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PLoS One 2012 Jan 01;74:e34342. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034342.
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Plakophilin-3 is required for late embryonic amphibian development, exhibiting roles in ectodermal and neural tissues.

Munoz WA , Kloc M , Cho K , Lee M , Hofmann I , Sater A , Vleminckx K , McCrea PD .

The p120-catenin family has undergone a significant expansion during the evolution of vertebrates, resulting in varied functions that have yet to be discerned or fully characterized. Likewise, members of the plakophilins, a related catenin subfamily, are found throughout the cell with little known about their functions outside the desmosomal plaque. While the plakophilin-3 (Pkp3) knockout mouse resulted in skin defects, we find larger, including lethal effects following its depletion in Xenopus. Pkp3, unlike some other characterized catenins in amphibians, does not have significant maternal deposits of mRNA. However, during embryogenesis, two Pkp3 protein products whose temporal expression is partially complimentary become expressed. Only the smaller of these products is found in adult Xenopus tissues, with an expression pattern exhibiting distinctions as well as overlaps with those observed in mammalian studies. We determined that Xenopus Pkp3 depletion causes a skin fragility phenotype in keeping with the mouse knockout, but more novel, Xenopus tailbud embryos are hyposensitive to touch even in embryos lacking outward discernable phenotypes, and we additionally resolved disruptions in certain peripheral neural structures, altered establishment and migration of neural crest, and defects in ectodermal multiciliated cells. The use of two distinct morpholinos, as well as rescue approaches, indicated the specificity of these effects. Our results point to the requirement of Pkp3 in amphibian embryogenesis, with functional roles in a number of tissue types.

PubMed ID: 22496792
PMC ID: PMC3320641
Article link: PLoS One
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ctnnd1 foxd3 myc pkp2 pkp3 tuba4b twist1
Morpholinos: pkp3 MO1 pkp3 MO2

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Achtstätter, Cytokeratin filaments and desmosomes in the epithelioid cells of the perineurial and arachnoidal sheaths of some vertebrate species. 1989, Pubmed, Xenbase