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Cell. 2004 Mar 19;116(6):883-95.

Vascular development in the retina and inner ear: control by Norrin and Frizzled-4, a high-affinity ligand-receptor pair.

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1
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

Abstract

Incomplete retinal vascularization occurs in both Norrie disease and familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR). Norrin, the protein product of the Norrie disease gene, is a secreted protein of unknown biochemical function. One form of FEVR is caused by defects in Frizzled-4 (Fz4), a presumptive Wnt receptor. We show here that Norrin and Fz4 function as a ligand-receptor pair based on (1) the similarity in vascular phenotypes caused by Norrin and Fz4 mutations in humans and mice, (2) the specificity and high affinity of Norrin-Fz4 binding, (3) the high efficiency with which Norrin induces Fz4- and Lrp-dependent activation of the classical Wnt pathway, and (4) the signaling defects displayed by disease-associated variants of Norrin and Fz4. These data define a Norrin-Fz4 signaling system that plays a central role in vascular development in the eye and ear, and they indicate that ligands unrelated to Wnts can act through Fz receptors.

PMID:
15035989
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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