The Wnt signaling pathway plays a pivotal role in vertebrate early development and morphogenesis. Duplin (axis duplication inhibitor) interacts with β-catenin and prevents its binding to Tcf, thereby inhibiting downstream Wnt signaling. Here we show that Duplin is expressed predominantly from early to mid-stage mouse embryogenesis, and we describe the generation of mice deficient in Duplin. Duplin-/-embryos manifest growth retardation from embryonic day 5.5 (E5.5) and developmental arrest accompanied by massive apoptosis at E7.5. The mutant embryos develop into an egg cylinder but do not form a primitive streak or mesoderm. Expression of β-catenin target genes, including those for T (brachyury), Axin2, and cyclin Dl, was not increased in Duplin-/- embryos, suggesting that the developmental defect is not simply attributable to upregulation of Wnt signaling caused by the lack of this inhibitor. These results suggest that Duplin plays an indispensable role, likely by a mechanism independent of inhibition of Wnt signaling, in mouse embryonic growth and differentiation at an early developmental stage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology