Elife. 2023 May 10;12:e84036. doi: 10.7554/eLife.84036. Online ahead of print
Natriuretic peptide signaling has been implicated in a broad range of physiological processes, regulating blood volume and pressure, ventricular hypertrophy, fat metabolism, and long bone growth. Here we describe a completely novel role for natriuretic peptide signaling in the control of neural crest (NC) and cranial placode (CP) progenitors formation. Among the components of this signaling pathway, we show that natriuretic peptide receptor 3 (Npr3) plays a pivotal role by differentially regulating two developmental programs through its dual function as clearance and signaling receptor. Using a combination of MO-based knockdowns, pharmacological inhibitors and rescue assays we demonstrate that Npr3 cooperate with guanylate cyclase natriuretic peptide receptor 1 (Npr1) and natriuretic peptides (Nppa/Nppc) to regulate NC and CP formation, pointing at a broad requirement of this signaling pathway in early embryogenesis. We propose that Npr3 acts as a clearance receptor to regulate local concentrations of natriuretic peptides for optimal cGMP production through Npr1 activation, and as a signaling receptor to control cAMP levels through inhibition of adenylyl cyclase. The intracellular modulation of these second messengers therefore participates in the segregation of NC and CP cell populations.
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