The dual regulator Sufu integrates Hedgehog and Wnt signals in the early Xenopus embryo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hedgehog (Hh) and Wnt proteins are important signals implicated in several aspects of embryonic development, including the early development of the central nervous system. We found that Xenopus Suppressor-of-fused (XSufu) affects neural induction and patterning by regulating the Hh/Gli and Wnt/beta-catenin pathways. Microinjection of XSufu mRNA induced expansion of the epidermis at the expense of neural plate tissue and caused enlargement of the eyes. An antisense morpholino oligonucleotide against XSufu had the opposite effect. Interestingly, both gain- and loss-of-function experiments resulted in a posterior shift of brain markers, suggesting a biphasic effect of XSufu on anteroposterior patterning. XSufu blocked early Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, as indicated by the suppression of XWnt8-induced secondary axis formation in mRNA-injected embryos, and activation of Wnt target genes in XSufu-MO-injected ectodermal explants. We show that XSufu binds to XG*i1 and X beta-catenin. In Xenopus embryos and mouse embryonic fibroblasts, Gli1 inhibits Wnt signaling under overexpression of beta-catenin, whereas beta-catenin stimulates Hh signaling under overexpression of Glil. Notably, endogenous Sufu is critically involved in this crosstalk The results suggest that XSufu may act as a common regulator of Hh and Wnt signaling and contribute to intertwining the two pathways. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • Suppressor-of-fused, Gli, beta-Catenin, Neural, Xenopus
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-276
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch

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