Wnts are a recently described family of secreted glycoproteins related to the Drosophila segment polarity gene, wingless, and to the proto‐oncogene, int‐1. Wnts are thought to function as developmental modulators, with signalling distances of only a few cell diameters. In Xenopus, at least six Wnts, including Xwnts‐1, ‐3A, and ‐4, are expressed initially in the developing central nervous system, with some regions expressing multiple Xwnts. Xwnt‐8 is expressed by mid‐blastula stage, in ventral and lateral mesoderm. Xwnt‐5A mRNAs are stored in the egg, and later are expressed throughout the embryo in both ectoderm and mesoderm, but with a pronounced enrichment in the head and tail. Recent studies in Xenopus have pursued the diverse roles of Xwnts in early development, the mechanisms by which Xwnts signal information between cells, and the cell physiological responses to Xwnt signals.
BioEssays – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1993
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