ADP-ribosyl cyclases are multifunctional enzymes involved in the metabolism of nucleotide derivatives necessary for Ca2+ signalling such as cADPR and NAADP. Although Ca2+ signalling is a critical regulator of early development, little is known of the role of ADP-ribosyl cyclases during embryogenesis. Here we analyze the expression, activity and function of ADP-ribosyl cyclases in the embryo of the sea urchin - a key organism for study of both Ca2+ signalling and embryonic development. ADP-ribosyl cyclase isoforms (SpARC1-4) showed unique changes in expression during early development. These changes were associated with an increase in the ratio of cADPR:NAADP production. Over-expression of SpARC4 (a preferential cyclase) disrupted gastrulation. Our data highlight the importance of ADP-ribosyl cyclases during embryogenesis.
Keywords: ADP-ribosyl cyclase; NAADP; cyclic ADP-ribose; early development; gastrulation.