Characterization of mouse Frizzled-3 expression in hair follicle development and identification of the human homolog in keratinocytes

J Invest Dermatol. 2001 Jun;116(6):940-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.2001.01336.x.


Frizzled genes encode a family of Wnt ligand receptors, which have a conserved cysteine-rich Wnt binding domain and include both transmembrane and secreted forms. Work by others has shown that experimental perturbation of Wnt signaling results in aberrant hair formation, hair growth, and hair structure. To date, however, there is no information on the contribution of individual Frizzled proteins to hair development. We now report that Frizzled-3 expression in skin is restricted to the epidermis and to the developing hair follicle. Northern analysis on total mouse skin mRNA revealed a single Frizzled-3 transcript of 3.7 kb. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization analysis revealed Frizzled-3 expression in epidermal and hair follicle keratinocytes. Frizzled-3 transcripts are first detected in discrete foci in the developing epidermis of 13 d embryos and later in the hair follicle placodes of 15 d embryos, suggesting a role for this Frizzled isoform in follicle development. In 17 d embryos and 1 d old newborn mice Frizzled-3 expression is limited to suprabasal keratinocytes and is not seen in pelage follicles until 3 d postpartum. In 7 d old neonatal skin, Frizzled-3 is expressed throughout the epidermis and in the outer cell layers of hair follicles. We have also identified the mRNA encoding human Frizzled-3 in epidermal keratinocytes and in the HaCaT keratinocyte cell line. Human Frizzled-3 mRNA encodes a 666 amino acid protein with 97.8% identity to the mouse protein. The human Frizzled-3 gene was mapped using a radiation-hybrid cell line panel to the short arm of chromosome 8 between the markers WI-1172 and WI-8496 near the loci for the Hypotrichosis of Marie Unna and Hairless genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Frizzled Receptors
  • Hair Follicle / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / analysis*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled*


  • FZD3 protein, human
  • Frizzled Receptors
  • Fzd3 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled