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J Cell Sci 2007 Aug 01;120Pt 15:2641-51. doi: 10.1242/jcs.004556.
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Regulation of otic vesicle and hair cell stereocilia morphogenesis by Ena/VASP-like (Evl) in Xenopus.

Wanner SJ , Miller JR .

The inner ear is derived from a thickening in the embryonic ectoderm, called the otic placode. This structure undergoes extensive morphogenetic movements throughout its development and gives rise to all components of the inner ear. Ena/VASP-like (Evl) is an actin binding protein involved in the regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics and organization. We have examined the role of Evl during the morphogenesis of the Xenopus inner ear. Evl (hereafter referred to as Xevl) is expressed throughout otic vesicle formation and is enriched in the neuroblasts that delaminate to form the vestibulocochlear ganglion and in hair cells that possess mechanosensory stereocilia. Knockdown of Xevl perturbs epithelial morphology and intercellular adhesion in the otic vesicle and disrupts formation of the vestibulocochlear ganglion, evidenced by reduction of ganglion size, disorganization of the ganglion, and defects in neurite outgrowth. Later in embryogenesis, Xevl is required for development of mechanosensory hair cells. In Xevl knockdown embryos, hair cells of the ventromedial sensory epithelium display multiple abnormalities including disruption of the cuticular plate at the base of stereocilia and disorganization of the normal staircase appearance of stereocilia. Based on these data, we propose that Xevl plays an integral role in regulating morphogenesis of the inner ear epithelium and the subsequent development of the vestibulocochlear ganglion and mechanosensory hair cells.

PubMed ID: 17635997
Article link: J Cell Sci
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: actl6a enah evl eya1 neurod1 vasp
Morpholinos: evl MO1

Article Images: [+] show captions