Reciprocal regulation of Wnt and Gpr177/mouse Wntless is required for embryonic axis formation

Department of Biomedical Genetics, Center for Oral Biology, James P Wilmot Cancer Center, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 611, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 11/2009; 106(44):18598-603. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0904894106
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Members of the Wnt family are secreted glycoproteins that trigger cellular signals essential for proper development of organisms. Cellular signaling induced by Wnt proteins is involved in diverse developmental processes and human diseases. Previous studies have generated an enormous wealth of knowledge on the events in signal-receiving cells. However, relatively little is known about the making of Wnt in signal-producing cells. Here, we describe that Gpr177, the mouse orthologue of Drosophila Wls, is expressed during formation of embryonic axes. Embryos with deficient Gpr177 exhibit defects in establishment of the body axis, a phenotype highly reminiscent to the loss of Wnt3. Although many different mammalian Wnt proteins are required for a wide range of developmental processes, the Wnt3 ablation exhibits the earliest developmental abnormality. This suggests that the Gpr177-mediated Wnt production cannot be substituted. As a direct target of Wnt, Gpr177 is activated by beta-catenin and LEF/TCF-dependent transcription. This activation alters the cellular distributions of Gpr177 which binds to Wnt proteins and assists their sorting and secretion in a feedback regulatory mechanism. Our findings demonstrate that the loss of Gpr177 affects Wnt production in the signal-producing cells, leading to alterations of Wnt signaling in the signal-receiving cells. A reciprocal regulation of Wnt and Gpr177 is essential for the patterning of the anterior-posterior axis during mammalian development.

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    ABSTRACT: The Wnt/β-catenin response pathway is central to many developmental processes. Here, we assessed the role of Wnt signaling in early eye development using the mouse as a model system. We showed that the surface ectoderm region that includes the lens placode expressed 12 out of 19 possible Wnt ligands. When these activities were suppressed by conditional deletion of wntless (Le-cre; Wls(fl/fl)) there were dramatic consequences that included a saucer-shaped optic cup, ventral coloboma, and a deficiency of periocular mesenchyme. This phenotype shared features with that produced when the Wnt/β-catenin pathway co-receptor Lrp6 is mutated or when retinoic acid (RA) signaling in the eye is compromised. Consistent with this, microarray and cell fate marker analysis identified a series of expression changes in genes known to be regulated by RA or by the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Using pathway reporters, we showed that Wnt ligands from the surface ectoderm directly or indirectly elicit a Wnt/β-catenin response in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) progenitors near the optic cup rim. In Le-cre; Wls(fl/fl) mice, the numbers of RPE cells are reduced and this can explain, using the principle of the bimetallic strip, the curvature of the optic cup. These data thus establish a novel hypothesis to explain how differential cell numbers in a bilayered epithelium can lead to shape change. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
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    ABSTRACT: Adult stem cell therapies are increasingly prevalent for the treatment of damaged or diseased tissues, but most of the improvements observed to date are attributed to the ability of stem cells to produce paracrine factors that have a trophic effect on existing tissue cells, improving their functional capacity. It is now clear that this ability to produce trophic factors is a normal and necessary function for some stem cell populations. In vivo adult stem cells are thought to self-renew due to local signals from the microenvironment where they live, the niche. Several niches have now been identified which harbor multiple stem cell populations. In three of these niches - the Drosophila testis, the bulge of the mammalian hair follicle, and the mammalian bone marrow - one type of stem cell has been found to produce factors that contribute to the maintenance of a second stem cell population in the shared niche. In this review, I will examine the architecture of these three niches and discuss the molecular signals involved. Together, these examples establish a new paradigm for stem cell behavior, that stem cells can promote the maintenance of other stem cells.
    Frontiers in Genetics 12/2013; 4:257. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2013.00257
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    ABSTRACT: Cells of the epidermis renew constantly from germinal layer stem cells. Although epithelial cell differentiation has been studied in great detail and the role of Wnt signaling in this process is well described, the contribution of epidermal Wnt secretion in epithelial cell homeostasis remains poorly understood. To analyze the role of Wnt proteins in this process, we created a conditional knockout allele of the Wnt cargo receptor Evi/Gpr177/Wntless and studied mice that lacked Evi expression in the epidermis. We found that K14-Cre, Evi-LOF mice lost their hair during the first hair cycle, showing a reddish skin with impaired skin barrier function. Expression profiling of mutant and wild-type skin revealed up-regulation of inflammation-associated genes. Furthermore, we found that Evi expression in psoriatic skin biopsies is down-regulated, suggesting that Evi-deficient mice developed skin lesions that resemble human psoriasis. Immune cell infiltration was detected in Evi-LOF skin. Interestingly, an age-dependent depletion of dendritic epidermal T cells (DETCs) and an infiltration of γδ(low) T cells in Evi mutant epidermis was observed. Collectively, the described inflammatory skin phenotype in Evi-deficient mice revealed an essential role of Wnt secretion in maintaining normal skin homeostasis by enabling a balanced epidermal-dermal cross talk, which affects immune cell recruitment and DETC survival.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 08/2013; 210(9). DOI:10.1084/jem.20121871 · 13.91 Impact Factor

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