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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mouse amnionless, which is required for primitive streak assembly, mediates cell-surface localization and endocytic function of cubilin on visceral endoderm and kidney proximal tubules.

Impaired primitive streak assembly in the mouse amnionless ( amn) mutant results in the absence of non-axial trunk mesoderm, a derivative of the middle region of the primitive streak. In addition, the epiblast of amn mutants fails to increase significantly in size after E7.0, indicating that middle primitive streak assembly is mechanistically tied to the growth of the embryo during gastrulation. Amn, a novel transmembrane protein, is expressed exclusively in an extra-embryonic tissue, visceral endoderm (VE), during the early post-implantation stages. We show that Amn is also expressed in kidney proximal tubules (KPT) and intestinal epithelium, which, like the VE, are polarized epithelia specialized for resorption and secretion. To explore whether Amn participates in the development or function of KPT and intestinal epithelia and to gain insight into the function of Amn during gastrulation, we constructed Amn(-/-) ES cell<-->+/+ blastocyst chimeras. While chimeras form anatomically normal kidneys and intestine, they exhibit variable, selective proteinuria, a sign of KPT malfunction. In humans, AMN has been genetically connected to Cubilin (CUBN), a multi-ligand scavenger receptor expressed by KPT, intestine and yolk sac. Loss of CUBN, the intestinal intrinsic factor (IF)-vitamin B12 receptor, results in hereditary megaloblastic anemia (MGA1), owing to vitamin B12 malabsorption. The recent report of MGA1 families with mutations in AMN suggests that AMN functions in the same pathway as CUBN. We demonstrate that Cubn is not properly localized to the cell surface in Amn(-/-) tissues in the embryo and adult mouse, and that adult chimeras exhibit selective proteinuria of Cubn ligands. This study demonstrates that Amn is an essential component of the Cubn receptor complex in vivo and suggests that Amn/ Cubn is required for endocytosis/transcytosis of one or more ligands in the VE during gastrulation to coordinate growth and patterning of the embryo. Furthermore, as AMN is apparently not required for gastrulation in humans, the developmental requirements for Amn/ Cubn function may not be evolutionarily conserved, possibly reflecting differences between species in the role and organization of extra-embryonic tissues.[1]


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