Article

Different thresholds of Wnt-Frizzled 7 signaling coordinate proliferation, morphogenesis and fate of endoderm progenitor cells

Perinatal Institute, Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati OH 45229 USA.
Developmental Biology (Impact Factor: 3.64). 04/2013; 378(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.02.024
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Wnt signaling has multiple dynamic roles during development of the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. Differential Wnt signaling is thought to be a critical step in Xenopus endoderm patterning such that during late gastrula and early somite stages of embryogenesis, Wnt activity must be suppressed in the anterior to allow the specification of foregut progenitors. However, the foregut endoderm also expresses the Wnt-receptor Frizzled 7 (Fzd7) as well as several Wnt ligands suggesting that the current model may be too simple. In this study, we show that Fzd7 is required to transduce a low level of Wnt signaling that is essential to maintain foregut progenitors. Foregut-specific Fzd7-depletion from the Xenopus foregut resulted in liver and pancreas agenesis. Fzd7-depleted embryos failed to maintain the foregut progenitor marker hhex and exhibited decreased proliferation; in addition the foregut cells were enlarged with a randomized orientation. We show that in the foregut Fzd7 signals via both the Wnt/β-catenin and Wnt/JNK pathways and that different thresholds of Wnt-Fzd7 activity coordinate progenitor cell fate, proliferation and morphogenesis.

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