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J Cell Sci April 15, 2012; 125 (Pt 8): 1877-83.
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Cadherin-dependent differential cell adhesion in Xenopus causes cell sorting in vitro but not in the embryo.

Ninomiya H , David R , Damm EW , Fagotto F , Niessen CM , Winklbauer R .

Adhesion differences between cell populations are in principle a source of strong morphogenetic forces promoting cell sorting, boundary formation and tissue positioning, and cadherins are main mediators of cell adhesion. However, a direct link between cadherin expression, differential adhesion and morphogenesis has not yet been determined for a specific process in vivo. To identify such a connection, we modulated the expression of C-cadherin in the Xenopus laevis gastrula, and combined this with direct measurements of cell adhesion-related parameters. Our results show that gastrulation is surprisingly tolerant of overall changes in adhesion. Also, as expected, experimentally generated, cadherin-based adhesion differences promote cell sorting in vitro. Importantly, however, such differences do not lead to the sorting of cells in the embryo, showing that differential adhesion is not sufficient to drive morphogenesis in this system. Compensatory recruitment of cadherin protein to contacts between cadherin-deprived and -overexpressing cells could contribute to the prevention of sorting in vivo.

PubMed ID: 22328523
Article link: J Cell Sci
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: acta1 actl6a cad cald1 cdh1 cdh11 cdh3 ctnnb1 foxa4 gsc myod1 pcdh8.2 tbxt
Antibodies: Cdh3 Ab1 Ctnnb1 Ab2 Myod1 Ab1
Morpholinos: cdh3 MO1 ctnnb1 MO1

Phenotypes: Xla Wt + cdh3 (fig.4.e, e^1, e^2) [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions