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Engrailed-1 as a target of the Wnt-1 signalling pathway in vertebrate midbrain development

Nature volume 383, pages 332334 (26 September 1996) | Download Citation

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Abstract

A SECRETED signalling molecule encoded by the Wnt-1 gene is required for development of the central nervous system. In mouse embryos homozygous for a Wnt-1-null allele, the midbrain and anterior hindbrain fail to develop1,2. This corresponds to the region where two transcription factors encoded by the mouse engrailed genes (En-1 and En-2) are normally expressed3,4. Studies of the Drosophila orthologue of Wnt-1, wingless, indicate that Wingless signal is required to maintain engrailed expression in neighbouring cells of the developing epidermis5–7. Here we report that expression of En-1 in the developing midbrain of Wnt-1-null embryos is sufficient to rescue early midbrain and anterior hindbrain development. This suggests that a key role of Wnt-1 signalling is to maintain En expression and that this aspect of the Wnt-1/engrailed interaction has been conserved from flies to mice.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, The Biological Laboratories, Harvard Unversity, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA

    • Paul S. Danielian
    •  & Andrew P. McMahon

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/383332a0

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