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Differentiation. 2006 Dec;74(9-10):638-47.

Rho kinase acts at separate steps in ureteric bud and metanephric mesenchyme morphogenesis during kidney development.

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1
Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0693, USA.

Abstract

In this study, five different in vitro assays, which together recapitulate much of kidney development, were used to examine the role of the Rho-associated protein serine/threonine kinase (ROCK) in events central to ureteric bud (UB) and metanephric mesenchyme (MM) morphogenensis, in isolation and together. ROCK activity was found to be critical for (1) cell proliferation, growth, and development of the whole embryonic kidney in organ culture, (2) tip and stalk formation in cultures of isolated UBs, and (3) migration of MM cells (in a novel MM migration assay) during their condensation at UB tips (in a UB/MM recombination assay). Together, the data indicate selective involvement of Rho/ROCK in distinct morphogenetic processes necessary for kidney development and that the coordination of these events by Rho/ROCK provides a potential mechanism to regulate overall branching patterns, nephron formation, and thus, kidney architecture.

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