockdown promoted the apoptosis of GCs, blocked the development of follicles, and delayed the onset of puberty with decreasing the expression level of Wnt signaling pathway-related genes (LGR4 and CTNNB1) in vivo. Taken together, the hypomethylation of -758/-749 and -563/-553 regions in RSPO2 promoter facilitated the occupancy of E2F1 and enhanced the transcription of RSPO2, which further promoted the proliferation and E2 secretion of GCs, inhibited the apoptosis of GCs, and ultimately ameliorated the development of follicles through Wnt signaling pathway. This study will provide useful information for further exploration on DNA-methylation-mediated RSPO2 pathway during follicular development.//////////////////R-spondin2 signaling is required for oocyte-driven intercellular communication and follicular growth. De Cian MC et al. (2020) R-spondin2 (RSPO2) is a member of the R-spondin family, which are secreted activators of the WNT/β-catenin (CTNNB1) signaling pathway. In the mouse postnatal ovary, WNT/CTNNB1 signaling is active in the oocyte and in the neighboring supporting cells, the granulosa cells. Although the role of Rspo2 has been previously studied using in vitro experiments, the results are conflicting and the in vivo ovarian function of Rspo2 remains unclear. In the present study, we found that RSPO2/Rspo2 expression is restricted to the oocyte of developing follicles in both human and mouse ovaries from the beginning of the follicular growth. In mice, genetic deletion of Rspo2 does not impair oocyte growth, but instead prevents cell cycle progression of neighboring granulosa cells, thus resulting in an arrest of follicular growth. We further show this cell cycle arrest to be independent of growth promoting GDF9 signaling, but rather associated with a downregulation of WNT/CTNNB1 signaling in granulosa cells. To confirm the contribution of WNT/CTNNB1 signaling in granulosa cell proliferation, we induced cell type specific deletion of Ctnnb1 postnatally. Strikingly, follicles lacking Ctnnb1 failed to develop beyond the primary stage. These results show that RSPO2 acts in a paracrine manner to sustain granulosa cell proliferation in early developing follicles. Taken together, our data demonstrate that the activation of WNT/CTNNB1 signaling by RSPO2 is essential for oocyte-granulosa cell interactions that drive maturation of the ovarian follicles and eventually female fertility.////////////////// Oocyte-derived R-spondin2 promotes ovarian follicle development. Cheng Y et al. R-spondin proteins are adult stem cell growth factors capable of stimulating gut development by activating LGR4, 5, and 6 receptors to promote Wnt signaling. Although multiple Wnt ligands and cognate Frizzled receptors are expressed in the ovary, their physiological roles are unclear. Based on bioinformatic and in situ hybridization analyses, we demonstrated the exclusive expression of R-spondin2 in oocytes of ovarian follicles. In cultured somatic cells from preantral follicles, R-spondin2 treatment (ED(50): 3 ng/ml) synergized with Wnt3a to stimulate Wnt signaling. In cultured ovarian explants from prepubertal mice containing preantral follicles, treatment with R-spondin2, similar to follicle stimulating hormone, promoted the development of primary follicles to the secondary stage. In vivo administration of an R-spondin agonist stimulated the development of primary follicles to the antral stage in both immature mice and gonadotropin releasing hormone antagonist-treated adult mice. Subsequent treatment with gonadotropins allowed the generation of mature oocytes capable of undergoing early embryonic development and successful pregnancy. Furthermore, R-spondin agonist treatment of immune-deficient mice grafted with human cortical fragments stimulated the development of primary follicles to the secondary stage. Thus, oocyte-derived R-spondin2 is a paracrine factor essential for primary follicle development, and R-spondin agonists could provide a new treatment regimen for infertile women with low responses to the traditional gonadotropin therapy.-Cheng, Y., Kawamura, K., Takae, S., Deguchi, M., Yang, Q., Kuo, C., Hsueh, A. J. W. Oocyte-derived R-spondin2 promotes ovarian follicle development.
Expression regulated by Nobox
Ovarian localization Oocyte
Comment Genomewide discovery and classification of candidate ovarian fertility genes in the mouse. Gallardo TD et al. Female infertility syndromes are among the most prevalent chronic health disorders in women, but their genetic basis remains unknown because of uncertainty regarding the number and identity of ovarian factors controlling the assembly, preservation, and maturation of ovarian follicles. To systematically discover ovarian fertility genes en masse, we employed a mouse model (Foxo3) in which follicles are assembled normally but then undergo synchronous activation. We developed a microarray-based approach for the systematic discovery of tissue-specific genes and, by applying it to Foxo3 ovaries and other samples, defined a surprisingly large set of ovarian factors (n = 348, approximately 1% of the mouse genome). This set included the vast majority of known ovarian factors, 44% of which when mutated produce female sterility phenotypes, but most were novel. Comparative profiling of other tissues, including microdissected oocytes and somatic cells, revealed distinct gene classes and provided new insights into oogenesis and ovarian function, demonstrating the utility of our approach for tissue-specific gene discovery. This study will thus facilitate comprehensive analyses of follicle development, ovarian function, and female infertility. This is an oocyte-specific gene.
Follicle stages Primary, Secondary, Antral
Comment Microarray analyses of newborn mouse ovaries lacking Nobox. Choi Y et al. Nobox is a homeobox gene expressed in oocytes and critical in oogenesis. Nobox deficiency leads to rapid loss of postnatal oocytes. Early oocyte differentiation is poorly understood. We hypothesized that lack of Nobox perturbs global expression of genes preferentially expressed in oocytes as well as microRNAs. We compared Nobox knockout and wild-type ovaries using Affymetrix 430 2.0 microarray platform. We discovered that 28 (74%) of 38 of the genes downregulated more than 5-fold in the absence of Nobox were preferentially expressed in oocytes, whereas only 5 (15%) of 33 genes upregulated more than 5-fold in the absence of Nobox were preferentially expressed in oocytes. Protein-binding microarray helped identify nucleotide motifs that NOBOX binds and that several downregulated genes contain within putative promoter regions. MicroRNA population in newborn ovaries deficient of Nobox was largely unaffected. Genes whose proteins are predicted to be secreted but were previously unknown to be significantly expressed in early oogenesis were downregulated in Nobox knockouts and included astacin-like metalloendopeptidase (Astl), Jagged 1 (Jag1), oocyte-secreted protein 1 (Oosp1), fetuin beta (Fetub), and R-spondin 2 (Rspo2). In addition, pluripotency-associated genes Pou5f1 and Sall4 are drastically downregulated in Nobox-deficient ovaries, whereas testes-determining gene Dmrt1 is overexpressed. Our findings indicate that Nobox is likely an activator of oocyte-specific gene expression and suggest that the oocyte plays an important role in suppressing expression of male-determining genes, such as Dmrt1.
Phenotypes POF (premature ovarian failure)
Mutations 3 mutations

