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Development 2006 Feb 01;1333:559-68. doi: 10.1242/dev.02201.
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A dominant-negative form of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cullin-1 disrupts the correct allocation of cell fate in the neural crest lineage.

Selective protein degradation is an efficient and rapid way of terminating protein activity. Defects in protein degradation are associated with a number of human diseases, including potentially DiGeorge syndrome, which is characterised by abnormal development of the neural crest lineage during embryogenesis. We describe the identification of Xenopus Cullin-1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, and show that blocking the function of endogenous Cullin-1 leads to pleiotropic defects in development. Notably, there is an increased allocation of cells to a neural crest fate and within this lineage, an increase in melanocytes at the expense of cranial ganglia neurons. Most of the observed effects can be attributed to stabilisation of beta-catenin, a known target of Cullin-1-mediated degradation from other systems. Indeed, we show that blocking the function of Cullin-1 leads to a decrease in ubiquitinated beta-catenin and an increase in total beta-catenin. Our results show that Cullin-1-mediated protein degradation plays an essential role in the correct allocation of neural crest fates during embryogenesis.

PubMed ID: 16396913
Article link: Development
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: cul1 snai2 sox10 sox3 sox9 zic3
GO keywords: neural crest cell development

Disease Ontology terms: DiGeorge syndrome

Article Images: [+] show captions