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PLoS One 2012 Jan 01;76:e39380. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039380.
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A homolog of Subtilisin-like Proprotein Convertase 7 is essential to anterior neural development in Xenopus.

Senturker S , Thomas JT , Mateshaytis J , Moos M .

Subtilisin-like Proprotein Convertase 7 (SPC7) is a member of the subtilisin/kexin family of pro-protein convertases. It cleaves many pro-proteins to release their active proteins, including members of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family of signaling molecules. Other SPCs are known to be required during embryonic development but corresponding data regarding SPC7 have not been reported previously. We demonstrated that Xenopus SPC7 (SPC7) was expressed predominantly in the developing brain and eye, throughout the neural plate initially, then more specifically in the lens and retina primordia as development progressed. Since no prior functional information has been reported for SPC7, we used gain- and loss-of-function experiments to investigate the possibility that it may also convey patterning or tissue specification information similarly to Furin, SPC4, and SPC6. Overexpression of SPC7 was without effect. In contrast, injection of SPC7 antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (MO) into a single blastomere at the 2- or 4-cell stage produced marked disruption of head structures; anophthalmia was salient. Bilateral injections suppressed head and eye formation completely. In parallel with suppression of eye and brain development by SPC7 knockdown, expression of early anterior neural markers (Sox2, Otx2, Rx2, and Pax6) and late eye-specific markers (β-Crystallin and Opsin), and of BMP target genes such as Tbx2 and Tbx3, was reduced or eliminated. Taken together, these findings suggest a critical role for SPC7-perhaps, at least in part, due to activation of one or more BMPs-in early patterning of the anterior neural plate and its derivatives. SPC7 is required for normal development of the eye and brain, possibly through processing BMPs, though other potential substrates cannot be excluded.

PubMed ID: 22761776
PMC ID: PMC3386266
Article link: PLoS One

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: acta4 actl6a crybb1 furin hoxb9 hoxc9-like otx2 pax6 pcsk5 pcsk6 pcsk7 rax sox2 tbx2 tbx3
Morpholinos: pcsk7 MO1 pcsk7 MO2

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Bailey, Regulation of vertebrate eye development by Rx genes. 2004, Pubmed, Xenbase