Protein kinase CK2 is required for dorsal axis formation in Xenopus embryos

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Dorsal axis formation in Xenopus embryos is dependent upon asymmetrical localization of β-catenin, a transducer of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Recent biochemical experiments have implicated protein kinase CK2 as a regulator of members of the Wnt pathway including β-catenin. Here, we have examined the role of CK2 in dorsal axis formation. CK2 was present in the developing embryo at an appropriate time and place to participate in dorsal axis formation. Overexpression of mRNA encoding CK2 in ventral blastomeres was sufficient to induce a complete ectopic axis, mimicking Wnt signaling. A kinase-inactive mutant of CK2α was able to block ectopic axis formation induced by XWnt8 and β-catenin and was capable of suppressing endogenous axis formation when overexpressed dorsally. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that CK2 is a bona fide member of the Wnt pathway and has a critical role in the establishment of the dorsal embryonic axis. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




Dominguez, I., Mizuno, J., Wu, H., Song, D. H., Symes, K., & Seldin, D. C. (2004). Protein kinase CK2 is required for dorsal axis formation in Xenopus embryos. Developmental Biology, 274(1), 110–124.

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