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Development 130 (11): 2429-2441

Xenopus Cyr61 regulates gastrulation movements and modulates Wnt signalling

B. V. Latinkic1, S. Mercurio1,2, B. Bennett1, E. M. A. Hirst1, Q. Xu1, L. F. Lau3, T. J. Mohun1, and J. C. Smith1,2,*

1 Division of Developmental Biology, National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK
2 Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Institute and Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QR, UK
3 Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60607-7170, USA

* Author for correspondence (e-mail: jim{at}

Accepted for publication 20 February 2003.

Abstract: Cyr61 is a secreted, heparin-binding, extracellular matrix-associated protein whose activities include the promotion of adhesion and chemotaxis, and the stimulation of fibroblast and endothelial cell growth. Many, if not all, of these activities of Cyr61 are mediated through interactions with integrins. We explore the role of Cyr61 in the early development of Xenopus laevis. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments show that Xcyr61 is required for normal gastrulation movements. This role is mediated in part through the adhesive properties of Xcyr61 and its related ability to modulate assembly of the extracellular matrix. In addition, Xcyr61 can, in a context-dependent manner, stimulate or inhibit signalling through the Wnt pathway. These properties of Xcyr61 provide a mechanism for integrating cell signalling, cell adhesion and cell migration during gastrulation.

Key Words: Xenopus • Cyr61 • CCN family • Wnt signalling • Cell adhesion • Gastrulation

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