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Genes Dev. 2005 Aug 1;19(15):1749-54.

Wnt signaling drives WRM-1/beta-catenin asymmetries in early C. elegans embryos.

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  • 1Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01605, USA.


beta-Catenin regulates cell adhesion and cellular differentiation during development, and misregulation of beta-catenin contributes to numerous forms of cancer in humans. Here we describe Caenorhabditis elegans conditional alleles of mom-2/Wnt, mom-4/Tak1, and wrm-1/beta-catenin. We use these reagents to examine the regulation of WRM-1/beta-catenin during a Wnt-signaling-induced asymmetric cell division. While WRM-1 protein initially accumulates in the nuclei of all cells, signaling promotes the retention of WRM-1 in nuclei of responding cells. We show that both PRY-1/Axin and the nuclear exportin homolog IMB-4/CRM-1 antagonize signaling. These findings reveal how Wnt signals direct the asymmetric localization of beta-catenin during polarized cell division.

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