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Dev Growth Differ 2014 Dec 01;569:640-52. doi: 10.1111/dgd.12181.
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Cell-autonomous signal transduction in the Xenopus egg Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

Motomura E , Narita T , Nasu Y , Kato H , Sedohara A , Nishimatsu S , Sakai M .

Wnt proteins are thought to bind to their receptors on the cell surfaces of neighboring cells. Wnt8 likely substitutes for the dorsal determinants in Xenopus embryos to dorsalize early embryos via the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Here, we show that Wnt8 can dorsalize Xenopus embryos working cell autonomously. Wnt8 mRNA was injected into a cleavage-stage blastomere, and the subcellular distribution of Wnt8 protein was analyzed. Wnt8 protein was predominantly found in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and resided at the periphery of the cells; however, this protein was restricted to the mRNA-injected cellular region as shown by lineage tracing. A mutant Wnt8 that contained an ER retention signal (Wnt8-KDEL) could dorsalize Xenopus embryos. Finally, Wnt8-induced dorsalization occurred only in cells injected with Wnt8 mRNA. These experiments suggest that the Wnt8 protein acts within the cell, likely in the ER or on the cell surface in an autocrine manner for dorsalization.

PubMed ID: 25330272
PMC ID: PMC4298249
Article link: Dev Growth Differ

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: actl6a chrd ctnnb1 frzb nodal3.1 nodal3.2 odc1 pdia2 sia1 vegt wnt8a

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Blitzer, A critical role for endocytosis in Wnt signaling. 2006, Pubmed