Publications by authors named "Sumeda Nandadasa"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A new mouse mutant with cleavage-resistant versican and isoform-specific versican mutants demonstrate that proteolysis at the Glu-Ala peptide bond in the V1 isoform is essential for interdigital web regression.

Matrix Biol Plus 2021 Jun 14;10:100064. Epub 2021 May 14.

Department of Biomedical Engineering-ND20, Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, United States.

Two inherent challenges in the mechanistic interpretation of protease-deficient phenotypes are defining the specific substrate cleavages whose reduction generates the phenotypes and determining whether the phenotypes result from loss of substrate function, substrate accumulation, or loss of a function(s) embodied in the substrate fragments. Hence, recapitulation of a protease-deficient phenotype by a cleavage-resistant substrate would stringently validate the importance of a proteolytic event and clarify the underlying mechanisms. Versican is a large proteoglycan required for development of the circulatory system and proper limb development, and is cleaved by ADAMTS proteases at the Glu-Ala peptide bond located in its alternatively spliced GAGβ domain. Specific ADAMTS protease mutants have impaired interdigit web regression leading to soft tissue syndactyly that is associated with reduced versican proteolysis. Versikine, the N-terminal proteolytic fragment generated by this cleavage, restores interdigit apoptosis in ADAMTS mutant webs. Here, we report a new mouse transgene, , with validated mutations in the GAGβ domain that specifically abolish this proteolytic event. mice have partially penetrant hindlimb soft tissue syndactyly. However, inactivation in mice leads to fully penetrant, more severe syndactyly affecting all limbs, suggesting that ADAMTS20 cleavage of versican at other sites or of other substrates is an additional requirement for web regression. Indeed, immunostaining with a neoepitope antibody against a cleavage site in the versican GAGα domain demonstrated reduced staining in the absence of ADAMTS20. Significantly, mice with deletion of exon 8, encoding the GAGβ domain, consistently developed soft tissue syndactyly, whereas mice unable to include exon 7, encoding the GAGα domain in Vcan transcripts, consistently had fully separated digits. These findings suggest that versican is cleaved within each GAG-bearing domain during web regression, and affirms that proteolysis in the GAGβ domain, via generation of versikine, has an essential role in interdigital web regression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mbplus.2021.100064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8233476PMC
June 2021

The versican-hyaluronan complex provides an essential extracellular matrix niche for Flk1 hematoendothelial progenitors.

Matrix Biol 2021 03 14;97:40-57. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Department of Biomedical Engineering (ND20), Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, United States. Electronic address:

Little is known about extracellular matrix (ECM) contributions to formation of the earliest cell lineages in the embryo. Here, we show that the proteoglycan versican and glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan are associated with emerging Flk1 hematoendothelial progenitors at gastrulation. The mouse versican mutant Vcan lacks yolk sac vasculature, with attenuated yolk sac hematopoiesis. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated Vcan inactivation in mouse embryonic stem cells reduced vascular endothelial and hematopoietic differentiation within embryoid bodies, which generated fewer blood colonies, and had an impaired angiogenic response to VEGF. Hyaluronan was severely depleted in Vcan embryos, with corresponding upregulation of the hyaluronan-depolymerase TMEM2. Conversely, hyaluronan-deficient mouse embryos also had vasculogenic suppression but with increased versican proteolysis. VEGF and Indian hedgehog, crucial vasculogenic factors, utilized the versican-hyaluronan matrix, specifically versican chondroitin sulfate chains, for binding. Versican-hyaluronan ECM is thus an obligate requirement for vasculogenesis and primitive hematopoiesis, providing a vasculogenic factor-enriching microniche for Flk1 progenitors from their origin at gastrulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2021.01.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8039968PMC
March 2021

Vascular dimorphism ensured by regulated proteoglycan dynamics favors rapid umbilical artery closure at birth.

Elife 2020 09 10;9. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, United States.

The umbilical artery lumen closes rapidly at birth, preventing neonatal blood loss, whereas the umbilical vein remains patent longer. Here, analysis of umbilical cords from humans and other mammals identified differential arterial-venous proteoglycan dynamics as a determinant of these contrasting vascular responses. The umbilical artery, but not the vein, has an inner layer enriched in the hydrated proteoglycan aggrecan, external to which lie contraction-primed smooth muscle cells (SMC). At birth, SMC contraction drives inner layer buckling and centripetal displacement to occlude the arterial lumen, a mechanism revealed by biomechanical observations and confirmed by computational analyses. This vascular dimorphism arises from spatially regulated proteoglycan expression and breakdown. Mice lacking aggrecan or the metalloprotease ADAMTS1, which degrades proteoglycans, demonstrate their opposing roles in umbilical vascular dimorphism, including effects on SMC differentiation. Umbilical vessel dimorphism is conserved in mammals, suggesting that differential proteoglycan dynamics and inner layer buckling were positively selected during evolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.60683DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7529456PMC
September 2020

A disintegrin-like and metalloproteinase domain with thrombospondin type 1 motif 9 (ADAMTS9) regulates fibronectin fibrillogenesis and turnover.

