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Gene. 2002 Feb 20;285(1-2):203-11.

The EDA gene is a target of, but does not regulate Wnt signaling.

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Laboratory of Genetics, National Institute on Aging, Triad Technology Center, Suite 4000, 333 Cassell Drive, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Lesions in the anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (EDA) gene cause the recessive human genetic disorder X-linked anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, which is characterized by the poor development of ectoderm-derived structures. Ectodysplasin-A, the protein encoded by the EDA gene, is a member of the tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily that forms a collagen triple helix, suggesting functions in signal transduction and cell adhesion. In an effort to elucidate the function of EDA in pathways regulating ectodermal development, we have analyzed promoter elements of the gene. We show here that a binding site for the lymphocyte enhancer factor 1 (Lef-1) transcription factor is active. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays, Lef-1 specifically bound to its site in the EDA promoter. Over-expression of both Lef-1 and beta-catenin significantly increased EDA transcription in co-transfection studies. In addition, indirect stabilization of endogenous beta-catenin stimulated EDA transcription 4- to 13-fold. This is the first direct evidence of a relationship between EDA and the Wnt pathway. We have also investigated whether EDA might function in a feedback loop to modulate Wnt signaling. Over-expression of EDA neither stimulated basal transcription of Wnt-dependent genes, nor inhibited Wnt-dependent activation of transcription. Taken together, our results demonstrate that Wnt signaling does control EDA gene expression, but ectodysplasin-A does not feedback on the Wnt pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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