Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Development. 1997 Jan;124(2):525-36.

Wnt-11 is expressed in early avian mesoderm and required for the differentiation of the quail mesoderm cell line QCE-6.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, USA.


The beginning of mesodermal development involves the aggregation of newly gastrulated cells into epithelial fields, as a prelude to organ formation. To analyze the molecular regulation of this initial patterning, we have focused on the Wnt family of secreted signaling proteins, molecules which have been shown to promote embryonic patterning by regulating cell-cell associations. In this study, we show that the Wnt-11 gene is expressed by newly gastrulated mesoderm cells within avian embryos. The expression pattern of Wnt-11 also suggests that it may be involved in formation of the cardiogenic fields and somites. Subsequently, we utilized the quail mesoderm cell line QCE-6 as a culture model for examining the influence of Wnt-11 on early mesoderm cell differentiation. This cell line has been shown to be representative of early nondifferentiated mesoderm cells and has the potential to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, endothelial or red blood cells. Similar to early mesoderm cells, QCE-6 cells express Wnt-11. We have engineered stable transfectants of these cells that produce either diminished or enhanced levels of Wnt-11 protein. Our studies show that Wnt-11 regulates cellular interactions of QCE-6 cells, as demonstrated by alterations in contact-inhibited growth, tight and gap junction formation and plakoglobin expression. Both the morphology and growth factor-induced differentiation of QCE-6 cells are regulated in a cooperative fashion by Wnt-11 and fibronectin. These results, described in detail below, demonstrate the uniqueness of QCE-6 cells as a culture system for analyzing Wnt activity. In particular, QCE-6 cells are the first cell line that has demonstrated: (1) Wnt-dependent differentiation; (2) concentration-variable responses to Wnt protein; and (3) altered cell phenotypes as a direct response to Wnt-5a class proteins (e.g. Wnt-4 and Wnt-11).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center