Int. J. Dev. Biol. 45: 225 - 227 (2001)
© UPV/EHU Press

Regulation of convergent extension in Xenopus by Wnt5a and Frizzled-8 is independent of the canonical Wnt pathway.

J B Wallingford, K M Vogeli and R M Harland

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.

ABSTRACT The Wnt signaling pathway is increasingly recognized as a highly branched signaling network. Experimental uncoupling of the different branches of this pathway has proven difficult, as many single components are shared downstream by multiple, distinct pathways. In this report, we demonstrate that the upstream Wnt antagonists Xwnt5a and Nxfz-8, which inhibit normal morphogenetic movements during Xenopus gastrulation, act independently of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. This finding is important, as it highlights the promiscuity of upstream Wnt signaling components and further establishes an important role for non-canonical Wnt signaling in Xenopus morphogenesis.