12.30-12.45 Barbara Vacca
University College London, UK
“The tight junction protein MarvelD3 regulates eye development and neural crest induction in Xenopus laevis”
Epithelial integrity is maintained via tight junctions (TJ); however, TJ role in vivo remains unclear. We established the function of MarvelD3 (MD3), a new TJ protein, as regulator of eye morphogenesis by balancing cell proliferation and survival and of neural plate border positioning where the NC arises during Xenopus laevis development. MD3-induced attenuation of JNK activity is required for NC induction while JNK activation ensures eye morphogenesis. Thus, MD3 signalling is conserved as a switch to regulate the levels of JNK guiding crucial cellular and developmental processes.