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αE-Catenin Controls Cerebral Cortical Size by Regulating the Hedgehog Signaling Pathway

Science  17 Mar 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5767, pp. 1609-1612
DOI: 10.1126/science.1121449

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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, αE-catenin, causes abnormal activation of the hedgehog pathway, resulting in shortening of the cell cycle, decreased apoptosis, and cortical hyperplasia. We propose that αE-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.

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