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Dev Cell. 2002 Apr;2(4):437-48.

DWnt4 regulates cell movement and focal adhesion kinase during Drosophila ovarian morphogenesis.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Cell motility is regulated by extracellular cues and by intracellular factors that accumulate at sites of contact between cells and the extracellular matrix. One of these factors, focal adhesion kinase (FAK), regulates the cycle of focal adhesion formation and disassembly that is required for cell movement to occur. Recently, Wnt signaling has also been implicated in the control of cell movement in vertebrates, but the mechanism through which Wnt proteins influence motility is unclear. We demonstrate that Drosphila Wnt4 is required for cell movement and FAK regulation during ovarian morphogenesis. Dfrizzled2, Disheveled, and protein kinase C are also required. The DWnt4 cell motility pathway is distinct from both the canonical Wnt pathway and the planar polarity pathway. Our data suggest that DWnt4 facilitates motility through regulation of focal adhesions.

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