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Development January 1, 2021; 148 (10):

Kindlin2 regulates neural crest specification via integrin-independent regulation of the FGF signaling pathway.

Wang H , Wang C , Long Q , Zhang Y , Wang M , Liu J , Qi X , Cai D , Lu G , Sun J , Yao YG , Chan WY , Chan WY , Deng Y , Zhao H .

The focal adhesion protein Kindlin2 is essential for integrin activation, a process that is fundamental to cell-extracellular matrix adhesion. Kindlin 2 (Fermt2) is widely expressed in mouse embryos, and its absence causes lethality at the peri-implantation stage due to the failure to trigger integrin activation. The function of kindlin2 during embryogenesis has not yet been fully elucidated as a result of this early embryonic lethality. Here, we showed that kindlin2 is essential for neural crest (NC) formation in Xenopus embryos. Loss-of-function assays performed with kindlin2-specific morpholino antisense oligos (MOs) or with CRISPR/Cas9 techniques in Xenopus embryos severely inhibit the specification of the NC. Moreover, integrin-binding-deficient mutants of Kindlin2 rescued the phenotype caused by loss of kindlin2, suggesting that the function of kindlin2 during NC specification is independent of integrins. Mechanistically, we found that Kindlin2 regulates the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) pathway, and promotes the stability of FGF receptor 1. Our study reveals a novel function of Kindlin2 in regulating the FGF signaling pathway and provides mechanistic insights into the function of Kindlin2 during NC specification.

PubMed ID: 33999995
Article link: Development

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: chrd.1 fermt2 fgfr1 foxd3 myc snai2 sox9 wnt3a
GO keywords: neural crest cell fate determination [+]
Morpholinos: fermt2 MO2 fermt2 MO3