ROCK-I and ROCK-II cooperatively regulate closure of eyelid and ventral body wall in mouse embryo

Genes Cells. 2005 Aug;10(8):825-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2443.2005.00882.x.


Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) is a serine/threonine kinase working in the Rho signaling to actin cytoskeleton. We previously reported that loss of ROCK-I results in the eyelid open at birth (EOB) and omphalocele phenotype in mice, while loss of ROCK-II results in placental dysfunction leading to intrauterine growth retardation and fetal death. Here, we report that after backcross to the C57BL/6 N genetic background, ROCK-II knockout (KO) neonates are born also with open eyelid and umbilical hernia, a phenotype similar to that of ROCK-I KO mice. ROCK-II KO embryos show impaired extension of the eyelid epithelial sheet with disorganized actin bundles in the leading edge of the sheet. These results suggest that ROCK-I and ROCK-II cooperatively regulates the assembly of actin bundles essential for closure of the eyelid and ventral body wall in mouse embryos. Consistently, ROCK-I(+/-)ROCK-II(+/-) double heterozygous mice also show the EOB and omphalocele phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Eyelids / embryology*
  • Eyelids / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Genotype
  • Hernia, Umbilical / enzymology
  • Histology
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Morphogenesis
  • Phenotype
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Tubulin / metabolism
  • rho-Associated Kinases


  • Actins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Tubulin
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • rho-Associated Kinases