Species: mouse
Mutation name: None
type: null mutation
fertility: subfertile
Comment: Asymmetric limb malformations in a new transgene insertional mutant, footless. Bell SM et al. Six to eight copies of a transgene integrated into mouse chromosome 15 resulting in a new transgene insertional mutant, Footless, presenting with malformations of the limbs, kidney, and soft palate. Homozygotes possess a unique asymmetric pattern of limb truncations. Posterior structures from the autopod and zeugopod of the hindlimbs are missing with left usually more severely affected than right. In contrast, anterior structures are missing from the right forelimbs. The left forelimb is usually normal except for the absence of the distal telephalanges and nails. These structures are absent on all formed digits. In situ hybridization assays examined the expression of Shh, dHand, Msx2, Fgf8, En1, and Lmx1b in mutant limb buds and indicated normal establishment of the anterior/posterior and dorsal/ventral axes of the developing limbs. However, dysmorphology of the apical ectodermal ridge was observed in the mutant limb buds.

Species: mouse
Mutation name: None
type: null mutation
fertility: subfertile
Comment: Mouse R-spondin2 is required for apical ectodermal ridge maintenance in the hindlimb. Nam JS et al. The R-spondin (Rspo) family of proteins consists of secreted cysteine-rich proteins that can activate beta-catenin signaling via the Frizzled/LRP5/6 receptor complex. Here, we report that targeted inactivation of the mouse Rspo2 gene causes developmental limb defects, especially in the hindlimb. Although the initiation of the expression of apical ectodermal ridge (AER)-specific genes, including fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8) and FGF4 occurred normally, the maintenance of these marker expressions was significantly defective in the hindlimb of Rspo2(-/-) mice. Consistent with the ligand role of R-spondins in the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway, expression of Axin2 and Sp8, targets for beta-catenin signaling, within AER was greatly reduced in Rspo2(-/-) embryos. Furthermore, sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling within the hindlimbs of Rspo2(-/-) mice was also significantly decreased. Rspo2 is expressed in the AER of all limb buds, however the stunted phenotype is significantly more severe in the hindlimbs than the forelimbs and strongly biased to the left side. Our findings strongly suggest that Rspo2 expression in the AER is required for AER maintenance likely by regulating Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. Rspo2(+/−) female mice gradually lost their fertility beginning at about 4 months of age (25% sterile at 4 months and 85% sterile at 5+ months).

Species: human
Mutation name:
type: naturally occurring
fertility: subfertile
Comment: R-spondin2, a novel target of NOBOX: identification of variants in a cohort of women with primary ovarian insufficiency. Bouilly J et al. (2017) R-spondin2 (Rspo2) is a secreted agonist of the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Rspo2 plays a key role in development of limbs, lungs and hair follicles, and more recently during ovarian follicle development. Rspo2 heterozygous deficient female mice become infertile around 4 months of age mimicking primary ovarian insufficiency (POI). The study aimed to investigate the regulation of RSPO2 and its potential involvement in pathophysiology of POI. We cloned the RSPO2 promoter and performed transcriptional assays to determine if RSPO2 can be regulated by NOBOX, an ovarian transcription factor. Then, we evaluated 100 infertile women after obtaining a detailed history of the disease and follicle-stimulating hormone measurements, besides karyotype determination and fragile-X premutation syndrome investigation. All exons, intron-exon boundaries and untranslated regions of the RSPO2 gene were identified by sequencing, and the results were statistically analyzed. We found that RSPO2 can be regulated by NOBOX via the presence of NOBOX Binding Element in its promoter. Among 9 identified variants in POI women, 4 of them were equally homozygous, 4 have never been described (c.-359C > G, c.-190G > A, c.-170 + 13C > T and c.-169-8 T > A), only one c.557 T > C was predicted to alter a single amino acid in the RSPO2 protein (p.Leu186Pro). RSPO2 is a novel target gene of the NOBOX key transcription factor, confirming its important role during the follicular growth in ovary. However, RSPO2 mutations are rare or uncommon in women with POI.//////////////////

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created: Jan. 27, 2009, 3:36 p.m. by: hsueh   email:
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last update: June 29, 2021, 2:54 p.m. by: hsueh    email:

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