J Biol Chem 2019 06 13;294(25):9924-9936. Epub 2019 May 13.

From the Department of Biomedical Engineering and

The secreted metalloprotease ADAMTS9 has dual roles in extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover and biogenesis of the primary cilium during mouse embryogenesis. Its gene locus is associated with several human traits and disorders, but ADAMTS9 has few known interacting partners or confirmed substrates. Here, using a yeast two-hybrid screen for proteins interacting with its C-terminal Gon1 domain, we identified three putative ADAMTS9-binding regions in the ECM glycoprotein fibronectin. Using solid-phase binding assays and surface plasmon resonance experiments with purified proteins, we demonstrate that ADAMTS9 and fibronectin interact. ADAMTS9 constructs, including those lacking Gon1, co-localized with fibronectin fibrils formed by cultured fibroblasts lacking fibrillin-1, which co-localizes with fibronectin and binds several ADAMTSs. We observed no fibrillar ADAMTS9 staining after blockade of fibroblast fibronectin fibrillogenesis with a peptide based on the functional upstream domain of a adhesin. These findings indicate that ADAMTS9 binds fibronectin dimers and fibrils directly through multiple sites in both molecules. Proteolytically active ADAMTS9, but not a catalytically inactive variant, disrupted fibronectin fibril networks formed by fibroblasts , and ADAMTS9-deficient RPE1 cells assembled a robust fibronectin fibril network, unlike WT cells. Targeted LC-MS analysis of fibronectin digested by ADAMTS9-expressing cells identified a semitryptic peptide arising from cleavage at Gly-Leu We noted that this scissile bond is in the linker between fibronectin modules III17 and I10, a region targeted also by other proteases. These findings, along with stronger fibronectin staining previously observed in mutant embryos, suggest that ADAMTS9 contributes to fibronectin turnover during ECM remodeling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA118.006479DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6597835PMC
June 2019

Secreted metalloproteases ADAMTS9 and ADAMTS20 have a non-canonical role in ciliary vesicle growth during ciliogenesis.

Nat Commun 2019 02 27;10(1):953. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

Department of Biomedical Engineering- ND20, Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, OH, 44195, USA.

Although hundreds of cytosolic or transmembrane molecules form the primary cilium, few secreted molecules are known to contribute to ciliogenesis. Here, homologous secreted metalloproteases ADAMTS9 and ADAMTS20 are identified as ciliogenesis regulators that act intracellularly. Secreted and furin-processed ADAMTS9 bound heparan sulfate and was internalized by LRP1, LRP2 and clathrin-mediated endocytosis to be gathered in Rab11 vesicles with a unique periciliary localization defined by super-resolution microscopy. CRISPR-Cas9 inactivation of ADAMTS9 impaired ciliogenesis in RPE-1 cells, which was restored by catalytically active ADAMTS9 or ADAMTS20 acting in trans, but not by their proteolytically inactive mutants. Their mutagenesis in mice impaired neural and yolk sac ciliogenesis, leading to morphogenetic anomalies resulting from impaired hedgehog signaling, which is transduced by primary cilia. In addition to their cognate extracellular proteolytic activity, ADAMTS9 and ADAMTS20 thus have an additional proteolytic role intracellularly, revealing an unexpected regulatory dimension in ciliogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08520-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6393521PMC
February 2019

Mutations of ADAMTS9 Cause Nephronophthisis-Related Ciliopathy.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 01;104(1):45-54

Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:

