Wnt and Frizzled RNA expression in human mesenchymal and embryonic (H7) stem cells

Ujunwa C. Okoye, Craig C. Malbon, Hsien Yu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Wnt signals are important for embryonic stem cells renewal, growth and differentiation. Although 19 Wnt, 10 Frizzled genes have been identified in mammals, their expression patterns in stem cells were largely unknown. Results: We conducted RNA expression profiling for the Wnt ligands, their cellular receptors "Frizzleds" and co-receptors LRP5/6 in human embryonic stem cells (H7), human bone marrow mesenchymal cells, as well as mouse totipotent F9 teratocarcinoma embryonal cells. Except failing to express Wnt2 gene, totipotent F9 cells expressed RNA for all other 18 Wnt genes as well as all 10 members of Frizzled gene family. H7 cells expressed RNA for each of the 19 Wnt genes. In contrast, human mesenchymal cells did not display detectable RNA expression of Wnt1, Wnt8a, Wnt8b, Wnt9b, Wnt10a, and Wnt11. Analysis of Frizzled RNAs in H7 and human mesechymal cells revealed expression of 9 members of the receptor gene family, except Frizzled8. Expression of the Frizzled co-receptor LRP5 and LRP6 genes were detected in all three cell lines. Human H7 and mouse F9 cells express nearly a full complement of both Wnts and Frizzleds genes. The human mesenchymal cells, in contrast, have lost the expression of six Wnt ligands, i.e. Wnt1, 8a, 8b, 9b, 10a and 11. Conclusion: Puripotent human H7 and mouse F9 embryonal cells express the genes for most of the Wnts and Frizzleds. In contrast, multipotent human mesenchymal cells are deficient in expression of Frizzled-8 and of 6 Wnt genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalJournal of Molecular Signaling
StatePublished - Sep 26 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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