Palatal development is one of the critical events in craniofacial morphogenesis. During fusion of the palatal shelves, removal of the midline epithelial seam (MES) is a fundamental process for achieving proper morphogenesis of the palate. The reported mechanisms for removing the MES are the processes of apoptosis, migration or general epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) through modulations of various signaling molecules including Wnt signaling. RGS19, a regulator of the G protein signaling (RGS) family, interacts selectively with the specific α subunits of the G proteins (Gαi, Gαq) and enhances their GTPase activity. Rgs19 was reported to be a modulator of the Wnt signaling pathway. In mouse palatogenesis, the restricted epithelial expression pattern of Rgs19 was examined in the palatal shelves, where expression of Wnt11 was observed. Based on these specific expression patterns of Rgs19 in the palatal shelves, the present study examined the detailed developmental function of Rgs19 using AS-ODN treatments during in vitro palate organ cultivations as a loss-of-function study. After the knockdown of Rgs19, the morphological changes in the palatal shelves was examined carefully using a computer-aided three dimensional reconstruction method and the altered expression patterns of related signaling molecules were evaluated using genome wide screening methods. RT-qPCR and in situ hybridization methods were also used to confirm these array results. These morphological and molecular examinations suggested that Rgs19 plays important roles in palatal fusion through the degradation of MES via activation of the palatal fusion related and apoptotic related genes. Overall, inhibition of the proliferation related and Wnt responsive genes by Rgs19 are required for proper palatal fusion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology