Centrins (Cetns) are highly conserved, widely expressed, and multifunctional Ca 2+ -binding eukaryotic signature proteins best known for their roles in ciliogenesis and as critical components of the global genome nucleotide excision repair system. Two distinct Cetn subtypes, Cetn2-like and Cetn3-like, have been recognized and implicated in a range of cellular processes. In the course of morpholino-based loss of function studies in Xenopus laevis, we have identified a previously unreported Cetn2-specific function, namely in fibroblast growth factor (FGF) mediated signaling, specifically through the regulation of FGF and FGF receptor RNA levels. Cetn2 was found associated with the RNA polymerase II binding sites of the Cetn2-regulated FGF8 and FGFR1a genes, but not at the promoter of a gene (BMP4) whose expression was altered indirectly in Cent2 morphant embryos. These observations point to a previously unexpected role of Cetn2 in the regulation of gene expression and embryonic development.
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