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Mech Dev 2015 Nov 01;138 Pt 3:305-12. doi: 10.1016/j.mod.2015.08.008.
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NF2/Merlin is required for the axial pattern formation in the Xenopus laevis embryo.

Zhu X , Min Z , Tan R , Tao Q .

The NF2 gene product Merlin is a FERM-domain protein possessing a broad tumor-suppressing function. NF2/Merlin has been implicated in regulating multiple signaling pathways critical for cell growth and survival. However, it remains unknown whether NF2/Merlin regulates Wnt/β-catenin signaling during vertebrate embryogenesis. Here we demonstrate that NF2/Merlin is required for body pattern formation in the Xenopus laevis embryo. Depletion of the maternal NF2/Merlin enhances organizer gene expression dependent on the presence of β-catenin, and causes dorsanteriorized development; Morpholino antisense oligo-mediated knockdown of the zygotic NF2/Merlin shifts posterior genes anteriorwards and reduces the anterior development. We further demonstrate that targeted depletion of NF2 in the presumptive dorsal tissues increases the levels of nuclear β-catenin in the neural epithelial cells. Biochemical analyses reveal that NF2 depletion promotes the production of active β-catenin and concurrently decreases the level of N-terminally phosphorylated β-catenin under the stimulation of the endogenous Wnt signaling. Our findings suggest that NF2/Merlin negatively regulates the Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity during the pattern formation in early X. laevis embryos.

PubMed ID: 26344136
Article link: Mech Dev

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: chrd.1 ctnnb1 egr2 en2 gsc hoxb9 hoxc9-like nf2 nodal3.1 odc1 rax sia1 six3
GO keywords: axis specification [+]
Antibodies: Ctnnb1 Ab3 Ctnnb1 Ab7 Ctnnb1 Ab9 Nf2 Ab1
Morpholinos: Nf2 MO1 Nf2 MO2

Disease Ontology terms: neurofibromatosis
Phenotypes: Xla Wt + Nf2 MO (fig.3.c) [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions