An LDL-receptor-related protein mediates Wnt signalling in mice

Nature. 2000 Sep 28;407(6803):535-8. doi: 10.1038/35035124.


Wnt genes comprise a large family of secreted polypeptides that are expressed in spatially and tissue-restricted patterns during vertebrate embryonic development. Mutational analysis in mice has shown the importance of Wnts in controlling diverse developmental processes such as patterning of the body axis, central nervous system and limbs, and the regulation of inductive events during organogenesis. Although many components of the Wnt signalling pathway have been identified, little is known about how Wnts and their cognate Frizzled receptors signal to downstream effector molecules. Here we present evidence that a new member of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-receptor-related protein family, LRP6 (ref. 3), is critical for Wnt signalling in mice. Embryos homozygous for an insertion mutation in the LRP6 gene exhibit developmental defects that are a striking composite of those caused by mutations in individual Wnt genes. Furthermore, we show a genetic enhancement of a Wnt mutant phenotype in mice lacking one functional copy of LRP6. Together, our results support a broad role for LRP6 in the transduction of several Wnt signals in mammals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Embryo, Mammalian / abnormalities
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / genetics
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology
  • Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-6
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, LDL / genetics
  • Receptors, LDL / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stem Cells
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins*


  • Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-6
  • Lrp6 protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, LDL
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins