Research ArticleDevelopmental Biology

T-plastin is essential for basement membrane assembly and epidermal morphogenesis

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Sci. Signal.  30 May 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 481, eaal3154
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aal3154

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T-plastin required for basement membrane assembly

The basement membrane is a specialized type of extracellular matrix that separates an epithelium from the underlying connective tissue. Dor-On et al. investigated the role of the actomyosin cytoskeleton in basement membrane development. They found that the basement membrane was irregular and discontinuous in the skin of mouse embryos in which the actin-bundling protein T-plastin had been depleted in the epidermis. T-plastin localized to the actomyosin-rich cortex of epidermal cells and promoted the proper localization and activation of myosin IIA, a motor protein that was required for normal basement membrane organization. Thus, T-plastin and the actomyosin cytoskeleton contribute to the proper development of the basement membrane.