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Angiopoietin 2 signaling plays a critical role in neural crest cell migration.

BMC biology (2016-12-17)
Mary Cathleen McKinney, Rebecca McLennan, Paul M Kulesa

Collective neural crest cell migration is critical to the form and function of the vertebrate face and neck, distributing bone, cartilage, and nerve cells into peripheral targets that are intimately linked with head vasculature. The vasculature and neural crest structures are ultimately linked, but when and how these patterns develop in the early embryo are not well understood. Using in vivo imaging and sophisticated cell behavior analyses, we show that quail cranial neural crest and endothelial cells share common migratory paths, sort out in a dynamic multistep process, and display multiple types of motion. To better understand the underlying molecular signals, we examined the role of angiopoietin 2 (Ang2), which we found expressed in migrating cranial neural crest cells. Overexpression of Ang2 causes neural crest cells to be more exploratory as displayed by invasion of off-target locations, the widening of migratory streams into prohibitive zones, and differences in cell motility type. The enhanced exploratory phenotype correlates with increased phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase activity in migrating neural crest cells. In contrast, loss of Ang2 function reduces neural crest cell exploration. In both gain and loss of function of Ang2, we found disruptions to the timing and interplay between cranial neural crest and endothelial cells. Together, these data demonstrate a role for Ang2 in maintaining collective cranial neural crest cell migration and suggest interdependence with endothelial cell migration during vertebrate head patterning.

Product Number
Product Description

Fibronectin bovine plasma, solution, sterile-filtered, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture
Poly-D-lysine hydrobromide, mol wt 30,000-70,000