WNT-FRIZZLED-LRP5/6 Signaling Mediates Posterior Fate and Proliferation during Planarian Regeneration

pubmed: wnt1 2021-05-07

Genes (Basel). 2021 Jan 15;12(1):101. doi: 10.3390/genes12010101.


An organizer is defined as a group of cells that secrete extracellular proteins that specify the fate of surrounding cells according to their concentration. Their function during embryogenesis is key in patterning new growing tissues. Although organizers should also participate in adult development when new structures are regenerated, their presence in adults has only been identified in a few species with striking regenerative abilities, such as planarians. Planarians provide a unique model to understand the function of adult organizers, since the presence of adult pluripotent stem cells provides them with the ability to regenerate any body part. Previous studies have shown that the differential activation of the WNT/β-catenin signal in each wound is fundamental to establish an anterior or a posterior organizer in the corresponding wound. Here, we identify the receptors that mediate the WNT/β-catenin signal in posterior-facing wounds. We found that Wnt1-Fzd1-LRP5/6 signaling is evolutionarily conserved in executing a WNT/β-catenin signal to specify cell fate and to trigger a proliferative response. Our data allow a better understanding of the mechanism through which organizers signal to a "competent" field of cells and integrate the patterning and growth required during de novo formation of organs and tissues.

PMID:33467529 | PMC:PMC7830089 | DOI:10.3390/genes12010101