Viable mice with compound mutations in the Wnt/Dvl pathway antagonists nkd1 and nkd2

Shu Zhang, Tolga Çagatay, Manami Amanai, Mei Zhang, Janine Kline, Diego H. Castrillon, Raheela Ashfaq, Orhan K. Öz, Keith A. Wharton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Gradients of Wnt/β-catenin signaling coordinate development and physiological homeostasis in metazoan animals. Proper embryonic development of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster requires the Naked cuticle (Nkd) protein to attenuate a gradient of Wnt/β-catenin signaling across each segmental anlage. Nkd inhibits Wnt signaling by binding the intracellular protein Dishevelled (Dsh). Mice and humans have two nkd homologs, nkd1 and nkd2, whose encoded proteins can bind Dsh homologs (the Dvl proteins) and inhibit Wnt signaling. To determine whether nkd genes are necessary for murine development, we replaced nkd exons that encode Dvl-binding sequences with IRES-lacZ/neomycin cassettes. Mutants homozygous for each nkdlacZ allele are viable with slightly reduced mean litter sizes. Surprisingly, double-knockout mice are viable, with subtle alterations in cranial bone morphology that are reminiscent of mutation in another Wnt/β-catenin antagonist, axin2. Our data show that nkd function in the mouse is dispensable for embryonic development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4454-4464
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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