Background information. RGM A (repulsive guidance molecule A) is a GPI (glycosylphosphatidylinositol)-anchored glycoprotein which has repulsive properties on axons due to the interaction with its receptor neogenin. In addition, RGM A has been demonstrated to function as a BMP (bone morphogenetic protein) co-receptor.
Results. In the present study, we provide the first analysis of early RGM A and neogenin expression and function in Xenopus laevis neural development. Tissue-specific RGM A expression starts at stage 12.5 in the anterior neural plate. Loss-of-function analyses suggest a function of RGM A and neogenin in regulating anterior neural marker genes, as well as eye development and neural crest cell migration. Furthermore, overexpression of RGM A leads to ectopic expression of neural crest cell marker genes.
Conclusions. These data indicate that RGM A and neogenin have important functions during early neural development, in addition to their role during axonal guidance and synapse formation.