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Dev Biol. 2011 Jan 15;349(2):261-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2010.11.012. Epub 2010 Nov 16.

Ectodermal Wnt/β-catenin signaling shapes the mouse face.

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  • 1Department of Craniofacial Biology and Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado Denver, 12801 East 17th Avenue, PO Box 6511, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.

Abstract

The canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway is an essential component of multiple developmental processes. To investigate the role of this pathway in the ectoderm during facial morphogenesis, we generated conditional β-catenin mouse mutants using a novel ectoderm-specific Cre recombinase transgenic line. Our results demonstrate that ablating or stabilizing β-catenin in the embryonic ectoderm causes dramatic changes in facial morphology. There are accompanying alterations in the expression of Fgf8 and Shh, key molecules that establish a signaling center critical for facial patterning, the frontonasal ectodermal zone (FEZ). These data indicate that Wnt/β-catenin signaling within the ectoderm is critical for facial development and further suggest that this pathway is an important mechanism for generating the diverse facial shapes of vertebrates during evolution.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21087601
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3057077
Free PMC Article

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