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Development 2015 Oct 01;14219:3351-61. doi: 10.1242/dev.124438.
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The small leucine-rich repeat secreted protein Asporin induces eyes in Xenopus embryos through the IGF signalling pathway.

Luehders K , Sasai N , Davaapil H , Kurosawa-Yoshida M , Hiura H , Brah T , Ohnuma S .

Small leucine-rich repeat proteoglycan (SLRP) family proteins play important roles in a number of biological events. Here, we demonstrate that the SLRP family member Asporin (ASPN) plays a crucial role in the early stages of eye development in Xenopus embryos. During embryogenesis, ASPN is broadly expressed in the neuroectoderm of the embryo. Overexpression of ASPN causes the induction of ectopic eyes. By contrast, blocking ASPN function with a morpholino oligonucleotide (ASPN-MO) inhibits eye formation, indicating that ASPN is an essential factor for eye development. Detailed molecular analyses revealed that ASPN interacts with insulin growth factor receptor (IGFR) and is essential for activating the IGF receptor-mediated intracellular signalling pathway. Moreover, ASPN perturbed the Wnt, BMP and Activin signalling pathways, suggesting that ASPN thereby creates a favourable environment in which the IGF signal can dominate. ASPN is thus a novel secreted molecule essential for eye induction through the coordination of multiple signalling pathways.

PubMed ID: 26443635
Article link: Development

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: aspn babam2 bmp4 bmpr1a chrd dcn egr2 en2 foxg1 fzd4 igf1r igf2 ins mapk1 myc nodal nodal1 nodal3.2 otx2 pax6 rax six3 six6 tbxt wnt8a
Morpholinos: aspn MO1 aspn MO2 aspn MO3

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