ABSTRACT

Noncanonical Wnt/planar cell polarity (Wnt/PCP) signaling has been implicated in endoderm morphogenesis. However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of this process are unclear. We found that, during convergence and extension (C&E) in zebrafish, gut endodermal cells are polarized mediolaterally, with GFP-Vangl2 enriched at the anterior edges. Endoderm cell polarity is lost and intercalation is impaired in the absence of glypican 4 (gpc4), a heparan-sulfate proteoglycan that promotes Wnt/PCP signaling, suggesting that this signaling is required for endodermal cell polarity. Live imaging revealed that endoderm C&E is accomplished by polarized cell protrusions and junction remodeling, which are impaired in gpc4-deficient endodermal cells. Furthermore, in the absence of gpc4, Cadherin 2 expression on the endodermal cell surface is increased as a result of impaired Rab5c-mediated endocytosis, which partially accounts for the endodermal defects in these mutants. These findings indicate that Gpc4 regulates endodermal planar cell polarity during endoderm C&E by influencing the localization of Cadherin 2. Thus, our study uncovers a new mechanism by which Gpc4 regulates planar cell polarity and reveals the role of Wnt/PCP signaling in endoderm morphogenesis.

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