Int. J. Dev. Biol. 61: 415 - 425 (2017)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.160399cy
© UPV/EHU Press

Apolipoprotein C-I mediates Wnt/Ctnnb1 signaling during neural border formation and is required for neural crest development

Chika Yokota*,1, Carolina Åstrand1, Shuji Takahashi2, Daniel W. Hagey1 and Jan M. Stenman1

1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd, Stockholm, Sweden and 2 Institute for Amphibian Biology, Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University, Japan

ABSTRACT In vertebrates, the neural crest and placodes originate in the neural border, which is located between the neural plate and epidermal ectoderm. The neural crest and placodes give rise to a vast array of cell types. Formation of neural crest is a multi-step process, in which Wnt signals are used reiteratively, but it is currently not clear if a Wnt signal is required for neural border formation. Here, we have identified apolipoprotein C-I (apoc1) in a screen for genes regulated by Wnt/Ctnnb1 signaling in late blastula stage Xenopus tropicalis embryos. We show that Xenopus laevis apoc1 encodes a small, secreted protein, and is induced by Wnt/Ctnnb1 signaling. Depletion of Apoc1 protein results in a neural border formation defect and loss of border fates, including neural crest cells. However, unlike another Wnt/Ctnnb1 target, gbx2.2, apoc1 is not required for patterning of the neural border. We further show that gbx2.2 and apoc1 are independently regulated by Wnt signaling. Our results thus suggest that Wnt regulates border formation and patterning by distinct genetic mechanisms.

Keywords:

apolipoprotein, Xenopus, neural crest, neural plate border, wnt, ctnnb1

*Corresponding author e-mail: chika.yokota@licr.ki.se