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Primed nephron progenitor cells (NPCs) appear in metanephric mesenchyme by E11.5 and differentiate in response to the inductive WNT9b signal from the ureteric bud. However, the NPC WNT-receptor complex is unknown. We obtained M15 cells from E10.5 mesonephric mesenchyme and systematically analyzed components required for canonical WNT9b-responsiveness. When M15 cells were transfected with a β-catenin luciferase reporter plasmid, exposure to recombinant WNT9b resulted in minimal luciferase activity. We then analyzed mRNA-expression of WNT-pathway components and identified Fzd1-6 and Lrp6 transcripts but not Rspo1. When M15 cells were treated with recombinant RSPO1 the response to transfected WNT9b was augmented 4.8-fold. Co-transfection of M15 cells with Fzd5 (but no other Fzd family member) further increased the WNT9b signal to 16.8-fold and siRNA knockdown of Fzd5 reduced the signal by 52%. Knockdown of Lrp6 resulted in 60% WNT9b signal reduction. We confirmed Fzd5, Lrp6 and Rspo1 mRNA expression in CITED1(+) NPCs from E15.5 embryonic mouse kidney. Thus, while many WNT signaling-pathway components are present by E10.5, optimum responsiveness of E11.5 cap mesenchyme requires that NPCs acquire RSPO1, FZD5 and LRP6.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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