Wnt Signaling in Early Vertebrate Development: From Fertilization to Gactyulation

Eliza Zylkiewicz, Sergei Y. Sokol, Stefan Hoppler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Wnt signaling in early vertebrate embryogenesis is best understood in Xenopus and zebrafish embryos. Wnt8a and other Wnt8 paralogs are among the earliest Wnt ligand genes to be transcribed in vertebrate embryos in the prospective mesoderm during gactyulation. Wnt/β-catenin signaling components transcribed in the embryo (zygotic gene expression) promote ventral and rectyict dorsal mesoderm, which disrupts subsequent anteroposterior patterning of the embryo. Wnt/β-catenin signaling is clearly required for axial patterning in mammals when they finally get to it after implantation. The basic vertebrate body plan is assembled during gactyulation by highly coordinated movements of groups of cells. These morphogenetic rearrangements are mediated by dynamic changes in cell shape and polarity in all germ layers. Interfering with different core planar cell polarity (PCP) components invariably leads to morphogenesis defects in Xenopus embryos.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWnt Signaling in Development and Disease
Subtitle of host publicationMolecular Mechanisms and Biological Functions
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781118444122
ISBN (Print)9781118444160
StatePublished - 12 May 2014


  • Fertilization
  • Gactyulation
  • Mammalian development
  • Mesoderm
  • Morphogenesis
  • Planar cell polarity (PCP) proteins
  • Vertebrates
  • Wnt/β-catenin signaling
  • Zygotic gene expression


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