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Mech Dev January 1, 2016; 142 30-39.

Cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains modulate Wnt/β-catenin morphogen gradient during Xenopus development.

Reis AH , Moreno MM , Maia LA , Oliveira FP , Santos AS , Abreu JG .

Wnt/β-catenin has been described as crucial for dorsal-ventral and antero-posterior patterning, playing multiple roles at different stages of development. Cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains (CRMMs), cholesterol- and sphingolipid-enriched domains of the plasma membrane, are known as platforms for signaling pathways. Although we have demonstrated the importance of the CRMMs for head development, how they participate in prechordal plate formation and embryo axis patterning remains an open question. Moreover, the participation of the CRMMs in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway activity in vivo is unclear, particularly during embryonic development. In this study, we demonstrated that CRMMs disruption by methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MβCD) potentiates the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in vitro and in vivo during embryonic development, causing head defects by expanding the Wnt expression domain. Furthermore, we also found that the action of CRMMs depends on the microenvironmental context because it also works in conjunction with dkk1, when dkk1 is overexpressed. Thus, we propose CRMMs as a further mechanism of prechordal plate protection against the Wnt signals secreted by posterolateral cells, complementing the action of secreted antagonists.

PubMed ID: 27687541
Article link: Mech Dev

Genes referenced: ccnd1 dkk1 myf5 myod1 otx2 pax6 sia1 wnt3a wnt8a
Morpholinos: ctnnb1 MO1

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