Further Development 15.4: Rho GTPases Are the Link between WNT and Cytoskeletal-Mediated Contact Inhibition

Neural Crest Cells and Axonal Specificity

The mechanism for this contact inhibition involves Wnt and RhoA. On the sides where neural crest cells make contact with each other (but not with another cell type), proteins of the noncanonical Wnt-PCP pathway assemble and activate RhoA (see Figure 4.26), which in turn disaggregates the cytoskeletons of the lamellipodia responsible for migration (see Figure 15.9). Thus, polarization of Wnt-mediated activity resulting in contact inhibition leads to the directed migration of neural crest cells both as individual cells streaming in the trunk regions and as a collective group, a behavior most often seen in cranial neural crest cells (Mayor and Theveneau 2014).

Literature Cited

Mayor, R. and E. Theveneau. 2014. The role of the non-canonical Wnt-planar cell polarity pathway in neural crest migration. Biochem. J. 457: 19–26.
PubMed Link

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