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Development. 2010 Jul;137(14):2329-39. doi: 10.1242/dev.048769. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

MID1 and MID2 are required for Xenopus neural tube closure through the regulation of microtubule organization.

Author information

  • 1Division of Morphogenesis, Department of Developmental Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, Nishigonaka 38, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Aichi, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Development. 2011 Jan;138(2):385.


Closure of the neural tube requires both the change and maintenance of cell shape. The change occurs mainly through two coordinated morphogenetic events: cell elongation and apical constriction. How cytoskeletal elements, including microtubules, are regulated in this process in vivo is largely unknown. Here, we show that neural tube closure in Xenopus depends on orthologs of two proteins: MID1, which is responsible for Opitz G/BBB syndrome in humans, and its paralog MID2. Depletion of the Xenopus MIDs (xMIDs) by morpholino-mediated knockdown disrupted epithelial morphology in the neural plate, leading to neural tube defects. In the xMID-depleted neural plate, the normal epithelial organization was perturbed without affecting neural fate. Furthermore, the xMID knockdown destabilized and caused the disorganization of microtubules, which are normally apicobasally polarized, accounting for the abnormal phenotypes. We also found that the xMIDs and their interacting protein Mig12 were coordinately required for microtubule stabilization during remodeling of the neural plate. Finally, we showed that the xMIDs are required for the formation of multiple epithelial organs. We propose that similar MID-governed mechanisms underlie the normal morphogenesis of epithelial tissues and organs, including the tissues affected in patients with Opitz G/BBB syndrome.

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