During vertebrate embryogenesis, fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and Wnt signaling have been implicated in diverse cellular processes, including cell growth, differentiation, and tissue patterning. The recently identified Xenopus Shisa protein promotes head formation by inhibiting Wnt and FGF signaling through its interaction with the immature forms of Frizzled and FGF receptors in the endoplasmic reticulum, which prevents their posttranslational maturation. Here, we describe the mouse and chicken homologues of Xenopus Shisa. The mouse and chicken Shisa proteins share, respectively, 33.6% and 33.8% identity with the Xenopus homolog. In situ hybridization analysis shows that mouse shisa is expressed throughout embryonic development, predominantly in the anterior visceral endoderm, headfolds, somites, forebrain, optic vesicle, and limb buds. Cross-species comparison shows that the expression pattern of cshisa closely mirrors that of mshisa. Our observations indicate that the Shisa family genes are typically expressed in tissues known to require the modulation of Wnt and FGF signaling.
Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.