Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding

Wnt gene cluster in ventral ectoderm patterning of Drosophila embryo

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Evolutionarily conserved gene clusters serve as important
genomic assets and are exploited to elucidate primal
designs of genome evolution. The quest to understand
contemporary functional significance of such clusters
underlying their persistent evolutionary selection is
reasonable. One such gene cluster in Drosophila is the
‘Wnt cluster’ comprising of DWnt4-wg-DWnt6-DWnt10 on
the left arm of the second chromosome. Wnts are secreted
glycoproteins that work as cell signaling molecules and
are involved in myriad of cellular, developmental processes
and diseases like cancer. Wingless (wg) is prototype of this
family along with other 6 Wnt genes reported in Drosophila
melanogaster. Wingless (wg) functions during ventral
epidermis patterning in embryo, wing morphogenesis etc.
DWnt4 semi- lethal mutants are known in the context of
cell motility in ovarian morphogenesis. However, no lethal
mutations for DWnt4 are reported so far. Similarly, the
understanding of potential biological roles of DWnt6 and
DWnt10 remains elusive as no classical genetic alleles are
reported.To fill this lacuna we have tried to decipher the
plausible role of DWnt6 and DWnt10 in ectoderm patterning
of embryo. Here we report that though DWnt6 and DWnt10
are not expressed in ventral ectoderm of embryo, they are
able to rescue the defects in cuticles in absence of DWnt4
or wg. Similarly knockdown of DWnt6 and DWnt10
transcripts in DWnt4 and wg epidermal/ cuticular mutants
resulted in increased defects in cuticles. These findings
indicates that DWnt6 and DWnt10 can use canonical or non
canonical Wnt pathway in absence of DWnt4 or wg and
most probably they are using the same signaling mechanism
in their natural function of domain which is yet to be known.

Keywords: Cell signaling, DWnt6,DWnt10, DWnt4, wg, drosophila


Year: 2015
Volume: 75
Issue: 1
Article DOI: 10.5958/0975-6906.2015.00002.4
Print ISSN: 0019-5200
Online ISSN: 0975-6906


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