XB-ART-670Dev Dyn April 1, 2006; 235 (4): 1090-9.
Migrating anterior mesoderm cells and intercalating trunk mesoderm cells have distinct responses to Rho and Rac during Xenopus gastrulation.
Rho GTPases have been shown recently to be important for cell polarity and motility of the trunk mesoderm during gastrulation in Xenopus embryos. This work demonstrated that Rho and Rac have both distinct and overlapping roles in regulating cell shape, and the dynamic properties, polarity, and type of protrusive activity of these cells. Overexpression of activated or inhibitory versions of these GTPases also disrupts development of the head in Xenopus embryos. In this study, we have undertaken a detailed analysis of Rho and Rac function in migrating anterior mesendoderm cells. Scanning electron micrographs of these cells in situ revealed that their normal shingle arrangement is disrupted and both the cells and their lamellipodia are disoriented. Anterior mesendoderm explants plated on their natural blastocoel roof matrix, however, still migrated towards the animal pole, although the tendency to move in this direction is reduced compared to controls. Analysis of a number of parameters in time-lapse recordings of dissociated cells indicated that Rho and Rac also have both distinct and overlapping roles in the motility of the prospective head mesoderm; however, their effects differ to those previously seen in the trunk mesoderm. Both GTPases appear to modulate cell polarization, migration, and protrusive activity. Rho alone, however, regulates the retraction of the lagging edge of the cell. We propose that within the gastrulating Xenopus embryo, two types of mesoderm cells that undergo different motilities have distinct responses to Rho GTPases.
PubMed ID: 16493692
PMC ID: PMC2564620
Article link: Dev Dyn
Genes referenced: akt1 rac1 rho rho.2