Chemokine signaling links cell cycle progression and cilia formation for left-right symmetry breaking
Zebrafish dorsal forerunner cells (DFCs) undergo vigorous proliferation during epiboly and then exit cell cycle to generate Kupffer's vesicle (KV), a ciliated organ necessary for establishing left-right (L-R) asymmetry. DFC proliferation defects are often accompanied by impaired cilia elongation in KV, but the functional and molecular interaction between cell-cycle progression and cilia formation remains unknown. Here we show that chemokine receptor Cxcr4a is required for L-R laterality by controlling DFC proliferation and KV ciliogenesis. Functional analysis revealed that Cxcr4a accelerates G1/S transition in DFCs and stabilizes Foxj1a, a master regulator of motile cilia, by stimulating Cyclin D1 expression through ERK1/2 signaling. Mechanistically, Cyclin D1-CDK4/6 drives G1/S transition during DFC proliferation and phosphorylates Foxj1a, thereby disrupting its association with Psmd4b, a 19S regulatory subunit. This prevents the ubiquitin-independent proteasomal degradation of Foxj1a. Our study uncovers a role for Cxcr4 signaling in L-R patterning and provides fundamental insights into the molecular linkage between cell-cycle progression and ciliogenesis.
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