alphaE-catenin controls cerebral cortical size by regulating the hedgehog signaling pathway.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Science (New York, N.Y.), Volume 311, Issue 5767, p.1609-12 (2006)


ADHERENS JUNCTIONS, alpha Catenin, Animals, APOPTOSIS, Cell Adhesion, Cell Count, cell cycle, Cell Differentiation, Cell Polarity, Central Nervous System, Cerebral Cortex, Hedgehog Proteins, HYPERPLASIA, MICE, Mitosis, Models, Biological, Mutation, NEURONS, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Signal Transduction, Stem Cells, Trans-Activators, Up-Regulation


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