Wnt Signaling and the Polarity of the Primary Body Axis

Christian P. Petersen, Peter W. Reddien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

346 Scopus citations


How animals establish and pattern the primary body axis is one of the most fundamental problems in biology. Data from diverse deuterostomes (frog, fish, mouse, and amphioxus) and from planarians (protostomes) suggest that Wnt signaling through β-catenin controls posterior identity during body plan formation in most bilaterally symmetric animals. Wnt signaling also influences primary axis polarity of pre-bilaterian animals, indicating that an axial patterning role for Wnt signaling predates the evolution of bilaterally symmetric animals. The use of posterior Wnt signaling and anterior Wnt inhibition might be a unifying principle of body plan development in most animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1056-1068
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 11 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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