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Development July 1, 2000; 127 (14): 3091-100.

Role of frizzled 7 in the regulation of convergent extension movements during gastrulation in Xenopus laevis.

Djiane A , Riou J , Umbhauer M , Boucaut J , Shi D .

Wnt signalling plays a crucial role in the control of morphogenetic movements. We describe the expression and functional analyses of frizzled 7 (Xfz7) during gastrulation in Xenopus. Low levels of Xfz7 transcripts are expressed maternally during cleavage stages; its zygotic expression strongly increases at the beginning of gastrulation and is predominantly localized to the presumptive neuroectoderm and deep cells of the involuting mesoderm. Overexpression of Xfz7 in the dorsal equatorial region affects the movements of convergent extension and delays mesodermal involution. It alters the correct localization, but not the expression, of mesodermal and neural markers. These effects can be rescued by extra-Xfz7, which is a secreted form of the receptor that also weakly inhibits convergent extension when overexpressed. This suggests that the wild-type and truncated receptors have opposing effects when coexpressed and that overexpression of Xfz7 causes an increased signalling activity. Consistent with this, Xfz7 biochemically and functionally interacts with Xwnt11. In addition, Dishevelled, but not (&bgr;)-catenin, synergizes with Xfz7 to affect convergent extension. Furthermore, overexpression of Xfz7 and Xwnt11 also affects convergent extension in activin-treated animal caps, and this can be efficiently reversed by coexpression of Cdc42(T17N), a dominant negative mutant of the small GTPase Cdc42 known as a key regulator of actin cytoskeleton. Conversely, Cdc42(G12V), a constitutively active mutant, rescues the effects of extra-Xfz7 on convergent extension in a dose-dependent manner. That both gain-of-function and loss-of-function of both frizzled and dishevelled produce the same phenotype has been well described in Drosophila tissue polarity. Therefore, our results suggest an endogenous role of Xfz7 in the regulation of convergent extension during gastrulation.

PubMed ID: 10862746
Article link: Development

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: actl6a cdc42 dvl2 fzd7 gsc not otx2 sox3 tbxt wnt11b

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