Prickle1 mutation causes planar cell polarity and directional cell migration defects associated with cardiac outflow tract anomalies and other structural birth defects

Biol Open. 2016 Feb 16;5(3):323-35. doi: 10.1242/bio.015750.


Planar cell polarity (PCP) is controlled by a conserved pathway that regulates directional cell behavior. Here, we show that mutant mice harboring a newly described mutation termed Beetlejuice (Bj) in Prickle1 (Pk1), a PCP component, exhibit developmental phenotypes involving cell polarity defects, including skeletal, cochlear and congenital cardiac anomalies. Bj mutants die neonatally with cardiac outflow tract (OFT) malalignment. This is associated with OFT shortening due to loss of polarized cell orientation and failure of second heart field cell intercalation mediating OFT lengthening. OFT myocardialization was disrupted with cardiomyocytes failing to align with the direction of cell invasion into the outflow cushions. The expression of genes mediating Wnt signaling was altered. Also noted were shortened but widened bile ducts and disruption in canonical Wnt signaling. Using an in vitro wound closure assay, we showed Bj mutant fibroblasts cannot establish polarized cell morphology or engage in directional cell migration, and their actin cytoskeleton failed to align with the direction of wound closure. Unexpectedly, Pk1 mutants exhibited primary and motile cilia defects. Given Bj mutant phenotypes are reminiscent of ciliopathies, these findings suggest Pk1 may also regulate ciliogenesis. Together these findings show Pk1 plays an essential role in regulating cell polarity and directional cell migration during development.

Keywords: Biliary atresia; Cell polarity; Outflow tract; Prickle1.