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Dev Biol. 2006 Nov 15;299(2):424-37. Epub 2006 Aug 10.

Beta-catenin is essential for lamination but not neurogenesis in mouse retinal development.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Unit 1000, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract

During vertebrate retinal development, the seven retinal cell types differentiate sequentially from a single population of retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) and organize themselves into a distinct laminar structure. The purpose of this study was to determine whether beta-catenin, which functions both as a nuclear effector for the canonical Wnt signaling pathway and as a regulator of cell adhesion, is required for retinal neurogenesis or lamination. We used the Cre-loxP system to either eliminate beta-catenin or to express a constitutively active form during retinal neurogenesis. Eliminating beta-catenin did not affect cell differentiation, but did result in the loss of the radial arrangement of RPCs and caused abnormal migration of differentiated neurons. As a result, the laminar structure was massively disrupted in beta-catenin-null retinas, although all retinal cell types still formed. In contrast to other neural tissues, eliminating beta-catenin did not significantly reduce the proliferation rate of RPCs; likewise, activating beta-catenin ectopically in RPCs did not result in overproliferation, but loss of neural retinal identity. These results indicate that beta-catenin is essential during retinal neurogenesis as a regulator of cell adhesion but not as a nuclear effector of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. The results further imply that retinal lamination and retinal cell differentiation are genetically separable processes.

PMID:
16959241
PMCID:
PMC3385515
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.08.015
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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