Krauss, S., Korzh, V., Fjose, A., and Johansen, T. (1992) Expression of four zebrafish wnt-related genes during embryogenesis. Development (Cambridge, England). 116:249-259.
The wnt gene family codes for a group of cysteine-rich, secreted proteins, which are differentially expressed in the developing embryo and are possibly involved in cellular communication. Here, we describe the polymerase chain reaction based cloning and embryonic expression patterns of four zebrafish wnt-related sequences; wnt[a], wnt[b], wnt[c] and wnt[d]. One of these genes, wnt[a], is a potential homologue of murine Wnt-3, while the other three genes most likely represent new members of the vertebrate wnt gene family. In zebrafish embryos, transcripts of wnt[a] are confined to the dorsal diencephalon, the dorsal midbrain, the rhombic lips and the dorsal portions of the spinal cord. wnt[b] is expressed in the tail bud and at considerably lower levels in the mesoderm of the head. wnt[c] transcripts are present within the diencephalon and the posterior midbrain whereas wnt[d] shows a surprisingly similar expression pattern to zebrafish wnt-1. By analogy to wnt-1, it is likely that the members of the zebrafish wnt gene family play an important role in cell-to-cell signalling during pattern formation in the neural tube and the tail bud.