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Open Biol 2021 Aug 01;118:210065. doi: 10.1098/rsob.210065.
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Conserved role of the urotensin II receptor 4 signalling pathway to control body straightness in a tetrapod.

Alejevski F , Leemans M , Gaillard AL , Leistenschneider D , de Flori C , Bougerol M , Le Mével S , Herrel A , Fini JB , Pézeron G , Tostivint H .

Urp1 and Urp2 are two neuropeptides of the urotensin II family identified in teleost fish and mainly expressed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-contacting neurons. It has been recently proposed that Urp1 and Urp2 are required for correct axis formation and maintenance. Their action is thought to be mediated by the receptor Uts2r3, which is specifically expressed in dorsal somites. In support of this view, it has been demonstrated that the loss of uts2r3 results in severe scoliosis in adult zebrafish. In the present study, we report for the first time the occurrence of urp2, but not of urp1, in two tetrapod species of the Xenopus genus. In X. laevis, we show that urp2 mRNA-containing cells are CSF-contacting neurons. Furthermore, we identified utr4, the X. laevis counterparts of zebrafish uts2r3, and we demonstrate that, as in zebrafish, it is expressed in the dorsal somatic musculature. Finally, we reveal that, in X. laevis, the disruption of utr4 results in an abnormal curvature of the antero-posterior axis of the tadpoles. Taken together, our results suggest that the role of the Utr4 signalling pathway in the control of body straightness is an ancestral feature of bony vertebrates and not just a peculiarity of ray-finned fishes.

PubMed ID: 34375549
PMC ID: PMC8354755
Article link: Open Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: pkd2l1 psmd6 rps13 sub1 uts2r uts2rl3 zrsr2
gRNAs referenced: uts2rl3 gRNA 1 uts2rl3 gRNA 2

Disease Ontology terms: idiopathic scoliosis
Phenotypes: Xla Wt + uts2rl3 CRISPR (Fig. 10 a c) [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Almagro Armenteros, SignalP 5.0 improves signal peptide predictions using deep neural networks. 2019, Pubmed