In Xenopus laevis embryos, the Wingless/Wnt-1 subclass of Writ molecules induces axis duplication, whereas the Wnt-5A subclass does not. This difference could be explained by distinct signal transduction pathways or by a lack of one or more Wnt-5A receptors during axis formation. Wnt-5A induced axis duplication and an ectopic Spemann organizer in the presence of hFz5, a member of the Frizzled family of seven-transmembrane receptors. Wnt-5A/hFz5 signaling was antagonized by glycogen synthase kinase-3 and by the amino- terminal ectodomain of hFz5. These results identify hFz5 as a receptor for Wnt-5A.
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