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Dev Biol 2007 Apr 15;3042:836-47. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.12.034.
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Wnt/beta-catenin signaling controls Mespo expression to regulate segmentation during Xenopus somitogenesis.

Wang J , Li S , Chen Y , Ding X .

The vertebral column is derived from somites, which are transient segments of the paraxial mesoderm that are present in developing vertebrates. The strict spatial and temporal regulation of somitogenesis is of crucial developmental importance. Signals such as Wnt and FGF play roles in somitogenesis, but details regarding how Wnt signaling functions in this process remain unclear. In this study, we report that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling regulates the expression of Mespo, a basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) gene critical for segmental patterning in Xenopus somitogenesis. Transgenic analysis of the Mespo promoter identifies Mespo as a direct downstream target of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. We also demonstrate that activity of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in somitogenesis can be enhanced by the PI3-K/AKT pathway. Our results illustrate that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in conjunction with PI3-K/AKT pathway plays a key role in controlling development of the paraxial mesoderm.

PubMed ID: 17266950
Article link: Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: dkk1 dll1 gal.2 lef1 mespa msgn1 pcdh8 tbx2 tbxt tcf15 thy1 wnt8a
Morpholinos: msgn1 MO1

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