Kremen is required for neural crest induction in Xenopus and promotes LRP6-mediated Wnt signaling. uri icon


  • Kremen 1 and 2 (Krm1/2) are transmembrane receptors for Wnt antagonists of the Dickkopf (Dkk) family and function by inhibiting the Wnt co-receptors LRP5/6. Here we show that Krm2 functions independently from Dkks during neural crest (NC) induction in Xenopus. Krm2 is co-expressed with, and regulated by, canonical Wnts. Krm2 is differentially expressed in the NC, and morpholino-mediated Krm2 knockdown inhibits NC induction, which is mimicked by LRP6 depletion. Conversely, krm2 overexpression induces ectopic NC. Kremens bind to LRP6, promote its cell-surface localization and stimulate LRP6 signaling. Furthermore, Krm2 knockdown specifically reduces LRP6 protein levels in NC explants. The results indicate that in the absence of Dkks, Kremens activate Wnt/beta-catenin signaling through LRP6.

publication date

  • December 2007