Proper migration and axon outgrowth of zebrafish cranial motoneuron subpopulations require the cell adhesion molecule MDGA2A

Esther Ingold, Colette M.Vom Berg-Maurer, Christoph J. Burckhardt, André Lehnherr, Philip Rieder, Philip J. Keller, Ernst H. Stelzer, Urs F. Greber, Stephan C.F. Neuhauss, Matthias Gesemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


The formation of functional neuronal circuits relies on accurate migration and proper axonal outgrowth of neuronal precursors. On the route to their targets migrating cells and growing axons depend on both, directional information from neurotropic cues and adhesive interactions mediated via extracellular matrix molecules or neighbouring cells. The inactivation of guidance cues or the interference with cell adhesion can cause severe defects in neuronal migration and axon guidance. In this study we have analyzed the function of the MAM domain containing glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor 2A (MDGA2A) protein in zebrafish cranial motoneuron development. MDGA2A is prominently expressed in distinct clusters of cranial motoneurons, especially in the ones of the trigeminal and facial nerves. Analyses of MDGA2A knockdown embryos by light sheet and confocal microscopy revealed impaired migration and aberrant axonal outgrowth of these neurons; suggesting that adhesive interactions mediated by MDGA2A are required for the proper arrangement and outgrowth of cranial motoneuron subtypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-154
Number of pages9
JournalBiology Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Axon guidance
  • Cell adhesion
  • Cell migration
  • Cranial motoneurons
  • Digital light sheet microscopy
  • MDGA
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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