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EMBO J. 2004 Aug 18;23(16):3259-69. Epub 2004 Aug 5.

Paraxial protocadherin coordinates cell polarity during convergent extension via Rho A and JNK.

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  • 1Universität Karlsruhe, Zoologisches Institut II, Karlsruhe, Germany.


Convergent extension movements occur ubiquitously in animal development. This special type of cell movement is controlled by the Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway. Here we show that Xenopus paraxial protocadherin (XPAPC) functionally interacts with the Wnt/PCP pathway in the control of convergence and extension (CE) movements in Xenopus laevis. XPAPC functions as a signalling molecule that coordinates cell polarity of the involuting mesoderm in mediolateral orientation and thus selectively promotes convergence in CE movements. XPAPC signals through the small GTPases Rho A and Rac 1 and c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Loss of XPAPC function blocks Rho A-mediated JNK activation. Despite common downstream components, XPAPC and Wnt/PCP signalling are not redundant, and the activity of both, XPAPC and PCP signalling, is required to coordinate CE movements.

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