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The canonical Wnt signaling pathway plays a major role in the regulation of embryogenesis and organogenesis, where signal strength-dependent cellular responses are of particular importance. To assess Wnt signal levels in individual cells, and to circumvent the integration site-dependent bias shown in previous Wnt reporter lines, we constructed a new Wnt signal reporter mouse line R26-WntVis. Heptameric TCF/LEF1 binding sequences were combined with a viral minimal promoter to confer a graded response to the reporter depending on Wnt signal strengths. The histone H2B-EGFP fusion protein was chosen as the fluorescent reporter to facilitate single-cell resolution analyses. This WntVis reporter gene was then inserted into the ROSA26 locus in an orientation opposite to that of the endogenous gene. The R26-WntVis allele was introduced into Wnt3a−/− and Wnt3avt/− mutant mouse embryos and compared with wild-type embryos to assess its performance. The R26-WntVis reporter was activated in known Wnt-dependent tissues and responded in a graded fashion to signal intensity. This analysis also indicated that the major Wnt activity early in embryogenesis switched from Wnt3 to Wnt3a around E7.5. The R26-WntVis mouse line will be widely useful for the study of Wnt signal-dependent processes.


  • Genes to Cells

    Genes to Cells 21(6), 661-669, 2016-03-31


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