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J. Cell Biol. 162 (5): 889-898

Copyright © 2003 by the Rockefeller University Press.


Wnt-5/pipetail functions in vertebrate axis formation as a negative regulator of Wnt/ß-catenin activity

Trudi A. Westfall1, Ryan Brimeyer1, Jen Twedt1, Jean Gladon1, Andrea Olberding1, Makoto Furutani-Seiki2, and Diane C. Slusarski1

1 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242
2 Kondoh Differentiation Signaling Project, Sakyo-ku, 606-8394 Kyoto, Japan

Address correspondence to Diane C. Slusarski, Dept. of Biological Sciences, 312 Biology Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242. Tel.: (319) 335-3229. Fax: (319) 335-1069. email: diane-slusarski{at}

Abstract: We provide genetic evidence defining a role for noncanonical Wnt function in vertebrate axis formation. In zebrafish, misexpression of Wnt-4, -5, and -11 stimulates calcium (Ca2+) release, defining the Wnt/Ca2+ class. We describe genetic interaction between two Wnt/Ca2+ members, Wnt-5 (pipetail) and Wnt-11 (silberblick), and a reduction of Ca2+ release in Wnt-5/pipetail. Embryos genetically depleted of both maternal and zygotic Wnt-5 product exhibit cell movement defects as well as hyperdorsalization and axis-duplication phenotypes. The dorsalized phenotypes result from increased ß-catenin accumulation and activation of downstream genes. The Wnt-5 loss-of-function defect is consistent with Ca2+ modulation having an antagonistic interaction with Wnt/ß-catenin signaling.

Key Words: dorsal–ventral patterning; calcium; zebrafish; morphogenesis; signal transduction

Abbreviations used in this paper: Ca2+, calcium; CaMKII, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase; dsh, dishevelled; D-V, dorsal-ventral; hpf, hours post fertilization; IP3R, inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor; mz, maternal-zygotic; ppt, pipetail; slb, silberblick; YSL, yolk syncytial layer; XeC, Xestospongin C.

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