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Mech Dev. 2000 May;93(1-2):195-200.

Characterization of avian frizzled genes in cranial placode development.

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Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City 84132, USA.


To determine the possible role of Wnt signaling in cranial placode development, we have cloned several chick frizzled genes, a family of putative Wnt receptor molecules, and analyzed their expression during chick embryogenesis. Chick frizzled-2 (cFz-2) and frizzled-7 (cFz-7) are expressed broadly in cranial ectoderm, tissue that is competent to express markers of the trigeminal placode (Stark et al., 1997. Development 124, 4287-4295; Baker et al., 1999. Development 126, 147-156). In addition, cFz-2 and cFz-7 are uniquely expressed in other cranial placodes, including the olfactory, lens, and otic placodes. Chick frizzled-1 (cFz-1) is expressed in the lens, otic placode and, along with cFz-7, in epibranchial placodes. Each frizzled gene expressed in the otic placode displays a unique domain of expression: cFz-1 transcripts are detected in the medial wall of the vesicle, cFz-2 in the rostral rim of the vesicle, and cFz-7 in the lateral half of the vesicle. Other chick frizzled family members cloned that do not show striking expression in cranial placodes include frizzled-4 (cFz-4), frizzled-8 (cFz-8), frizzled-9 (cFz-9), and frizzled-10 (cFz-10). A brief summary of their expression is given, along with a brief summary of non-placodal expression of cFz-1, cFz-2, and cFz-7. In all, frizzled genes show dynamic expression at key times during embryonic development, particularly in the cranial placodes.

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