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Mol Cells. 2019 Aug 31;42(8):589-596. doi: 10.14348/molcells.2019.0140.

Loss of ϐPix Causes Defects in Early Embryonic Development, and Cell Spreading and PlateletDerived Growth Factor-Induced Chemotaxis in Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts.

Kang T1,2, Lee SJ3,2, Kwon Y1,2, Park D1.

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School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Computational Biology & Genomics, Biogen, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


βPix is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for the Rho family small GTPases, Rac1 and Cdc42. It is known to regulate focal adhesion dynamics and cell migration. However, the in vivo role of βPix is currently not well understood. Here, we report the production and characterization of βPix-KO mice. Loss of βPix results in embryonic lethality accompanied by abnormal developmental features, such as incomplete neural tube closure, impaired axial rotation, and failure of allantoischorion fusion. We also generated βPix-KO mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to examine βPix function in mouse fibroblasts. βPix-KO MEFs exhibit decreased Rac1 activity, and defects in cell spreading and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced ruffle formation and chemotaxis. The average size of focal adhesions is increased in βPix-KO MEFs. Interestingly, βPix-KO MEFs showed increased motility in random migration and rapid wound healing with elevated levels of MLC2 phosphorylation. Taken together, our data demonstrate that βPix plays essential roles in early embryonic development, cell spreading, and cell migration in fibroblasts.


cell motility; embryonic lethality; focal adhesion; mouse embryonic fibroblast; βPix

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