Special Issue "Cell Adhesion Molecules in Development"

A special issue of Journal of Developmental Biology (ISSN 2221-3759).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Brian Ackley
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Biosciences, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, KS 66045, USA
Interests: synapse formation; cell adhesion molecules; calcium signaling; axon guidance; neurodegenerative disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Secreted and membrane-associated molecules are key players in organismal development. For example, growth factors can provide instructive cues through specific receptors to induce cell differentiation or tissue morphogenesis, while matrix-associated proteins offer permissive or inhibitory substrates for migration. These examples are only a small subset of the roles this class of proteins play in development. To highlight the new and exciting roles that these proteins have in development, I am inviting you to contribute to a Special Issue of Journal of Developmental Biology. The Issue aims to explore novel and/or unexpected roles for cell adhesion proteins in development. We hope that you will take this opportunity to submit a manuscript that fits into this topic. High-quality review articles, research articles or communications are all welcomed.

Dr. Brian D. Ackley
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Developmental Biology is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cell adhesion molecules
  • growth factors and receptors
  • organismal development
  • tissue morphogenesis

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Loss of the Extracellular Matrix Protein DIG-1 Causes Glial Fragmentation, Dendrite Breakage, and Dendrite Extension Defects
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(4), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9040042 - 07 Oct 2021
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Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) guides and constrains the shape of the nervous system. In C. elegans, DIG-1 is a giant ECM component that is required for fasciculation of sensory dendrites during development and for maintenance of axon positions throughout life. We identified [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) guides and constrains the shape of the nervous system. In C. elegans, DIG-1 is a giant ECM component that is required for fasciculation of sensory dendrites during development and for maintenance of axon positions throughout life. We identified four novel alleles of dig-1 in three independent screens for mutants affecting disparate aspects of neuronal and glial morphogenesis. First, we find that disruption of DIG-1 causes fragmentation of the amphid sheath glial cell in larvae and young adults. Second, it causes severing of the BAG sensory dendrite from its terminus at the nose tip, apparently due to breakage of the dendrite as animals reach adulthood. Third, it causes embryonic defects in dendrite fasciculation in inner labial (IL2) sensory neurons, as previously reported, as well as rare defects in IL2 dendrite extension that are enhanced by loss of the apical ECM component DYF-7, suggesting that apical and basolateral ECM contribute separately to dendrite extension. Our results highlight novel roles for DIG-1 in maintaining the cellular integrity of neurons and glia, possibly by creating a barrier between structures in the nervous system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Adhesion Molecules in Development)
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Article
E-Cadherin/HMR-1 Membrane Enrichment Is Polarized by WAVE-Dependent Branched Actin
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9020019 - 07 May 2021
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Abstract
Polarized epithelial cells adhere to each other at apical junctions that connect to the apical F-actin belt. Regulated remodeling of apical junctions supports morphogenesis, while dysregulated remodeling promotes diseases such as cancer. We have documented that branched actin regulator, WAVE, and apical junction [...] Read more.
Polarized epithelial cells adhere to each other at apical junctions that connect to the apical F-actin belt. Regulated remodeling of apical junctions supports morphogenesis, while dysregulated remodeling promotes diseases such as cancer. We have documented that branched actin regulator, WAVE, and apical junction protein, Cadherin, assemble together in developing C. elegans embryonic junctions. If WAVE is missing in embryonic epithelia, too much Cadherin assembles at apical membranes, and yet apical F-actin is reduced, suggesting the excess Cadherin is not fully functional. We proposed that WAVE supports apical junctions by regulating the dynamic accumulation of Cadherin at membranes. To test this model, here we examine if WAVE is required for Cadherin membrane enrichment and apical–basal polarity in a maturing epithelium, the post-embryonic C. elegans intestine. We find that larval and adult intestines have distinct apicobasal populations of Cadherin, each with distinct dependence on WAVE branched actin. In vivo imaging shows that loss of WAVE components alters post-embryonic E-cadherin membrane enrichment, especially at apicolateral regions, and alters the lateral membrane. Analysis of a biosensor for PI(4,5)P2 suggests loss of WAVE or Cadherin alters the polarity of the epithelial membrane. EM (electron microscopy) illustrates lateral membrane changes including separations. These findings have implications for understanding how mutations in WAVE and Cadherin may alter cell polarity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Adhesion Molecules in Development)
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Article
The Collagens DPY-17 and SQT-3 Direct Anterior–Posterior Migration of the Q Neuroblasts in C. elegans
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9010007 - 19 Feb 2021
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Abstract
Cell adhesion molecules and their extracellular ligands control morphogenetic events such as directed cell migration. The migration of neuroblasts and neural crest cells establishes the structure of the central and peripheral nervous systems. In C. elegans, the bilateral Q neuroblasts and their [...] Read more.
Cell adhesion molecules and their extracellular ligands control morphogenetic events such as directed cell migration. The migration of neuroblasts and neural crest cells establishes the structure of the central and peripheral nervous systems. In C. elegans, the bilateral Q neuroblasts and their descendants undergo long-range migrations with left/right asymmetry. QR and its descendants on the right migrate anteriorly, and QL and its descendants on the left migrate posteriorly, despite identical patterns of cell division, cell death, and neuronal generation. The initial direction of protrusion of the Q cells relies on the left/right asymmetric functions of the transmembrane receptors UNC-40/DCC and PTP-3/LAR in the Q cells. Here, we show that Q cell left/right asymmetry of migration is independent of the GPA-16/Gα pathway which regulates other left/right asymmetries, including nervous system L/R asymmetry. No extracellular cue has been identified that guides initial Q anterior versus posterior migrations. We show that collagens DPY-17 and SQT-3 control initial Q direction of protrusion. Genetic interactions with UNC-40/DCC and PTP-3/LAR suggest that DPY-17 and SQT-3 drive posterior migration and might act with both receptors or in a parallel pathway. Analysis of mutants in other collagens and extracellular matrix components indicated that general perturbation of collagens and the extracellular matrix (ECM) did not result in directional defects, and that the effect of DPY-17 and SQT-3 on Q direction is specific. DPY-17 and SQT-3 are components of the cuticle, but a role in the basement membrane cannot be excluded. Possibly, DPY-17 and SQT-3 are part of a pattern in the cuticle and/or basement membrane that is oriented to the anterior–posterior axis of the animal and that is deciphered by the Q cells in a left–right asymmetric fashion. Alternatively, DPY-17 and SQT-3 might be involved in the production or stabilization of a guidance cue that directs Q migrations. In any case, these results describe a novel role for the DPY-17 and SQT-3 collagens in directing posterior Q neuroblast migration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Adhesion Molecules in Development)
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Review

