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Catenin-dependent cadherin function drives divisional segregation of spinal motor neurons

Bello, SM; Millo, H; Rajebhosale, M; Price, SR; (2012) Catenin-dependent cadherin function drives divisional segregation of spinal motor neurons. Journal of Neuroscience , 32 (2) 490 - 505. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4382-11.2012. Green open access

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Abstract

Motor neurons that control limb movements are organized as a neuronal nucleus in the developing ventral horn of the spinal cord called the lateral motor column. Neuronal migration segregates motor neurons into distinct lateral and medial divisions within the lateral motor column that project axons to dorsal or ventral limb targets, respectively. This migratory phase is followed by an aggregation phase whereby motor neurons within a division that project to the same muscle cluster together. These later phases of motor neuron organization depend on limb-regulated differential cadherin expression within motor neurons. Initially, all motor neurons display the same cadherin expression profile, which coincides with the migratory phase of motor neuron segregation. Here, we show that this early, pan-motor neuron cadherin function drives the divisional segregation of spinal motor neurons in the chicken embryo by controlling motor neuron migration. We manipulated pan-motor neuron cadherin function through dissociation of cadherin binding to their intracellular partners. We found that of the major intracellular transducers of cadherin signaling, γ-catenin and α-catenin predominate in the lateral motor column. In vivo manipulations that uncouple cadherin-catenin binding disrupt divisional segregation via deficits in motor neuron migration. Additionally, reduction of the expression of cadherin-7, a cadherin predominantly expressed in motor neurons only during their migration, also perturbs divisional segregation. Our results show that γ-catenin-dependent cadherin function is required for spinal motor neuron migration and divisional segregation and suggest a prolonged role for cadherin expression in all phases of motor neuron organization.

Type: Article
Title: Catenin-dependent cadherin function drives divisional segregation of spinal motor neurons
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4382-11.2012
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4382-11.2012
Language: English
Additional information: Available for re-use under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses PMCID: PMC3292792
Keywords: Animals, Body Patterning, Cadherins, Cell Movement, Chick Embryo, Chickens, Female, Male, Motor Neurons, Spinal Cord, alpha Catenin, gamma Catenin
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1336178
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