Journal Article Rapgef2, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rapl small GTPases, plays a crucial role in adherence junction (AJ) formation in radial glial cells through ERK-mediated upregulation of the AJ-constituent protein expression

Farag, Maged Ibrahim  ,  Yoshikawa, Yoko  ,  Maeta, Kazuhiro  ,  Kataoka, Tohru

493 ( 1 )  , pp.139 - 145 , 2017-11-04 , Elsevier
Rapgef2 and Rapgef6 define a subfamily of guanine nucleotide exchange factors for Rap1, characterized by possession of the Ras/Rap-associating domains and implicated in the etiology of schizophrenia. We previously found that dorsal telencephalon-specific Rapgef2 conditional knockout mice exhibits severe defects in formation of apical surface adherence junctions (AJs) and localization of radial glial cells (RGCs). In this study, we analyze the underlying molecular mechanism by using primary cultures of RGCs established from the developing cerebral cortex. The results show that Rapgef2-deficient RGCs exhibit a decreased ability of neurosphere formation, morphological changes represented by regression of radial glial (RG) fibers and reduced expression of AJ-constituent proteins such as N-cadherin, zonula occludens-1, E-cadherin and β-catenin. Moreover, siRNA-mediated knockdown of Rapgef2 or Rap1A inhibits the AJ protein expression and RG fiber formation while overexpression of Rapgef2, Rapgef6, Rap1A(G12V) or Rap1B(G12V) in Rapgef2-deficient RGCs restores them. Furthermore, Rapgef2-deficient RGCs exhibit a reduction in phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) leading to downregulation of the expression of c-jun, which is implicated in the AJ protein expression. These results indicate a crucial role of the Rapgef2-Rap1A-ERK-c-jun pathway in regulation of the AJ formation in RGCs.

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