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Genesis October 31, 2017;

Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (DSCAM) is important for early development in Xenopus tropicalis.

The Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (DSCAM) is an Ig containing cell adhesion molecule with remarkable structural conservation throughout metazoans. In insects, DSCAM has 38,000 potential isoforms that convey axon guidance, fasciculation and dendrite morphogenesis during neurodevelopment. In vertebrates, DSCAM is expressed throughout the nervous system and seems to also mediate proper axonal guidance and synaptogenesis without the isoform diversity found in insects. Differences in DSCAM function among several vertebrate species complicate the understanding of an evolutionarily conserved role during embryogenesis. We take advantage of the frog developmental model Xenopus tropicalis to study DSCAM function in early development by expression analysis and morpholino-mediated knockdown. Our results indicate that DSCAM is expressed early in development and restricted to the head and nervous system. Knockdown of protein expression results in early morphogenetic phenotypes characterized by failed gastrulation and improper posterior neural tube closure. Our results reveal a specific, fundamental role of DSCAM in early morphogenetic movements, presumably through its well-known role in homophilic cell adhesion. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PubMed ID: 25088188
Article link: Genesis

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis
Genes referenced: dscam
GO keywords: gastrulation with mouth forming second [+]
Antibodies: Acta1 Ab3 Dscam Ab1

Disease Ontology terms: Down syndrome

Article Images: [+] show captions