Nephronophthisis-related ciliopathies (NPHP-RCs) are a group of inherited diseases that are associated with defects in primary cilium structure and function. To identify genes mutated in NPHP-RC, we performed homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing for >100 individuals, some of whom were single affected individuals born to consanguineous parents and some of whom were siblings of indexes who were also affected by NPHP-RC. We then performed high-throughput exon sequencing in a worldwide cohort of 800 additional families affected by NPHP-RC. We identified two ADAMTS9 mutations (c.4575_4576del [p.Gln1525Hisfs60] and c.194C>G [p.Thr65Arg]) that appear to cause NPHP-RC. Although ADAMTS9 is known to be a secreted extracellular metalloproteinase, we found that ADAMTS9 localized near the basal bodies of primary cilia in the cytoplasm. Heterologously expressed wild-type ADAMTS9, in contrast to mutant proteins detected in individuals with NPHP-RC, localized to the vicinity of the basal body. Loss of ADAMTS9 resulted in shortened cilia and defective sonic hedgehog signaling. Knockout of Adamts9 in IMCD3 cells, followed by spheroid induction, resulted in defective lumen formation, which was rescued by an overexpression of wild-type, but not of mutant, ADAMTS9. Knockdown of adamts9 in zebrafish recapitulated NPHP-RC phenotypes, including renal cysts and hydrocephalus. These findings suggest that the identified mutations in ADAMTS9 cause NPHP-RC and that ADAMTS9 is required for the formation and function of primary cilia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.11.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6323550PMC
January 2019

Stromal Versican Regulates Tumor Growth by Promoting Angiogenesis.

Sci Rep 2017 12 8;7(1):17225. Epub 2017 Dec 8.

Department of Medical Technology, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Okayama University, 2-5-1, Shikata-cho, Okayama, Japan.

The proteoglycan versican is implicated in growth and metastases of several cancers. Here we investigated a potential contribution of stromal versican to tumor growth and angiogenesis. We initially determined versican expression by several cancer cell lines. Among these, MDA-MB231 and B16F10 had none to minimal expression in contrast to Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC). Notably, tumors arising from these cell lines had higher versican levels than the cell lines themselves suggesting a contribution from the host-derived tumor stroma. In LLC-derived tumors, both the tumor and stroma expressed versican at high levels. Thus, tumor stroma can make a significant contribution to tumor versican content. Versican localized preferentially to the vicinity of tumor vasculature and macrophages in the tumor. However, an ADAMTS protease-generated versican fragment uniquely localized to vascular endothelium. To specifically determine the impact of host/stroma-derived versican we therefore compared growth of tumors from B16F10 cells, which produced littleversican, in Vcan mice and wild-type littermates. Tumors in Vcan mice had reduced growth with a lower capillary density and accumulation of capillaries at the tumor periphery. These findings illustrate the variability of tumor cell line expression of versican, and demonstrate that versican is consistently contributed by the stromal tissue, where it contributes to tumor angiogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-17613-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5722896PMC
December 2017

Genetic and biochemical evidence that gastrulation defects in Pofut2 mutants result from defects in ADAMTS9 secretion.

Dev Biol 2016 08 10;416(1):111-122. Epub 2016 Jun 10.

Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, United States. Electronic address:

Protein O-fucosyltransferase 2 (POFUT2) adds O-linked fucose to Thrombospondin Type 1 Repeats (TSR) in 49 potential target proteins. Nearly half the POFUT2 targets belong to the A Disintegrin and Metalloprotease with ThromboSpondin type-1 motifs (ADAMTS) or ADAMTS-like family of proteins. Both the mouse Pofut2 RST434 gene trap allele and the Adamts9 knockout were reported to result in early embryonic lethality, suggesting that defects in Pofut2 mutant embryos could result from loss of O-fucosylation on ADAMTS9. To address this question, we compared the Pofut2 and Adamts9 knockout phenotypes and used Cre-mediated deletion of Pofut2 and Adamts9 to dissect the tissue-specific role of O-fucosylated ADAMTS9 during gastrulation. Disruption of Pofut2 using the knockout (LoxP) or gene trap (RST434) allele, as well as deletion of Adamts9, resulted in disorganized epithelia (epiblast, extraembryonic ectoderm, and visceral endoderm) and blocked mesoderm formation during gastrulation. The similarity between Pofut2 and Adamts9 mutants suggested that disruption of ADAMTS9 function could be responsible for the gastrulation defects observed in Pofut2 mutants. Consistent with this prediction, CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of POFUT2 in HEK293T cells blocked secretion of ADAMTS9. We determined that Adamts9 was dynamically expressed during mouse gastrulation by trophoblast giant cells, parietal endoderm, the most proximal visceral endoderm adjacent to the ectoplacental cone, extraembryonic mesoderm, and anterior primitive streak. Conditional deletion of either Pofut2 or Adamts9 in the epiblast rescues the gastrulation defects, and identified a new role for O-fucosylated ADAMTS9 during morphogenesis of the amnion and axial mesendoderm. Combined, these results suggested that loss of ADAMTS9 function in the extra embryonic tissue is responsible for gastrulation defects in the Pofut2 knockout. We hypothesize that loss of ADAMTS9 function in the most proximal visceral endoderm leads to slippage of the visceral endoderm and altered characteristics of the extraembryonic ectoderm. Consequently, loss of input from the extraembryonic ectoderm and/or compression of the epiblast by Reichert's membrane blocks gastrulation. In the future, the Pofut2 and Adamts9 knockouts will be valuable tools for understanding how local changes in the properties of the extracellular matrix influence the organization of tissues during mammalian development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.05.038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5572823PMC
August 2016

ADAMTS9-Mediated Extracellular Matrix Dynamics Regulates Umbilical Cord Vascular Smooth Muscle Differentiation and Rotation.

Cell Rep 2015 Jun 28;11(10):1519-28. Epub 2015 May 28.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. Electronic address:

Despite the significance for fetal nourishment in mammals, mechanisms of umbilical cord vascular growth remain poorly understood. Here, the secreted metalloprotease ADAMTS9 is shown to be necessary for murine umbilical cord vascular development. Restricting it to the cell surface using a gene trap allele, Adamts9(Gt), impaired umbilical vessel elongation and radial growth via reduced versican proteolysis and accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM). Both Adamts9(Gt) and conditional Adamts9 deletion revealed that ADAMTS9 produced by mesenchymal cells acted non-autonomously to regulate smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation, differentiation, and orthogonal reorientation during growth of the umbilical vasculature. In Adamts9(Gt/Gt), we observed interference with PDGFRβ signaling via the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MAPK/ERK) pathway, which regulates cytoskeletal dynamics during SMC rotation. In addition, we observed disrupted Shh signaling and perturbed orientation of the mesenchymal primary cilium. Thus, ECM dynamics is a major influence on umbilical vascular SMC fate, with ADAMTS9 acting as its principal mediator.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2015.05.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4472575PMC
June 2015

The multiple, complex roles of versican and its proteolytic turnover by ADAMTS proteases during embryogenesis.

Matrix Biol 2014 Apr 18;35:34-41. Epub 2014 Jan 18.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. Electronic address:

Embryonic development is an exceptionally dynamic process, requiring a provisional extracellular matrix that is amenable to rapid remodeling, and proteolytic or non-proteolytic mechanisms that can remodel the major components of this matrix. Versican is a chondroitin-sulfate proteoglycan that forms highly hydrated complexes with hyaluronan and is widely distributed in the provisional matrix of mammalian embryos. It has been extensively studied in the context of cardiovascular morphogenesis, neural crest cell migration and skeletal development. Analysis of Vcan transgenic mice has established the requirement for versican in cardiac development and its role in skeletogenesis. The ADAMTS family includes several versican-degrading proteases that are active during remodeling of the embryonic provisional matrix, especially during sculpting of versican-rich tissues. Versican is cleaved at specific peptide bonds by ADAMTS proteases, and the cleavage products are detectable by neo-epitope antibodies. Myocardial compaction, closure of the secondary palate (in which neural crest derived cells participate), endocardial cushion remodeling, myogenesis and interdigital web regression are developmental contexts in which ADAMTS-mediated versican proteolysis has been identified as a crucial requirement. ADAMTS proteases are expressed coordinately and function cooperatively in many of these contexts. In addition to versican clearance, ADAMTS proteases generate a bioactive versican fragment containing the N-terminal G1 domain, which we have named versikine. This review promotes the view that the embryonic extracellular matrix has evolved not only to provide a permissive environment for embryo growth and morphogenesis, but through its dissolution to influence and regulate cellular processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2014.01.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5525047PMC
April 2014

Regulation of classical cadherin membrane expression and F-actin assembly by alpha-catenins, during Xenopus embryogenesis.

PLoS One 2012 13;7(6):e38756. Epub 2012 Jun 13.

Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America.

Alpha (α)-E-catenin is a component of the cadherin complex, and has long been thought to provide a link between cell surface cadherins and the actin skeleton. More recently, it has also been implicated in mechano-sensing, and in the control of tissue size. Here we use the early Xenopus embryos to explore functional differences between two α-catenin family members, α-E- and α-N-catenin, and their interactions with the different classical cadherins that appear as tissues of the embryo become segregated from each other. We show that they play both cadherin-specific and context-specific roles in the emerging tissues of the embryo. α-E-catenin interacts with both C- and E-cadherin. It is specifically required for junctional localization of C-cadherin, but not of E-cadherin or N-cadherin at the neurula stage. α-N-cadherin interacts only with, and is specifically required for junctional localization of, N-cadherin. In addition, α -E-catenin is essential for normal tissue size control in the non-neural ectoderm, but not in the neural ectoderm or the blastula. We also show context specificity in cadherin/ α-catenin interactions. E-cadherin requires α-E-catenin for junctional localization in some tissues, but not in others, during early development. These specific functional cadherin/alpha-catenin interactions may explain the basis of cadherin specificity of actin assembly and morphogenetic movements seen previously in the neural and non-neural ectoderm.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0038756PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3374811PMC
December 2012

Nectin-2 and N-cadherin interact through extracellular domains and induce apical accumulation of F-actin in apical constriction of Xenopus neural tube morphogenesis.

