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Biol Open. 2016 Nov 15;5(11):1631-1641. doi: 10.1242/bio.018945.

MarvelD3 regulates the c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway during eye development in Xenopus.

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Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London EC1V 9EL, UK.
Division of Biomedical Sciences, Developmental Biomedical Science Laboratory, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), 8916-5, Takayama-cho, Ikoma 630-0192, Japan.
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London EC1V 9EL, UK


Ocular morphogenesis requires several signalling pathways controlling the expression of transcription factors and cell-cycle regulators. However, despite a well-known mechanism, the dialogue between those signals and factors remains to be unveiled. Here, we identify a requirement for MarvelD3, a tight junction transmembrane protein, in eye morphogenesis in Xenopus MarvelD3 depletion led to an abnormally pigmented eye or even an eye-less phenotype, which was rescued by ectopic MarvelD3 expression. Altering MarvelD3 expression led to deregulated expression of cell-cycle regulators and transcription factors required for eye development. The eye phenotype was rescued by increased c-Jun terminal Kinase activation. Thus, MarvelD3 links tight junctions and modulation of the JNK pathway to eye morphogenesis.


C-Jun N-terminal Kinase; MarvelD3; Tight junction; Xenopus eye

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