Annexins are a large family of calcium binding proteins that associate with cell membrane phospholipids and are involved in various cellular processes including endocytosis, exocytosis and membrane-cytoskeletal organization. Despite studies on numerous Annexin proteins, the function of Annexin A3 (Anxa3) is largely unknown. Our studies identify Anxa3 as a unique marker of the endothelial and myeloid cell lineages of Xenopus laevis during development. Anxa3 transcripts are also detected in endothelial cells (ECs) of zebrafish and mouse embryos, suggesting an important evolutionary function during formation of blood vessels. Indeed, Anxa3 loss-of-function experiments in frog embryos reveal its critical role during the morphogenesis of early blood vessels, as angioblasts in MO injected embryos fail to form vascular cords. Furthermore, in vitro experiments in mammalian cells identify a role for Anxa3 in EC migration. Our results are the first to reveal an in vivo function for Anxa3 during vascular development and represent a previously unexplored aspect of annexin biology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)