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Keywords:

  • cadherin superfamily;
  • Fat;
  • brain;
  • olfactory bulb;
  • retina;
  • dendrite

Abstract

Cadherins constitute a superfamily of cell–cell interaction molecules that participate in morphogenetic processes of animal development. Fat cadherins are the largest members of this superfamily, with 34 extracellular cadherin repeats. Classic Fat, identified in Drosophila, is known to regulate cell proliferation and planar cell polarity. Although 4 subtypes of Fat cadherin, Fat1, Fat2, Fat3, and Fat4/Fat-J, have been identified in vertebrates, their protein localization remains largely unknown. Here we describe the mRNA and protein distributions of Fat3 during mouse development. We found that Fat3 expression was restricted to the nervous system. In the brain, Fat3 was expressed in a variety of regions and axon fascicles. However, its strongest expression was observed in the olfactory bulb and retina. Detailed analysis of Fat3 in the developing olfactory bulb revealed that Fat3 mRNA was mainly expressed by mitral cells and that its proteins were densely localized along the dendrites of these cells as well as in their axons to some extent. Fat3 transcripts in the retina were expressed by amacrine and ganglion cells, and its proteins were concentrated in the inner plexiform layer throughout development. Based on these observations, we suggest that Fat3 plays a role in the interactions between neurites derived from specific subsets of neurons during development. Developmental Dynamics 236:534–543, 2007. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.