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Dev Dyn. 2004 Jul;230(3):403-9.

Two Frodo/Dapper homologs are expressed in the developing brain and mesoderm of zebrafish.

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Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


Members of the Wnt family of extracellular proteins play essential roles during many phases of vertebrate embryonic development. The molecular mechanism of their action involves a complex cascade of intracellular signaling events, which remains to be understood completely. Recently, two novel cytoplasmic modulators of Wnt signaling, Frodo and Dapper, were identified in Xenopus. We report isolation of their homologs in zebrafish, and show that these genes, frd1 and frd2, are expressed in restricted domains during embryogenesis. Both genes are expressed during early gastrulation in the future mesendoderm, and continue to be expressed in distinct patterns in the forming neurectoderm and mesoderm. Comparative sequence analysis and similar expression patterns argue that frd1 is the zebrafish ortholog of Frodo and Dapper, whereas frd2 is a more divergent member of the same family. Our data suggest important roles for zebrafish frd1 and frd2 in patterning the neural plate and several mesodermal derivatives.

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