Characterization of sFRP2-like in amphioxus: insights into the evolutionary conservation of Wnt antagonizing function

Authors

  • Weihua Kong,

    1. Institute of Developmental Biology, School of Life Sciences, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Cells and Developmental Biology, Shandong University, Jinan, China
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  • Yongjie Yang,

    1. Institute of Developmental Biology, School of Life Sciences, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Cells and Developmental Biology, Shandong University, Jinan, China
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  • Tianxiao Zhang,

    1. Institute of Developmental Biology, School of Life Sciences, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Cells and Developmental Biology, Shandong University, Jinan, China
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  • De-Li Shi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Groupe de Biologie Expérimentale, Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement, CNRS UMR 7622, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
    • Institute of Developmental Biology, School of Life Sciences, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Cells and Developmental Biology, Shandong University, Jinan, China
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  • Yanjun Zhang

    Corresponding author
    • Institute of Developmental Biology, School of Life Sciences, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Cells and Developmental Biology, Shandong University, Jinan, China
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Author for correspondence (email: de-li.shi@upmc.fr) or (email: zhangyj@sdu.edu.cn)

SUMMARY

Wnt signaling plays a key role in embryonic patterning and morphogenetic movements. The secreted Frizzled-related proteins (sFRPs) antagonize Wnt signaling, but their roles in development are poorly understood. To determine whether function of sFRPs is conserved between amphioxus and vertebrates, we characterized sFRP2-like function in the amphioxus, Branchiostoma belcheri tsingtauense (B. belcheri). As in other species of Branchiostome, in B. belcheri, expression of sFRP2-like is restricted to the mesendoderm during gastrulation and to the anterior mesoderm and endoderm during neurulation. Functional analyses in frog (Xenopus laevis) indicate that amphioxus sFRP2-like potently inhibits both canonical and non-canonical Wnts. Thus, sFRP-2 probably functions in amphioxus embryos to inhibit Wnt signaling anteriorly. Moreover, dorsal overexpression of amphioxus sFRP2-like in Xenopus embryos, like inhibition of Wnt11, blocks gastrulation movements. This implies that sFRP2-like may also modulate Wnt signaling during gastrulation movements in amphioxus.

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