The polarity of mouse hair follicles is controlled by the Frizzled (Fzd) receptors and other membrane planar cell polarity (PCP) proteins. Whether Wnt proteins can act as PCP ligands in the skin remains unknown. Here, we show that overexpression of Wnt5a in the posterior part of mouse embryos causes a local disruption of hair follicle orientation. The misoriented hair follicle phenotype in Wnt5a overexpressing mice can be rescued by a heterozygous loss of Fzd6, suggesting Wnt5a is likely to signal through Fzd6. Although the membrane distribution of PCP proteins seems unaffected by Wnt5a overexpression, transcriptional profiling analyses identify a set of genes as potential targets of the skin polarization program controlled by Wnt5a/Fzd6 signaling. Surprisingly, deletion of Wnt5a globally or in the posterior part of the mouse embryos does not affect hair follicle orientation. We show that many other Wnts are highly expressed in the developing skin. They can activate the Fzd6 signaling pathway in vitro and may act together with Wnt5a to regulate the Fzd6-mediated skin polarization. Our experiments demonstrate for the first time that Wnt5a can function as an orienting cue for mouse skin PCP.

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