Hiroki Hikasa

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The Spemann organizer plays a central role in neural induction, patterning of the neuroectoderm and mesoderm, and morphogenetic movements during early embryogenesis. By seeking genes whose expression is activated by the organizer-specific LIM homeobox gene Xlim-1 in Xenopus animal caps, we isolated the receptor tyrosine kinase Xror2. Xror2 is expressed(More)
Frodo is a novel conserved regulator of Wnt signaling that has been identified by its association with Dishevelled, an intracellular component of Wnt signal transduction. To understand further how Frodo functions, we have analyzed its role in neural development using specific morpholino antisense oligonucleotides. We show that Frodo and the closely related(More)
Dishevelled (Dsh) is required for the specification of cell fate and polarity by secreted Wnt proteins. Frodo, a novel conserved Dsh-binding protein, synergized with Xenopus Dsh (XDsh) in secondary axis induction in Xenopus laevis embryos. A dominant inhibitory construct and antisense oligonucleotide-mediated depletion of Frodo inhibited axial development(More)
A commonly accepted model of Wnt/β-catenin signaling involves target gene activation by a complex of β-catenin with a T-cell factor (TCF) family member. TCF3 is a transcriptional repressor that has been implicated in Wnt signaling and plays key roles in embryonic axis specification and stem cell differentiation. Here we demonstrate that Wnt proteins(More)
PICT1 (also known as GLTSCR2) is considered a tumor suppressor because it stabilizes phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), but individuals with oligodendrogliomas lacking chromosome 19q13, where PICT1 is located, have better prognoses than other oligodendroglioma patients. To clarify the function of PICT1, we generated Pict1-deficient mice and embryonic(More)
p120-catenin is an Arm repeat protein that interacts with varied components such as cadherin, small G proteins, kinases, and the Kaiso transcriptional repressor. Despite recent advances in understanding the roles that p120-catenin and Kaiso play in downstream modulation of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, the identity of the upstream regulators of the(More)
The Spemann-Mangold organizer is required in amphibian embryos to coordinate cell fate specification, differentiation of dorsal cell types and morphogenetic movements at early stages of development. A great number of genes are specifically expressed within the organizer, most of them encoding secreted proteins and transcription factors. The challenge is now(More)
The Xenopus gene crescent encodes a member of the secreted Frizzled-related protein (sFRP) family and is expressed in the head organizer region. However, the target and function of Crescent in early development are not well understood. Here, we describe a role of Crescent in the regulation of convergent extension movements (CEMs) during gastrulation and(More)
Wnt pathways play essential roles in cell proliferation, morphogenesis, and cell fate specification during embryonic development. According to the consensus view, the Wnt pathway prevents the degradation of the key signaling component β-catenin by the protein complex containing the negative regulators Axin and glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3). Stabilized(More)
Members of the Wnt family of extracellular proteins play essential roles during many phases of vertebrate embryonic development. The molecular mechanism of their action involves a complex cascade of intracellular signaling events, which remains to be understood completely. Recently, two novel cytoplasmic modulators of Wnt signaling, Frodo and Dapper, were(More)