Expression of a novel type of classic cadherin, PB-cadherin in developing brain and limb buds



PB-cadherin is a novel classic type of cadherin predominantly expressed in brain of adult rats (Sugimoto et al. [1996] J. Biol. Chem. 271:11548–11556). To examine the spatial and temporal expression of PB-cadherin during development, we isolated full-length cDNA of mouse PB-cadherin and studied its expression pattern in mouse embryos. In Northern blots, PB-cadherin mRNA was detected at 9.5 days postcoitum (dpc) onwards. Whole-mount in situ hybridization showed that PB-cadherin signals mainly occurred in developing neural tissues, including brain and spinal cord, and limb buds in the 10.5 dpc embryo. In the brain, PB-cadherin mRNA were strongly expressed in the forebrain and midbrain-hindbrain boundary region (isthmus). In isthmus, PB-cadherin expression delineated the expression area of Wnt-1, a secreted signaling molecule essential for proper cerebellum development. In the developing limb, PB-cadherin mRNA was first localized in posterior part of buds at 10.5 dpc, and was thereafter distributed in a domain around the digit rudiments. This expression pattern is similar to that of BMP-2, a secreted signalling molecule involving limb patterning and morphogenesis. These findings suggested the possibility that PB-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion has a functional role in pattern formation and morphogenesis of mouse embryonic brain and limb. Dev Dyn 1999;215:206–214. © 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.