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Gene Expr Patterns 2019 Jun 01;32:18-27. doi: 10.1016/j.gep.2019.02.004.
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Evolution of the Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors Kalirin and Trio and their gene expression in Xenopus development.

Kratzer MC , England L , Apel D , Hassel M , Borchers A .

Guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) activate Rho GTPases by accelerating their GDP/GTP exchange. Trio and its paralog Kalirin (Kalrn) are unique members of the Rho-GEFs that harbor three catalytic domains: two functional GEF domains and a serine/threonine kinase domain. The N-terminal GEF domain activates Rac1 and RhoG GTPases, while the C-terminal GEF domain acts specifically on RhoA. Trio and Kalrn have an evolutionary conserved function in morphogenetic processes including neuronal development. De novo mutations in TRIO have lately been identified in patients with intellectual disability, suggesting that this protein family plays an important role in development and disease. Phylogenetic and domain analysis revealed that a Kalrn/Trio ancestor originated in Prebilateria and duplicated in Urbilateria to yield Kalrn and Trio. Only few taxa outside the vertebrates retained both of these highly conserved proteins. To obtain first insights into their redundant or distinct functions in a vertebrate model system, we show for the first time a detailed comparative analysis of trio and kalrn expression in Xenopus laevis development. The mRNAs are maternally transcribed and expression increases starting with neurula stages. Trio and kalrn are detected in mesoderm/somites and different neuronal populations in the neural plate/tube and later also in the brain. However, only trio is expressed in migrating neural crest cells, while kalrn expression is detected in the cranial nerves, suggesting distinct functions. Thus, our expression analysis provides a good basis for further functional studies.

PubMed ID: 30844509
Article link: Gene Expr Patterns

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: kalrn npb rac1 rho rho.2 rhoa rhog trio tub tubb2b twist1
GO keywords: Rho guanyl-nucleotide exchange factor activity [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions