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Dev Cell. 2016 Sep 26;38(6):643-55. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2016.08.011.

Generating Cellular Diversity and Spatial Form: Wnt Signaling and the Evolution of Multicellular Animals.

Author information

1
Department of Developmental Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 265 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
2
Section of Molecular Cytology and Van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
3
Department of Developmental Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 265 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address: rnusse@stanford.edu.

Abstract

There were multiple prerequisites to the evolution of multicellular animal life, including the generation of multiple cell fates ("cellular diversity") and their patterned spatial arrangement ("spatial form"). Wnt proteins operate as primordial symmetry-breaking signals. By virtue of their short-range nature and their capacity to activate both lineage-specifying and cell-polarizing intracellular signaling cascades, Wnts can polarize cells at their site of contact, orienting the axis of cell division while simultaneously programming daughter cells to adopt diverging fates in a spatially stereotyped way. By coupling cell fate to position, symmetry-breaking Wnt signals were pivotal in constructing the metazoan body by generating cellular diversity and spatial form.

PMID:
27676437
DOI:
10.1016/j.devcel.2016.08.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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