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Wnt Gradient Formation Requires Retromer Function in Wnt-Producing Cells

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Science  12 May 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5775, pp. 921-924
DOI: 10.1126/science.1124856

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Abstract

Wnt proteins function as morphogens that can form long-range concentration gradients to pattern developing tissues. Here, we show that the retromer, a multiprotein complex involved in intracellular protein trafficking, is required for long-range signaling of the Caenorhabditis elegans Wnt ortholog EGL-20. The retromer functions in EGL-20–producing cells to allow the formation of an EGL-20 gradient along the anteroposterior axis. This function is evolutionarily conserved, because Wnt target gene expression is also impaired in the absence of the retromer complex in vertebrates. These results demonstrate that the ability of Wnt to regulate long-range patterning events is dependent on a critical and conserved function of the retromer complex within Wnt-producing cells.

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