Commissural axons switch on responsiveness to Wnt attraction during midline crossing and turn anteriorly only after exiting the floor plate. We report here that Sonic Hedgehog (Shh)-Smoothened signaling downregulates Shisa2, which inhibits the glycosylation and cell surface presentation of Frizzled3 in rodent commissural axon growth cones. Constitutive Shisa2 expression causes randomized turning of post-crossing commissural axons along the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis. Loss of Shisa2 led to precocious anterior turning of commissural axons before or during midline crossing. Post-crossing commissural axon turning is completely randomized along the A-P axis when Wntless, which is essential for Wnt secretion, is conditionally knocked out in the floor plate. This regulatory link between Shh and planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling may also occur in other developmental processes.
Keywords: Midline; Shisa2; Sonic hedgehog; Wnt; axon guidance; mouse; neuroscience; planar cell polarity.