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BMC Biol October 24, 2005; 3 23.

Wnt5 signaling in vertebrate pancreas development.

Kim HJ , Schleiffarth JR , Jessurun J , Sumanas S , Petryk A , Lin S , Ekker SC .

Signaling by the Wnt family of secreted glycoproteins through their receptors, the frizzled (Fz) family of seven-pass transmembrane proteins, is critical for numerous cell fate and tissue polarity decisions during development. We report a novel role of Wnt signaling in organogenesis using the formation of the islet during pancreatic development as a model tissue. We used the advantages of the zebrafish to visualize and document this process in living embryos and demonstrated that insulin-positive cells actively migrate to form an islet. We used morpholinos (MOs), sequence-specific translational inhibitors, and time-lapse imaging analysis to show that the Wnt-5 ligand and the Fz-2 receptor are required for proper insulin-cell migration in zebrafish. Histological analyses of islets in Wnt5a(-/-) mouse embryos showed that Wnt5a signaling is also critical for murine pancreatic insulin-cell migration. Our results implicate a conserved role of a Wnt5/Fz2 signaling pathway in islet formation during pancreatic development. This study opens the door for further investigation into a role of Wnt signaling in vertebrate organ development and disease.

PubMed ID: 16246260
PMC ID: PMC1276788
Article link: BMC Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: cpa1 epha8 fzd2 gata6 gcg ins isl1 mixer pdx1 slc7a5 sst.1 wnt11b wnt5a wnt8a

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Agrawal, Digestive enzymes of three teleost fishes. 1977, Pubmed