Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.479, No.4, 759-765, 2016
EphA7 modulates apical constriction of hindbrain neuroepithelium during neurulation in Xenopus
Eph receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and their ephrin ligands play multiple roles in the developing nervous system, including cell segregation, axon guidance and synaptic plasticity. Here we report the expression and function of EphA7 in Xenopus hindbrain development. EphA7 is specifically expressed in the hindbrain throughout neurulation in Xenopus embryos. Knockdown of EphA7 by specific morpholino oligonucleotide (MO) disrupted cranial neural tube closure and disturbed apical constriction of hindbrain neuroepithelial cells, indicating weakened cell surface tension. In neural plate explants, EphA7 knockdown inhibited apical filamentous actin (F-actin) accumulation. We further showed that EphA7 is involved in the phosphorylation and activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in vivo and in vitro, a key regulator of actin assembly. Our findings reveal that EphA7 functions as a critical regulator of apical constriction of hindbrain neuroepithelial cells. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier Inc.