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Development 2009 Feb 01;1364:575-84. doi: 10.1242/dev.027334.
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A role for Syndecan-4 in neural induction involving ERK- and PKC-dependent pathways.

Syndecan-4 (Syn4) is a heparan sulphate proteoglycan that is able to bind to some growth factors, including FGF, and can control cell migration. Here we describe a new role for Syn4 in neural induction in Xenopus. Syn4 is expressed in dorsal ectoderm and becomes restricted to the neural plate. Knockdown with antisense morpholino oligonucleotides reveals that Syn4 is required for the expression of neural markers in the neural plate and in neuralised animal caps. Injection of Syn4 mRNA induces the cell-autonomous expression of neural, but not mesodermal, markers. We show that two parallel pathways are involved in the neuralising activity of Syn4: FGF/ERK, which is sensitive to dominant-negative FGF receptor and to the inhibitors SU5402 and U0126, and a PKC pathway, which is dependent on the intracellular domain of Syn4. Neural induction by Syn4 through the PKC pathway requires inhibition of PKCdelta and activation of PKCalpha. We show that PKCalpha inhibits Rac GTPase and that c-Jun is a target of Rac. These findings might account for previous reports implicating PKC in neural induction and allow us to propose a link between FGF and PKC signalling pathways during neural induction.

PubMed ID: 19144724
PMC ID: PMC2685954
Article link: Development
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: akt1 cdk20 chrd.1 fgf2 fos gal.2 jun krt12.4 mapk1 myod1 ncam1 nrp1 otx2 prkca prkcd rac1 sdc4 sox2 sox3 tbxt
Morpholinos: sdc4 MO1 sdc4 MO2

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Alvarez, Neural induction in whole chick embryo cultures by FGF. 1998, Pubmed, Xenbase