Skeletal muscle deformity and neuroanl disorder in Trio exchange factor-deficient mouse embryos

Stephen P. O'Brien, Katja Seipel, Quintus G. Medley, Roderick Bronson, Rosalind Segal, Michel Streuli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Dbl-homology guanine nucleotide exchange factors (DH-GEFs) regulate actin cytoskeletal reorganization, cell adhesion, and gene transcription via activation of Rho GTPases. However, little is known about the physiological role of mammalian DH-GEFs during development. The DH-GEF family member Trio is of particular interest because it is a multifunctional protein possessing two GEF domains, as well as a protein serine/threonine kinase domain, and trio-like genes in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila were shown to function in neural migration and axon guidance. To determine the role of Trio during mammalian development, we generated a mouse trio loss-of-function mutation (trio(-/-)). Trio function is essential during late embryonic development as genotype analysis indicated that trio(-/-) embryos died between embryonic day (E)-15.5 and birth, or shortly thereafter. In the trio(-/-) embryos, primary skeletal myofibers were relatively normal at E14.5, but by E18.5 highly unusual spherical myofibers accumulated. Trio deficiency may cause a defect in secondary myogenesis, as the appearance of the abnormal trio(-/-) skeletal myofibers temporally coincided with the onset of secondary myogenesis, and smaller secondary myofibers located adjacent to the primary myofibers were absent. The proliferation of trio(-/-) secondary myoblasts appeared normal, suggesting that Trio may regulate secondary myoblast alignment or fusion, trio(-/-) embryos also displayed aberrant organization in several regions within the brain, including the hippocampal formation and olfactory bulb. We thus conclude that Trio is essential for late embryonic development, and that Trio functions in fetal skeletal muscle formation and in the organization of neural tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12074-12078
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
StatePublished - 24 Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Embryonic lethality
  • Gene targeting
  • Mouse development
  • Rac


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