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Wnt signaling controls anteroposterior polarity in C. elegans mechanosensory neurons
AuthorOliver, Daniel Keoni
AdvisorClark, Scott G.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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The Wnt family of secreted proteins is responsible for a multitude of developmental processes, often functioning as a morphogen during early development. Here, we address the impact of Wnt signaling on the anteroposterior (AP) polarization of C. elegans mechanosensory neurons during embryonic development. We also provide evidence to support a model whereby partially redundant Wnt signals integrate to provide a robust system of checks and balances to ensure the proper polarization of cells along the AP axis. Namely, we found that all five C. elegans Wnt genes contribute to the polarization of both the anterior lateral mechanosensory neuron (ALM) and the posterior lateral mechanosensory neuron (PLM). Additionally, we revealed previously unidentified roles for C. elegans Wnt receptors in receiving this signal. Lastly, we discovered a partial redundancy shared between the three C. elegans disheveled genes in mediating the downstream cellular processes that Wnt signaling controls.