3 years ago

hmmr mediates anterior neural tube closure and morphogenesis in the frog Xenopus

Development of the central nervous system requires orchestration of morphogenetic processes which drive elevation and apposition of the neural folds and their fusion into a neural tube. The newly formed tube gives rise to the brain in anterior regions and continues to develop into the spinal cord posteriorly. Conspicuous differences between the anterior and posterior neural tube become visible already during neural tube closure (NTC). Planar cell polarity (PCP)-mediated convergent extension (CE) movements are restricted to the posterior neural plate, i.e. hindbrain and spinal cord, where they propagate neural fold apposition. The lack of CE in the anterior neural plate correlates with a much slower mode of neural fold apposition anteriorly. The morphogenetic processes driving anterior NTC have not been addressed in detail. Here, we report a novel role for the breast cancer susceptibility gene and microtubule (MT) binding protein Hmmr (Hyaluronan-mediated motility receptor, RHAMM) in anterior neurulation and forebrain development in Xenopus laevis. Loss of hmmr function resulted in a lack of telencephalic hemisphere separation, arising from defective roof plate formation, which in turn was caused by impaired neural tissue narrowing. hmmr regulated polarization of neural cells, a function which was dependent on the MT binding domains. hmmr cooperated with the core PCP component vangl2 in regulating cell polarity and neural morphogenesis. Disrupted cell polarization and elongation in hmmr and vangl2 morphants prevented radial intercalation (RI), a cell behavior essential for neural morphogenesis. Our results pinpoint a novel role of hmmr in anterior neural development and support the notion that RI is a major driving force for anterior neurulation and forebrain morphogenesis.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0012160617300325

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