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Mol Biol Cell August 15, 2011; 22 (16): 2957-69.

Dystroglycan is involved in skin morphogenesis downstream of the Notch signaling pathway.

Sirour C , Hidalgo M , Bello V , Buisson N , Darribère T , Moreau N .

Dystroglycan (Dg) is a transmembrane protein involved both in the assembly and maintenance of basement membrane structures essential for tissue morphogenesis, and the transmission of signals across the plasma membrane. We used a morpholino knockdown approach to investigate the function of Dg during Xenopus laevis skin morphogenesis. The loss of Dg disrupts epidermal differentiation by affecting the intercalation of multiciliated cells, deposition of laminin, and organization of fibronectin in the extracellular matrix (ECM). Depletion of Dg also affects cell-cell adhesion, as shown by the reduction of E-cadherin expression at the intercellular contacts, without affecting the distribution of β(1) integrins. This was associated with a decrease of cell proliferation, a disruption of multiciliated-cell intercalation, and the down-regulation of the transcription factor P63, a marker of differentiated epidermis. In addition, we demonstrated that inhibition or activation of the Notch pathway prevents and promotes transcription of X-dg. Our study showed for the first time in vivo that Dg, in addition to organizing laminin in the ECM, also acts as a key signaling component in the Notch pathway.

PubMed ID: 21680717
PMC ID: PMC3154890
Article link: Mol Biol Cell

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: cdh1 dag1 fn1 gnl3 notch1 odc1 tbx2 tjp1 tp63
Morpholinos: dag1 MO1 dag1 MO2

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References [+] :
Bakkers, Zebrafish DeltaNp63 is a direct target of Bmp signaling and encodes a transcriptional repressor blocking neural specification in the ventral ectoderm. 2002, Pubmed