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Keywords:

  • Wnt/PCP signaling;
  • Dishevelled;
  • Wnt5a;
  • Wnt11;
  • Frizzled7;
  • Ror2;
  • JNK;
  • ATF2

Abstract

Non-canonical/planar cell polarity (PCP) Wnt signaling plays important roles in embryonic development and tissue homeostasis, and is implicated in human disease. Monitoring Wnt/PCP signaling relies mostly on semi-quantitative bioassays or biochemical analysis. Here we describe a luciferase reporter assay based on an ATF2 response element, which faithfully monitors non-canonical Wnt signaling in Xenopus embryos. The assay is simple, quantitative, and robust. It can be used to detect non-canonical Wnt signaling changes following gain and loss of function of pathway components, including Wnt, Frizzled, Ror2, Disheveled, Rac1, MKK7, and JNK. Wnt/PCP signaling has recently been implicated in left-right asymmetry and our reporter assay suggests that in gastrula embryos there is a right-ward bias in Wnt/PCP signaling. We also mapped Wnt/PCP signaling in the early Xenopus embryo and find that it peaks in the dorso-vegetal region, paralleling Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Developmental Dynamics, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.