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Dev Biol 2013 Jun 15;3782:74-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.04.005.
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Ric-8A, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for heterotrimeric G proteins, is critical for cranial neural crest cell migration.

Fuentealba J , Toro-Tapia G , Arriagada C , Riquelme L , Beyer A , Henriquez JP , Caprile T , Mayor R , Marcellini S , Hinrichs MV , Olate J , Torrejón M .

The neural crest (NC) is a transient embryonic structure induced at the border of the neural plate. NC cells extensively migrate towards diverse regions of the embryo, where they differentiate into various derivatives, including most of the craniofacial skeleton and the peripheral nervous system. The Ric-8A protein acts as a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for several Gα subunits, and thus behaves as an activator of signaling pathways mediated by heterotrimeric G proteins. Using in vivo transplantation assays, we demonstrate that Ric-8A levels are critical for the migration of cranial NC cells and their subsequent differentiation into craniofacial cartilage during Xenopus development. NC cells explanted from Ric-8A morphant embryos are unable to migrate directionally towards a source of the Sdf1 peptide, a potent chemoattractant for NC cells. Consistently, Ric-8A knock-down showed anomalous radial migratory behavior, displaying a strong reduction in cell spreading and focal adhesion formation. We further show that during in vivo and in vitro neural crest migration, Ric-8A localizes to the cell membrane, in agreement with its role as a G protein activator. We propose that Ric-8A plays essential roles during the migration of cranial NC cells, possibly by regulating cell adhesion and spreading.

PubMed ID: 23588098
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: chrd cxcl12 cxcr4 fn1 myod1 pxn ric8a slc5a5 snai1 snai2
Antibodies: Myc Ab5 Myc Ab6 Pxn Ab2
Morpholinos: ric8a MO1

Article Images: [+] show captions