Neural tube development requires the cooperation of p53- and Gadd45a-associated pathways

Andrew David Patterson, Jeffrey Hildesheim, Albert J. Fornace, M. Christine Hollander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Numerous genetically engineered mouse models for neural tube defects (NTDs) exist, and some of the implicated proteins are functionally related. For example, the growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible protein Gadd45a and tumor suppressor p53 are functionally similar, and both are involved in neural tube development (Gadd45a- and Trp53-null embryos show low levels of exencephaly). To assess their roles in neural tube development, we generated double-null mice from Gadd45a- and Trp53-null mice, as well as from cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (Cdkn1a) (p21)-null and xeroderma pigmentosum group C (XPC)-null mice that do not show spontaneous exencephaly. METHODS: Gadd45a-, Trp53-, Cdkn1a-, and XPC-null mice were crossed to generate several double-null mouse models. Embryos (embryonic day [ED] 16-18) from the single- and double-null crosses were scored for NTDs. RESULTS: Deletion of both Gadd45a and Trp53 in mice increased exencephaly frequencies compared to the deletion of either single gene (34.0% in Gadd45a/Trp53-null compared to 8.4% and 9.1% in the Gadd45a- and Trp53-null embryos, respectively). Furthermore, although deletion of another p53-regulated gene, Cdkn1a, is not associated with exencephaly, in conjunction with Gadd45a deletion, the exencephaly frequencies are increased (30.5% in the Gadd45a/Cdkn1a-null embryos) and are similar to those in the Gadd45a/Trp53-null embryos. Although XPC deletion increased exencephaly frequencies in Trp53-null embryos, XPC deletion did not increase the exencephaly frequencies in Gadd45a-null embryos. CONCLUSIONS: The increased genetic liability to exencephaly in the Gadd45a/Trp53- and Gadd45a/Cdkn1a-null embryos may be related to the disruption of multiple cellular pathways associated with Gadd45a and p53.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-132
Number of pages4
JournalBirth Defects Research Part A - Clinical and Molecular Teratology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology


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