The Mechanism of Rap1 Regulates N-cadherin to Control Neuronal Migration

  • Ciqing Yang
  • Xiaoying Li
  • Bichao Zhang
  • Sulei Fu
  • Shuanqing Li
  • Jianing Shen
  • Lihong Guan
  • Liang Qiao
  • Juntang LinEmail author


Rap1 and N-cadherin regulate glia-independent translocation of cortical neurons. It remains unclear how Rap1 regulates N-cadherin-mediated neuronal migration. Here, we overexpressed Rap1gap in mouse brains (embryonic day 16) to inactivate Rap1, and observed that neurons did not migrate to the outer layer. We confirmed that Rap1 was involved in the regulation of late neurons in vivo. Rap1gap overexpression and Rap1 suppression in CHO cells decreased the expression of cytoskeletal proteins such as tubulin. Changes in the expression of cell morphology regulators, such as N-cadherin and β-catenin, were also observed. Inhibition of N-cadherin in mouse brains prevented neuronal migration to the outer layer. The morphology of CHO cells was changed after overexpression of Rap1gap. We propose that Rap1 regulates the expression of N-cadherin during embryonic development, which affects β-catenin expression. Beta-catenin in turn regulates cytoskeletal protein expression, ultimately affecting neuronal morphology and migration.


Rap1 N-cadherin In utero electroporation Mouse Neuron migration 


Author Contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: Juntang Lin and Ciqing Yang. Performed the experiments: Ciqing Yang, Xiaoying Li, Bichao Zhang, Sulei Fu, Shuanqing Li, Jianing Shen, Lihong Guan, and Liang Qiao. Analyzed the data: Ciqing Yang. Wrote the paper: Ciqing Yang.

Funding Information

This work was supported by a grant from Henan Province Natural Science Foundation (162300410214, 14B310007), the Henan Province University youth researcher support program project (2015GGJS-133), the National Science Foundation of China (No 81771226, 81600987), the support project for the Disciplinary group of Psychology and Neuroscience, Xinxiang Medical University (2016PN-KFKT-03, 20172DCG-03), the Science and Technology Innovation Talents Support Program of Henan Universities and Xinxiang City (14HASTIT032, CXRC16003), Xinxiang major science and technology projects (ZD17008), the PhD Research Startup Foundation (505090) of Xinxiang Medical University, and Innovation of College Students Project (SKYLS005, 201710472011).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Experiments were approved by the Animal Care Committee of Xinxiang Medical University (No. 030032). All animal protocols were conducted under the guidelines of The Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China [(2006)398].

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Xinxiang Key Laboratory of Neural Development, Stem Cells & Biotherapy Engineering Research Center of Henan, College of Life Science and TechnologyXinxiang Medical UniversityXinxiangChina
  2. 2.Henan Key Laboratory of Medical Tissue RegenerationXinxiangChina
  3. 3.College of Biomedical EngineeringXinxiang Medical UniversityXinxiangChina

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