Protein serine/threonine phosphatase-2A (PP-2A) is one of the key enzymes responsible for
dephosphorylation in vertebrates. PP-2A-mediated dephosphorylation participates in many different biological
processes including cell proliferation, differentiation, transformation, apoptosis, autophage and senescence.
However, whether PP-2A directly controls animal development remains to be explored. Here, we present direct
evidence to show that PP-2A displays important functions in regulating eye development of vertebrates. Using
goldfish as a model system, we have demonstrated the following novel information. First, inhibition of PP-2A
activity leads to significant death of the treated embryos, which is derived from blastomere apoptosis
associated with enhanced phosphorylation of Bcl-XL at Ser-62, and the survived embryos displayed severe
phenotype in the eye. Second, knockdown of PP-2A with morpholino oligomers leads to significant death of the
injected embryos. The survived embryos from PP-2A knockdown displayed clear retardation in lens
differentiation. Finally, overexpression of each catalytic subunit of PP-2A also causes death of majority of the
injected embryos and leads to absence of goldfish eye lens or severely disturbed differentiation. Together, our
results provide direct evidence that protein phosphatase-2A is important for normal eye development in
Keywords: Apoptosis, differentiation, eye development, lens, PP-2A, PP-2Acα/β, protein phosphatases, retina.
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