Loss of RhoA in neural progenitor cells causes the disruption of adherens junctions and hyperproliferation.
ABSTRACT The organization of neural progenitors in the developing mammalian neuroepithelium is marked by cadherin-based adherens junctions. Whereas RhoA, a founding member of the small Rho GTPase family, has been shown to play important roles in epithelial adherens junctions, its physiological roles in neural development remain uncertain due to the lack of specific loss-of-function studies. Here, we show that RhoA protein accumulates at adherens junctions in the developing mouse brain and colocalizes to the cadherin-catenin complex. Conditional deletion of RhoA in midbrain and forebrain neural progenitors using Wnt1-Cre and Foxg1-Cre mice, respectively, disrupts apical adherens junctions and causes massive dysplasia of the brain. Furthermore, RhoA-deficient neural progenitor cells exhibit accelerated proliferation, reduction of cell- cycle exit, and increased expression of downstream target genes of the hedgehog pathway. Consequently, both lines of conditional RhoA-deficient embryos exhibit expansion of neural progenitor cells and exencephaly-like protrusions. These results demonstrate a critical role of RhoA in the maintenance of apical adherens junctions and the regulation of neural progenitor proliferation in the developing mammalian brain.
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ABSTRACT: RhoA is a member of the Rho family small GTPases that are implicated in various cell functions including proliferation and survival. However, the physiological role of RhoA in vivo remains largely unknown. Here, we deleted RhoA in the B cell and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) populations in RhoA(flox/flox) mice with CD19 and Mx promoter-driven Cre expression, respectively. Deletion of RhoA by CD19(Cre/+) significantly blocked B cell development in spleen, leading to a marked reduction in the number of transitional, marginal zone, and follicular B cells. Surprisingly, neither B cell proliferation in response to either LPS or B cell receptor (BCR) engagement nor B cell survival rate in vivo was affected by RhoA deletion. Furthermore, RhoA(-/-) B cells, like control cells, were rescued from apoptosis by BCR crosslinking in vitro. In contrast, RhoA deficiency led to a defect in B cell activating factor (BAFF)-mediated B cell survival that was associated with a dampened expression of BAFF receptor and a loss of BAFF-mediated Akt activation. Finally, HSC deletion of RhoA by Mx-Cre severely reduced proB/preB and immature B cell populations in bone marrow while common lymphoid progenitors were increased, indicating that RhoA is also required for B cell progenitor/precursor differentiation. Taken together, our results uncover an important role for RhoA at multiple stages of B cell development.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e33773. · 4.09 Impact Factor