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Review
Expanding the Junction: New Insights into Non-Occluding Roles for Septate Junction Proteins during Development
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9010011 - 21 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1113
Abstract
The septate junction (SJ) provides an occluding function for epithelial tissues in invertebrate organisms. This ability to seal the paracellular route between cells allows internal tissues to create unique compartments for organ function and endows the epidermis with a barrier function to restrict [...] Read more.
The septate junction (SJ) provides an occluding function for epithelial tissues in invertebrate organisms. This ability to seal the paracellular route between cells allows internal tissues to create unique compartments for organ function and endows the epidermis with a barrier function to restrict the passage of pathogens. Over the past twenty-five years, numerous investigators have identified more than 30 proteins that are required for the formation or maintenance of the SJs in Drosophila melanogaster, and have determined many of the steps involved in the biogenesis of the junction. Along the way, it has become clear that SJ proteins are also required for a number of developmental events that occur throughout the life of the organism. Many of these developmental events occur prior to the formation of the occluding junction, suggesting that SJ proteins possess non-occluding functions. In this review, we will describe the composition of SJs, taking note of which proteins are core components of the junction versus resident or accessory proteins, and the steps involved in the biogenesis of the junction. We will then elaborate on the functions that core SJ proteins likely play outside of their role in forming the occluding junction and describe studies that provide some cell biological perspectives that are beginning to provide mechanistic understanding of how these proteins function in developmental contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Adhesion Molecules in Development)
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Review
Conservation and Innovation: Versatile Roles for LRP4 in Nervous System Development
J. Dev. Biol. 2021, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb9010009 - 14 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1242
Abstract
As the nervous system develops, connections between neurons must form to enable efficient communication. This complex process of synaptic development requires the coordination of a series of intricate mechanisms between partner neurons to ensure pre- and postsynaptic differentiation. Many of these mechanisms employ [...] Read more.
As the nervous system develops, connections between neurons must form to enable efficient communication. This complex process of synaptic development requires the coordination of a series of intricate mechanisms between partner neurons to ensure pre- and postsynaptic differentiation. Many of these mechanisms employ transsynaptic signaling via essential secreted factors and cell surface receptors to promote each step of synaptic development. One such cell surface receptor, LRP4, has emerged as a synaptic organizer, playing a critical role in conveying extracellular signals to initiate diverse intracellular events during development. To date, LRP4 is largely known for its role in development of the mammalian neuromuscular junction, where it functions as a receptor for the synaptogenic signal Agrin to regulate synapse development. Recently however, LRP4 has emerged as a synapse organizer in the brain, where new functions for the protein continue to arise, adding further complexity to its already versatile roles. Additional findings indicate that LRP4 plays a role in disorders of the nervous system, including myasthenia gravis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease, demonstrating the need for further study to understand disease etiology. This review will highlight our current knowledge of how LRP4 functions in the nervous system, focusing on the diverse developmental roles and different modes this essential cell surface protein uses to ensure the formation of robust synaptic connections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Adhesion Molecules in Development)
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