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Science 288 (5472): 1825-1828

Copyright © 2000 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Signaling Specificity by Frizzled Receptors in Drosophila

Michael Boutros, * Jozsef Mihaly, Tewis Bouwmeester, Marek Mlodzik dagger

Wnt-Frizzled (Fz) signaling pathways play recurring important roles during the development and homeostasis of vertebrates and invertebrates. Fz receptors can signal through beta -catenin-dependent and -independent pathways. In Drosophila, Fz and Fz2 are redundant receptors for Wg. In addition, Fz conveys signals through a distinct pathway to organize planar polarization of epithelial structures. We demonstrate that the cytoplasmic sequences of Fz2 and Fz preferentially activate the beta -catenin and planar polarity cascade, respectively. Both receptors activate either pathway, but with different efficiencies. Intrinsic differences in signaling efficiency in closely related receptors might be a general mechanism for generating signaling specificity in vivo.

European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Developmental Biology Programme, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.
*   Present address: Harvard Medical School, Department of Genetics, 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

dagger    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mlodzik{at}

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Pax3 regulates morphogenetic cell behavior in vitro coincident with activation of a PCP/non-canonical Wnt-signaling cascade.
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