Activation of Siamois by the Wnt pathway

Dev Biol. 1996 Nov 25;180(1):344-7. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1996.0306.


The Wnt pathway and the recently described Xenopus homeobox gene Siamois share the ability to mimic Nieuwkoop organizer signaling activity when ectopically expressed, prompting us to ask whether the Wnt pathway can activate Siamois expression. We show that activators of the Wnt pathway, and the dorsalizing substance LiCl, activate Siamois expression in Xenopus animal caps. Furthermore, Siamois expression is shown to be activated by beta-catenin cell-autonomously. Although certain TGF-beta family members, such as Vg1, are potent dorsal mesoderm inducers, the TGF-beta pathway only weakly activated Siamois. Finally, we demonstrate that Siamois expression is eliminated from the marginal zone of UV-irradiated Xenopus embryos, supporting the hypothesis that cortical rotation moves a Wnt-like activity into the dorsal region. These results suggest that formation of the Nieuwkoop organizer is dependent on activation of Siamois by a localized Wnt-like signaling activity, which may act synergistically with a vegetally localized TGF-beta signal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / pharmacology
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology*
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Goosecoid Protein
  • Homeodomain Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / pharmacology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology
  • Xenopus / embryology
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • beta Catenin


  • CTNNB1 protein, Xenopus
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GDF1 protein, Xenopus
  • Glycoproteins
  • Goosecoid Protein
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • SIA1 protein, Xenopus
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • beta Catenin