A mathematical modelling portrait of Wnt signalling in early vertebrate embryogenesis

Claudiu V. Giuraniuc* (Corresponding Author), Shabana Zain, Shahmama Ghafoor, Stefan Hoppler

*Corresponding author for this work

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There are two phases of Wnt signalling in early vertebrate embryogenesis: very
early, maternal Wnt signalling promotes dorsal development, and slightly later,
zygotic Wnt signalling promotes ventral and lateral mesoderm induction. However, recent molecular biology analysis has revealed more complexity among the
direct Wnt target genes, with at least five classes. Here in order to test the
logic and the dynamics of a new Gene Regulatory Network model suggested
by these discoveries we use mathematical modelling based on ordinary differential equations (ODEs). Our mathematical modelling of this Gene Regulatory
Network reveals that a simplified model, with one ”super-gene” for each class
is sufficient to a large extent to describe the regulatory behaviour previously
observed experimentally.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111239
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Early online date24 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

We would like to express our gratitude to Dr Yasushi Saka for training and encouragement. Funding was received from the BHF (RG/18/8/33673 to CVG and SH) and BBSRC (BB/N021924/1; BB/M001695/1; BB/S018190/1 to SH). S.H. was a Royal Society/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow (SRF\R1\191017).

Data Availability Statement

Supplementary material related to this article can be found online at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2022.111239.


  • WNT signalling
  • β-catenin
  • Xenopus


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