Disruption of entire Cables2 locus leads to embryonic lethality by diminished Rps21 gene expression and enhanced p53 pathway

Elife. 2021 May 5:10:e50346. doi: 10.7554/eLife.50346.


In vivo function of CDK5 and Abl enzyme substrate 2 (Cables2), belonging to the Cables protein family, is unknown. Here, we found that targeted disruption of the entire Cables2 locus (Cables2d) caused growth retardation and enhanced apoptosis at the gastrulation stage and then induced embryonic lethality in mice. Comparative transcriptome analysis revealed disruption of Cables2, 50% down-regulation of Rps21 abutting on the Cables2 locus, and up-regulation of p53-target genes in Cables2d gastrulas. We further revealed the lethality phenotype in Rps21-deleted mice and unexpectedly, the exon 1-deleted Cables2 mice survived. Interestingly, chimeric mice derived from Cables2d ESCs carrying exogenous Cables2 and tetraploid wild-type embryo overcame gastrulation. These results suggest that the diminished expression of Rps21 and the completed lack of Cables2 expression are intricately involved in the embryonic lethality via the p53 pathway. This study sheds light on the importance of Cables2 locus in mouse embryonic development.

Keywords: Rps21; Wnt/beta-catenin; cables2; developmental biology; embryonic lethality; gastrulation; mouse; p53.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gastrulation / genetics*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Phenotype
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Cables2 protein, mouse
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • Trp53 protein, mouse
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • ribosomal protein S21

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE161338