Though the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is known to play key roles during Xenopus axis specification, whether it signals exclusively through Lef/Tcf transcription factors in this process remains unclear. To investigate this issue, we generated transgenic frog embryos expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) driven by a Lef/Tcf-dependent and Wnt/β-catenin-responsive promoter. This promoter is highly sensitive and even detects maternal β-catenin activity prior to the large-scale transcription of zygotic genes. Unexpectedly, GFP expression was observed only in some, but not all, known Wnt/β-catenin-positive territories in Xenopus early development. Furthermore, ubiquitous expression of dominant Lef-1 protein variants from transgenes revealed that zygotic Lef/Tcf activity is required for the ventroposterior development of Xenopus embryos. In summary, our results suggest that endogenous Wnt/β-catenin activity does not result in obligatory Lef/Tcf-dependent gene activation, and that the ventroposteriorizing activity of zygotic Wnt-8 signaling is mediated by Lef/Tcf proteins. © 2003 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Geng, X., Xiao, L., Lin, G. F., Hu, R., Wang, J. H., Rupp, R. A. W., & Ding, X. (2003). Lef/Tcf-dependent Wnt/β-catenin signaling during Xenopus axis specification. FEBS Letters, 547(1–3), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0014-5793(03)00639-2