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Zhu X.-J.,Hangzhou Normal University | Zhu X.-J.,Key Laboratory of Mammalian Organogenesis and Regeneration | Liu Y.D.,Hangzhou Normal University | Liu Y.D.,Key Laboratory of Mammalian Organogenesis and Regeneration | And 15 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2014

Epidermal stratification of the mammalian skin requires proliferative basal progenitors to generate intermediate cells that separate from the basal layer and are replaced by post-mitotic cells. Although Wnt signaling has been implicated in this developmental process, the mechanism underlying Wnt-mediated regulation of basal progenitors remains elusive. Here we show that Wnt secreted from proliferative basal cells is not required for their differentiation. However, epidermal production of Wnts is essential for the formation of the spinous layer through modulation of a BMP-FGF signaling cascade in the dermis. The spinous layer defects caused by disruption of Wnt secretion can be restored by transgenically expressed Bmp4. Non-cell autonomous BMP4 promotes activation of FGF7 and FGF10 signaling, leading to an increase in proliferative basal cell population. Our findings identify an essential BMP-FGF signaling axis in the dermis that responds to the epidermal Wnts and feedbacks to regulate basal progenitors during epidermal stratification. © 2014 Zhu et al.

Liu Y.,Hangzhou Normal University | Liu Y.,Key Laboratory of Mammalian Organogenesis and Regeneration | Liu Y.,Chonbuk National University | Wang M.,Hangzhou Normal University | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Dental Research | Year: 2015

Cleft palate represents one of the major congenital birth defects in humans. Despite the essential roles of ectodermal canonical Wnt and mesenchymal Wnt signaling in the secondary palate development, the function of mesenchymal canonical Wnt activity in secondary palate development remains elusive. Here we show that Gpr177, a highly conserved transmembrane protein essential for Wnt trafficking, is required for secondary palate development. Gpr177 is expressed in both epithelium and mesenchyme of palatal shelves during mouse development. Wnt1Cre-mediated deletion of Gpr177 in craniofacial neural crest cells leads to a complete cleft secondary palate, which is formed mainly due to aberrant cell proliferation and increased cell death in palatal shelves. By BATGAL staining, we reveal an intense canonical Wnt activity in the anterior palate mesenchyme of E12.5 wild-type embryos but not in Gpr177Wnt1-Cre embryos, suggesting that mesenchymal canonical Wnt signaling activated by Gpr177-mediated mesenchymal Wnts is critical for secondary palate development. Moreover, phosphorylation of JNK and c-Jun is impaired in the Gpr177Wnt1-Cre palate and is restored by implantation of Wnt5a-soaked beads in the in vitro palate explants, suggesting that Gpr177 probably regulates palate development via the Wnt5a-mediated noncanonical Wnt pathway in which c-Jun and JNK are involved. Importantly, certain cellular processes and the altered gene expression in palates lacking Gpr177 are distinct from that of the Wnt5a mutant, further demonstrating involvement of other mesenchymal Wnts in the process of palate development. Together, these results suggest that mesenchymal Gpr177 is required for secondary palate development by regulating and integrating mesenchymal canonical and noncanonical Wnt signals. © International & American Associations for Dental Research 2015.

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