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Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Dec;23(24):8970-81.

Requirement of PDZ-containing proteins for cell cycle regulation and differentiation in the mouse lens epithelium.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, University of Wisconsin Medical School, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The roles of PDZ domain-containing proteins such as Dlg and Scrib have been well described for Drosophila; however, their requirement for mammalian development is poorly understood. Here we show that Dlg, Scrib, MAGI1, MAGI3, and MPDZ are expressed in the mouse ocular lens. We demonstrate that the increase in proliferation and defects in cellular adhesion and differentiation observed in epithelia of lenses that express E6, a viral oncoprotein that can bind to several PDZ proteins, including the human homologs of Dlg and Scrib, is dependent on E6's ability to bind these proteins via their PDZ domains. Analyses of lenses from mice carrying an insertional mutation in Dlg (dlg(gt)) show increased proliferation and proliferation in spatially inappropriate regions of the lens, a phenotype similar to that of lenses expressing E6. The results from this study indicate that multiple PDZ domain-containing proteins, including Dlg and Scrib, may be required for maintaining the normal pattern of growth and differentiation in the lens. Furthermore, the phenotypic similarities among the Drosophila dlg mutant, the lenses of dlg(gt) mice, and the lenses of E6 transgenic mice suggest that Dlg may have a conserved function in regulating epithelial cell growth and differentiation across species.

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