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Riding the WAVE

WAVE2 is essential for cell motility and embryogenic cardiovascular development

Andrea Rinaldi(rinaldi@unica.it)

Cell migration is a fundamental cellular process and is important in both morphogenesis and development, but the molecular mechanisms that govern its regulation remain incompletely understood. The generation of locomotive force in moving cells requires a radical reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, which in turn depends on the cross-talk between a variety of extra- and intracellular molecular parties. In the July 24 Nature, Daisuke Yamazaki and colleagues at the University of Tokyo expand our understanding of cell migration and its developmental importance (Nature, 424:452-456, July 24, 2003).

Yamazaki et al. studied the physiological functions of WAVE2, a protein related to the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein family proteins—a group of key regulators that link extracellular stimuli to actin reorganization. They generated WAVE2-deficient mice by homologous recombination and compared the embryonic development of mutants with that of wildtype animals. In control embryos, WAVE2 was predominantly expressed in vascular endothelial cells,...

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