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Dev Dyn. 2008 Nov;237(11):3404-9. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21758.

Wnt11r is required for cranial neural crest migration.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, United Kingdom.


wnt11r is a recently identified member of the Wnt family of genes, which has been proposed to be the true Xenopus homologue to the mammalian wnt11 gene. In this study we have examined the role of wnt11r on neural crest development. Expression analysis of wnt11r and comparison with the neural crest marker snail2 and the noncanonical Wnt, wnt11, shows wnt11r is expressed at the medial or neural plate side of the neural crest while wnt11 is expressed at the lateral or epidermal side. Injection of wnt11r morpholino leads to strong inhibition of neural crest migration with no effect on neural crest induction or maintenance. This effect can be rescued by co-injection of Wnt11r but not by Wnt11 mRNA, demonstrating the specificity of the loss of function treatment. Finally, neural crest graft experiments show that wnt11r is required in a non-cell-autonomous manner to control neural crest migration.

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