Abstract—: In this paper, the role of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in the establishment of the body plan in multicellular animals has been analyzed. We demonstrated that at different stages of development the Wnt signaling cascade is involved in several directly unrelated processes such as inner germ layer specification, anterior–posterior axis patterning, and terminal growth. Bioinformatics analysis revealed the independent divergence of Wnt ligands in basal Metazoa and conservation of Wnt subfamilies within the Cnidaria + Bilateria clade. Polarized expression of Wnt ligands in sponge and annelid larvae has been shown, thus confirming the applicability of the existing model of the main body axis patterning to two more taxa. The β-catenin localization and inhibitory analysis have provided evidence of the unlikely role for Wnt pathway in endomesoderm determination in nereid polychaetes. The evolutionary trend to establish alternative mechanisms even for key events such as segregation of germ layers has been observed in the case of more determinative ontogeny and predominance of autonomous specification, as exemplified by the heteroquadrant (unequal) type of spiral development.
Предметные области Scopus
- Земледелие и биологические науки (все)
- Биохимия, генетика и молекулярная биология (все)