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Science 311 (5767): 1609-1612

Copyright © 2006 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

{alpha}E-Catenin Controls Cerebral Cortical Size by Regulating the Hedgehog Signaling Pathway

Wen-Hui Lien,1,2* Olga Klezovitch,1* Tania E. Fernandez,1 Jeff Delrow,3 Valeri Vasioukhin1{dagger}

Abstract: During development, cells monitor and adjust their rates of accumulation to produce organs of predetermined size. We show here that central nervous system–specific deletion of the essential adherens junction gene, {alpha}E-catenin, causes abnormal activation of the hedgehog pathway, resulting in shortening of the cell cycle, decreased apoptosis, and cortical hyperplasia. We propose that {alpha}E-catenin connects cell-density–dependent adherens junctions with the developmental hedgehog pathway and that this connection may provide a negative feedback loop controlling the size of developing cerebral cortex.

1 Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.
2 Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
3 Genomics Resource, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.

* These authors contributed equally to this work.

{dagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: vvasiouk{at}fhcrc.org


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