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Vangl2 acts via RhoA signaling to regulate polarized cell movements during development of the proximal outflow tract

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Helen PhillipsORCiD, Dr Bill Chaudhry, Professor Deborah HendersonORCiD


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Loop-tail (Lp) mice develop double outlet right ventricle and aortic arch defects, and the defects are caused by mutations in the Vangl2 gene. Vangl2 mRNA is found in the outflow tract myocardium, including the myocardializing cells that migrate into the outflow tract cushions. Analysis of muscularization of the outflow tract septum showed that this process is compromised in Lp/Lp fetuses. Vangl2 is a component of the noncanonical Wnt, planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway that signals via RhoA. We therefore looked for evidence of polarization in myocardializing cells. In wild-type fetuses, myocardializing cells extend lamellipodia and filopodia into the cushion tissue and reorganize their actin cytoskeleton from a cortical form to stress fibers; behaviors that are characteristic of polarized cells. In contrast, Lp/Lp littermates do not extend lamellipodia or filopodia into the cushion tissue, and their actin remains in a cortical form, suggesting that polarized cell migration of myocardializing cells is inhibited in Lp/Lp. Several other components of the PCP pathway are also localized in the outflow tract myocardium. In wild-type fetuses, the myocardializing cells coexpress RhoA and one of its downstream mediators, ROCK1. RhoA expression is disrupted in Lp/Lp, and is lost from the myocardial-cushion tissue interface, including the presumptive myocardializing cells. These data suggest that Vangl2 is required for the polarization and movement of myocardializing cells into the outflow tract cushions, and that RhoA and ROCK1 are downstream mediators of the PCP signaling pathway in the developing outflow tract.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Phillips HM, Murdoch JN, Chaudhry B, Copp AJ, Henderson DJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Circulation Research

Year: 2005

Volume: 96

Issue: 3

Pages: 292-299

ISSN (print): 0009-7330

ISSN (electronic): 1524-4571

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


DOI: 10.1161/01.RES.0000154912.08695.88

PubMed id: 15637299


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