Autophagy functions on EMT in gastrulation of avian embryo

Wen-hui Lu, Guang Wang, Yan Li, Shuai Li, Xiao-yu Song, Xiao-yu Wang, Manli Chuai, Kenneth Ka Ho Lee, Liu Cao (Lead / Corresponding author), Xuesong Yang (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Autophagy is important for cell renewing for its contribution to the degradation of bulk cytoplasm, long-lived proteins, and entire organelles and its role in embryonic development is largely unknown. In our study, we investigated the function of autophagy in gastrulation of the chick embryo using both in vivo and in vitro approaches, especially in the EMT process, and we found that autophagy gene Atg7 was expressed on the apical side of the ectoderm and endoderm. Over-expression of Atg7 could enhance the expression of Atg8 and the E-cadherin, the latter of which is a crucial marker of the EMT process. We also found that the disturbance of autophagy could retard the development of chick embryos in HH4 with shorter primitive steak than that in the control group, which is a newly formed structure during EMT process. So we assumed that autophagy could affect EMT process by adhesion molecule expression. Moreover, more molecules, such as slug, chordin, shh et., which were all involved in EMT process, were detected to address the mechanism of this phenomena. We established that the inhibition of autophagy could cause developmental delay by affecting EMT process in gastrulation of chick embryos.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2752-2764
    Number of pages13
    JournalCell Cycle
    Issue number17
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014


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