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Cell Rep March 28, 2013; 3 (3): 615-21.
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Calponin 2 acts as an effector of noncanonical Wnt-mediated cell polarization during neural crest cell migration.

Ulmer B , Hagenlocher C , Schmalholz S , Kurz S , Schweickert A , Kohl A , Roth L , Sela-Donenfeld D , Blum M .

Neural crest cells (NCCs) migrate throughout the embryo to differentiate into cell types of all germ layers. Initial directed NCC emigration relies on planar cell polarity (PCP), which through the activity of the small GTPases RhoA and Rac governs the actin-driven formation of polarized cell protrusions. We found that the actin binding protein calponin 2 (Cnn2) was expressed in protrusions at the leading edge of migratory NCCs in chicks and frogs. Cnn2 knockdown resulted in NCC migration defects in frogs and chicks and randomized outgrowth of cell protrusions in NCC explants. Morphant cells showed central stress fibers at the expense of the peripheral actin network. Cnn2 acted downstream of Wnt/PCP, as migration defects induced by dominant-negative Wnt11 or inhibition of RhoA function were rescued by Cnn2 knockdown. These results suggest that Cnn2 modulates actin dynamics during NCC migration as an effector of noncanonical Wnt/PCP signaling.

PubMed ID: 23499442
Article link: Cell Rep

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: acta4 actl6a akt1 b3gat1l cnn2 egr2 myc rac1 rhoa slc12a3 snai1 snai2 twist1 wnt11

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