Scientific article
Open access

An evolutionarily-conserved Wnt3/β-catenin/Sp5 feedback loop restricts head organizer activity in Hydra

Published inNature Communications, vol. 10, no. 312
Publication date2019

Polyps of the cnidarian Hydra maintain their adult anatomy through two developmental organizers, the head organizer located apically and the foot organizer basally. The head organizer is made of two antagonistic cross-reacting components, an activator, driving apical differentiation and an inhibitor, preventing ectopic head formation. Here we characterize the head inhibitor by comparing planarian genes down-regulated when β-catenin is silenced to Hydra genes displaying a graded apical-to-basal expression and an up-regulation during head regeneration. We identify Sp5 as a transcription factor that fulfills the head inhibitor properties: leading to a robust multiheaded phenotype when knocked-down in Hydra, acting as a transcriptional repressor of Wnt3 and positively regulated by Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Hydra and zebrafish Sp5 repress Wnt3 promoter activity while Hydra Sp5 also activates its own expression, likely via β-catenin/TCF interaction. This work identifies Sp5 as a potent feedback loop inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, a function conserved across eumetazoan evolution.

  • Evolution
  • Regeneration
  • Turing-Gierer model for morphogenesis
  • Cnidarians
  • Hydra
  • Developmental organiser
  • Head activator
  • Head inhibitor
  • Wnt/b-catenin signaling
  • Sp5 transcription factor
Research group
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - 31003A_149630, 31003_169930
  • Autre - HFSP RGP0016/2010; Claraz donation; de Staël Foundation;
Citation (ISO format)
VOGG, Matthias Christian et al. An evolutionarily-conserved Wnt3/β-catenin/Sp5 feedback loop restricts head organizer activity in Hydra. In: Nature Communications, 2019, vol. 10, n° 312. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08242-2
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
Secondary files (1)
ISSN of the journal2041-1723

Technical informations

Creation01/20/2019 3:23:00 PM
First validation01/20/2019 3:23:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 3:37:10 PM
Status update03/15/2023 3:37:09 PM
Last indexation08/30/2023 7:50:40 PM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack