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Dev Biol. 2000 Jan 1;217(1):25-41.

The dynamic expression pattern of frzb-1 suggests multiple roles in chick development.

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  • 1Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, California, 94132, USA.


The Wnt family of secreted proteins has been shown to have multiple roles in embryonic development. Wnt signals are thought to be propagated by binding to the cysteine-rich extracellular domain (CRD) of Frizzled, a seven-transmembrane-domain cell surface receptor. Secreted Frizzled-related proteins (generally denoted Frzb or Sfrp) possess a domain with a high degree of sequence identity and structural similarity with the CRD of Frizzled. Current data indicate that the cysteine-rich domain of secreted Frzb proteins can bind Wnt proteins, suggesting the possibility that Frzbs compete with membrane-bound Frizzled for Wnt binding and consequently act as competitive inhibitors of Wnt signaling. In order to gain a better understanding of the potential roles of Frzb-1 in chick development, we utilized the polymerase chain reaction to isolate a partial cDNA of the chick orthologue of frzb-1, cfrzb-1, and compared its expression pattern to that of Wnt-1, Wnt-3a, Wnt-5a, Wnt-7a, and Wnt-8c. Whole-mount in situ hybridizations have revealed three major phases of expression for cfrzb-1 in the developing chick. The earliest expression of cfrzb-1 is in cells fated to become neural ectoderm in streak-stage embryos. Expression of cfrzb-1 in the neural ectoderm continues up through stage 8. After stage 8, cfrzb-1 expression is gradually attenuated in the closing neural tube of the trunk and is concomitantly up-regulated in neural crest cells. Finally, cfrzb-1 appears in the condensing mesenchyme of the bones in both the limb and the trunk in stage 25+ embryos. Comparative analysis of the cfrzb-1 and the Wnt gene expression patterns suggests possible interactions between cFrzb-1 and all of the Wnt family members examined.

Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

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