Development 2010 Apr;137(8):1315-25

Department of Basic Biology, School of Life Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Shonan Village, Hayama, Kanagawa, Japan.

Neural tube formation is one of the most dynamic morphogenetic processes of vertebrate development. However, the molecules regulating its initiation are mostly unknown. Here, we demonstrated that nectin-2, an immunoglobulin-like cell adhesion molecule, is involved in the neurulation of Xenopus embryos in cooperation with N-cadherin. First, we found that, at the beginning of neurulation, nectin-2 was strongly expressed in the superficial cells of neuroepithelium. The knockdown of nectin-2 impaired neural fold formation by attenuating F-actin accumulation and apical constriction, a cell-shape change that is required for neural tube folding. Conversely, the overexpression of nectin-2 in non-neural ectoderm induced ectopic apical constrictions with accumulated F-actin. However, experiments with domain-deleted nectin-2 revealed that the intracellular afadin-binding motif, which links nectin-2 and F-actin, was not required for the generation of the ectopic apical constriction. Furthermore, we found that nectin-2 physically interacts with N-cadherin through extracellular domains, and they cooperatively enhanced apical constriction by driving the accumulation of F-actin at the apical cell surface. Interestingly, the accumulation of N-cadherin at the apical surface of neuroepithelium was dependent on the presence of nectin-2, but that of nectin-2 was not affected by depletion of N-cadherin. We propose a novel mechanism of neural tube morphogenesis regulated by the two types of cell adhesion molecules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.043190DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2847467PMC
April 2010

N- and E-cadherins in Xenopus are specifically required in the neural and non-neural ectoderm, respectively, for F-actin assembly and morphogenetic movements.

Development 2009 Apr 11;136(8):1327-38. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.

Transmembrane cadherins are calcium-dependent intercellular adhesion molecules. Recently, they have also been shown to be sites of actin assembly during adhesive contact formation. However, the roles of actin assembly on transmembrane cadherins during development are not fully understood. We show here, using the developing ectoderm of the Xenopus embryo as a model, that F-actin assembly is a primary function of both N-cadherin in the neural ectoderm and E-cadherin in the non-neural (epidermal) ectoderm, and that each cadherin is essential for the characteristic morphogenetic movements of these two tissues. However, depletion of N-cadherin and E-cadherin did not cause dissociation in these tissues at the neurula stage, probably owing to the expression of C-cadherin in each tissue. Depletion of each of these cadherins is not rescued by the other, nor by the expression of C-cadherin, which is expressed in both tissues. One possible reason for this is that each cadherin is expressed in a different domain of the cell membrane. These data indicate the combinatorial nature of cadherin function, the fact that N- and E-cadherin play primary roles in F-actin assembly in addition to roles in cell adhesion, and that this function is specific to individual cadherins. They also show how cell adhesion and motility can be combined in morphogenetic tissue movements that generate the form and shape of the embryonic organs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.031203DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2687464PMC
April 2009

G-protein-coupled signals control cortical actin assembly by controlling cadherin expression in the early Xenopus embryo.

Development 2007 Jul 13;134(14):2651-61. Epub 2007 Jun 13.

Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Division of Developmental Biology, and Molecular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, OH 45219, USA.

During embryonic development, each cell of a multicellular organ rudiment polymerizes its cytoskeletal elements in an amount and pattern that gives the whole cellular population its characteristic shape and mechanical properties. How does each cell know how to do this? We have used the Xenopus blastula as a model system to study this problem. Previous work has shown that the cortical actin network is required to maintain shape and rigidity of the whole embryo, and its assembly is coordinated throughout the embryo by signaling through G-protein-coupled receptors. In this paper, we show that the cortical actin network colocalizes with foci of cadherin expressed on the cell surface. We then show that cell-surface cadherin expression is both necessary and sufficient for cortical actin assembly and requires the associated catenin p120 for this function. Finally, we show that the previously identified G-protein-coupled receptors control cortical actin assembly by controlling the amount of cadherin expressed on the cell surface. This identifies a novel mechanism for control of cortical actin assembly during development that might be shared by many multicellular arrays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.002824DOI Listing
July 2007
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