Knowlton, M.N., Chan, B.M., and Kelly, G.M. (2003) The zebrafish band 4.1 member Mir is involved in cell movements associated with gastrulation. Developmental Biology. 264(2):407-429.
Cellular processes rely on dynamic events occurring between the cortical cytoskeleton and plasma membrane. Members of the Band 4.1 superfamily, which are best known for their ability to tether the cytoskeleton to the plasma membrane, play prominent structural and regulatory roles that influence cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions, endo- and exocytosis, cell polarity, migration, proliferation, and differentiation. We have identified a new member of the zebrafish Band 4.1 superfamily, which is the homolog of human myosin regulatory light chain interacting protein (MIR), and have examined its role in embryonic development. Zebrafish Mir contains the conserved amino-terminal plasma membrane-binding FERM (Band 4.1/ezrin/radixin/moesin) domain as well as other putative protein-protein interacting domains, including a RING finger. Overall, zebrafish Mir is 71% identical to human MIR located at chromosome 6p23-p22.3, and maps on linkage group 19 to a region of synteny with human chromosome 6. In situ hybridization and RT-PCR revealed that mir is expressed maternally and ubiquitously throughout development. Blocking Mir translation using a mir-specific, morpholino-based, knock-down strategy or expressing Mir constructs lacking the RING finger domain disrupts gastrulation and leads to subsequent trunk and tail defects. In severe cases, morphants exogastrulate. The synergistic effect seen when two mir-specific morpholinos are used in conjunction reflects the specific knock-down of mir. In addition, morphant phenotypes induced by mir-specific morpholinos are rescued by overexpression of the full-length Mir. In situ hybridization analysis with mesodermal- and neural-specific markers shows that morphants exhibit a delay in cell movements associated with gastrulation, epiboly, convergence, and extension. A yeast two-hybrid analysis was performed to identify binding partners that may participate with Mir during gastrulation, and Annexin V, a calcium channel protein, was isolated. At early developmental stages, annexin V transcripts colocalize with mir, but after gastrulation, annexin V mRNA becomes localized to the distal tail region and an area in the olfactory placode. At the protein level, Mir colocalizes with Annexin V when expressed in COS cells. Together, these results indicate that Mir is essential for embryonic development and that its role in early embryonic development likely involves calcium-dependent mechanisms essential during the extensive cell movements associated with gastrulation.