Wnt genes encode intercellular signalling molecules that play important roles in key processes of embryonic development such as mesoderm induction, specification of the embryonic axis, and patterning of the central nervous system, spinal cord, and limb. Multiple such genes are known to exist in each of several species that have been investigated, and they have been classified into various groups and subgroups on the basis of high sequence homology and common expression patterns. The vertebrate Wnt8 subfamily includes genes from Xenopus, zebrafish, and chicken, but, to date, no mammalian homologues have been described. We now report cloning and characterization of a novel human member of this family that we have termed WNT8B on the basis of the very high sequence similarity of the inferred protein to those encoded by the Xenopus and zebrafish Wnt8b genes. PCR typing of a human monochromosomal hybrid cell panel mapped the gene to chromosome 10, and FISH mapping provided a subchromosomal location at 10q24. Northern blotting and RT-PCR assays indicated that the WNT8B gene is expressed in several human tissues during fetal and adult stages.
Genomics – Elsevier
Published: Jul 15, 1996
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