Involvement of Dystroglycan in Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition during Chick Gastrulation

Involvement of Dystroglycan in Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition during Chick Gastrulation.

Nakaya Y, Sukowati EW, Alev C, Nakazawa F, Sheng G.

Cells Tissues Organs doi: 10.1159/000320165


Regulated disruption of the basement membrane (BM) is a critical step in many epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) processes. Molecular mechanisms controlling the interaction between the BM and the basal membrane of epithelial cells and its subsequent disruption during EMT are poorly understood. Using chick embryos as a model, we analyzed the molecular complexity of this interaction during gastrulation EMT. Transcriptome data indicated that the BM of the gastrulation stage chick epiblast contains a full range of BM component proteins with unique subtype combinations. Integrins and dystroglycan are 2 major groups of basal membrane proteins involved in BM interaction. We provide evidence that dystroglycan gene expression is restricted to the epiblast during early development and its expression is downregulated in cells undergoing gastrulation EMT. The β-dystroglycan protein is localized to the basolateral membrane in epiblast cells and the basal localization is lost in cells undergoing EMT. Disruption of actin filaments leads to a decrease in the lateral membrane localization of β-dystroglycan and a relative increase in basal membrane localization, whereas disruption of microtubules leads to the loss of BM/basal membrane interaction and basal membrane β-dystroglycan localization. Overall, these data suggest an involvement of dystroglycan, especially the regulation of its expression and localization, in gastrulation EMT.

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