The Fezzin family member Nedd4-binding protein 3 (N4BP3) is known to regulate axonal and dendritic branching. Here, we show that n4bp3 is expressed in the neural tissue of the early Xenopus laevis embryo including the eye, the brain and neural crest cells. Knockdown of N4bp3 in the Xenopus anterior neural tissue results in severe developmental impairment of the eye, the brain and neural crest derived cranial cartilage structures. Moreover, we demonstrate that N4bp3 depletion leads to a significant reduction of both eye and brain specific marker genes and reduced neural crest cell migration. Finally, we demonstrate an impact of N4bp3 deficiency on cell apoptosis and proliferation. Our studies indicate that N4bp3 is required for early anterior neural development of vertebrates. This is in line with a study implicating that genetic disruption of N4BP3 in humans might be related to neurodevelopmental disease.
Kiem, L. M., Dietmann, P., Linnemann, A., Schmeisser, M. J., & Kühl, S. J. (2017). The Nedd4 binding protein 3 is required for anterior neural development in Xenopus laevis. Developmental Biology, 423(1), 66–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2017.01.009