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Wnt signaling drives WRM-1/beta-catenin asymmetries in early C. elegans embryos.

Nakamura K., Kim S., Ishidate T., Bei Y., Pang K., Shirayama M., Trzepacz C., Brownell D.R., Mello C.C.

beta-Catenin regulates cell adhesion and cellular differentiation during development, and misregulation of beta-catenin contributes to numerous forms of cancer in humans. Here we describe Caenorhabditis elegans conditional alleles of mom-2/Wnt, mom-4/Tak1, and wrm-1/beta-catenin. We use these reagents to examine the regulation of WRM-1/beta-catenin during a Wnt-signaling-induced asymmetric cell division. While WRM-1 protein initially accumulates in the nuclei of all cells, signaling promotes the retention of WRM-1 in nuclei of responding cells. We show that both PRY-1/Axin and the nuclear exportin homolog IMB-4/CRM-1 antagonize signaling. These findings reveal how Wnt signals direct the asymmetric localization of beta-catenin during polarized cell division.

Genes Dev. 19:1749-1754(2005) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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