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Dev Dyn. 1999 Jul;215(3):215-24.

Analysis of chicken Wnt-13 expression demonstrates coincidence with cell division in the developing eye and is consistent with a role in induction.

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Department of Biological Structure, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.


We used a degenerate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) strategy to search for Wnt RNA in developing ocular tissues. We isolated a Macaca monkey Wnt-13 PCR fragment, orthologous to the human and murine Wnt-13 and Xenopus Wnt-2b, and a chick Wnt13 cDNA. Wnt-13 is a member of the Wnt-1 class of transforming Wnt molecules. In situ RNA hybridization revealed a dynamic Wnt-13 expression pattern in numerous developing tissues. Within the eye, Wnt-13 is expressed in the proliferative epithelium of the lens and both pigmented and non-pigmented layers of the ciliary margin. In vitro BrdU incorporation studies coupled with in situ hybridization showed that cWnt-13 expression domains in the lens were coincident with cell division. In addition to the eye, cWnt-13 was expressed in head ectoderm, prospective forelimb mesenchyme, lung bud, pharyngeal arches, the brain, as well as the otic vesicle. Our data are consistent with previous observations linking transforming Wnts with cell division and implicate a cascade of events involving cWnt-13 first in dorsoventral patterning and later in cell proliferation regulation associated with lens development. Dev Dyn 1999;215:215-224.

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