GSK3 and Lamellipodin balance lamellipodial protrusions and focal adhesion maturation in mouse neural crest migration

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Neural crest cells are multipotent cells that delaminate from the neuroepithelium, migrating throughout the embryo. Aberrant migration causes developmental defects. Animal models are improving our understanding of neural crest anomalies, but in vivo migration behaviours are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that murine neural crest cells display actin-based lamellipodia and filopodia in vivo. Using neural crest-specific knockouts or inhibitors, we show that the serine-threonine kinase Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 (GSK3), and the cytoskeletal regulator Lamellipodin (Lpd), are required for lamellipodia formation whilst preventing focal adhesion maturation. Lpd is a substrate of GSK3 and phosphorylation of Lpd favours interactions with the Scar/WAVE complex (lamellipodia formation) at the expense of VASP and Mena interactions (adhesion maturation and filopodia formation). This improved understanding of cytoskeletal regulation in mammalian neural crest migration has general implications for neural crest anomalies and cancer.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCell Reports
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Aug 2023


  • cytoskeleton dynamics
  • neural crest
  • mouse
  • genetics
  • lamellipodin
  • gsk3
  • cell migration

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