Members of the Dact protein family initially were identified through binding to Dishevelled (Dvl), a cytoplasmic protein central to Wnt signaling. During mouse development, Dact1 is detected in the presomitic mesoderm and somites during segmentation, in the limb bud mesenchyme and other mesoderm-derived tissues, and in the central nervous system (CNS). Dact2 expression is most prominent during organogenesis of the thymus, kidneys, and salivary glands, with much lower levels in the somites and in the developing CNS. Dact3, not previously described in any organism, is expressed in the ventral region of maturing somites, limb bud and branchial arch mesenchyme, and in the embryonic CNS; of the three paralogs, it is the most highly expressed in the adult cerebral cortex. These data are consistent with studies in other vertebrates showing that Dact paralogs have distinct signaling and developmental roles and suggest they may differentially contribute to postnatal brain physiology.
Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.