Expression of beta-catenin in the developing chick myotome is regulated by myogenic signals

Maike Schmidt, Mikiko Tanaka, Andrea Munsterberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The developmental signals that govern cell specification and differentiation in vertebrate somites are well understood. However, little is known about the downstream signalling pathways involved. We have shown previously that a combination of Shh protein and Wnt1 or Wnt3a-expressing fibroblasts is sufficient to activate skeletal muscle-specific gene expression in somite explants. Here, we have examined the molecular mechanisms by which the Wnt-mediated signal acts on myogenic precursor cells. We show that chick frizzled 1 (Fz1), β-catenin and Lef1 are expressed during somitogenesis. Lef1 and β-catenin transcripts become restricted to the developing myotome. Furthermore, β-catenin is expressed prior to the time at which MyoD transcripts can be detected. Expression of β-catenin mRNA is regulated by positive and negative signals derived from neural tube, notochord and lateral plate mesoderm. These signals include Bmp4, Shh and Wnt1/Wnt3a itself. In somite explants, Fz1, β-catenin and Lef1 are expressed prior to activation of myogenesis in response to Shh and Wnt signals. Thus, our data show that a combination of Shh and Wnt1 upregulates expression of Wnt pathway components in developing somites prior to myogenesis. Thus, Wnt1 could act through β-catenin on cells in the myotome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4105-4113
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopment
Volume127
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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