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Korswagen group

Mechanism of Wnt signaling in development and disease

Wnt proteins are members of an evolutionarily conserved family of signaling proteins with important functions in development, adult tissue homeostasis and disease. At the cellular level, Wnt proteins can trigger a wide variety of response, ranging from cell fate specification and proliferation to cell polarization and migration. We are studying the signaling mechanisms that mediate these different effects of Wnt.

About the research

Key publications

Mentink, R.A., Middelkoop, T.C., Rella, L., Ji, N., van Oudenaarden, A., and Korswagen, H.C. (2014) Cell intrinsic modulation of Wnt signaling controls neuroblast migration in C. elegans. Developmental Cell 31: 188-201.

Ji, N., Middelkoop, T.C., Mentink, R.A., Betist, M.C., Tonegawa, S., Mooijman, D., Korswagen, H.C.* and van Oudenaarden, A* (2013) Feedback control of gene expression variability in the Caenorhabditis elegans Wnt pathway. Cell 155: 869-880. *Joint senior/corresponding authors. See also: Cell video abstract

Harterink, M., Port, F., Lorenowicz, M., McGough, I., Silhankova, M., Betist, M., van Weering, J., van Heesbeen, R., Middelkoop, T., Basler, K., Cullen, P., Korswagen, H.C. (2011) A SNX3-dependent Retromer pathway mediates retrograde transport of the Wnt sorting receptor Wntless and is required for Wnt secretion. Nature Cell Biology 13:914-923. See also:News & Views Highlight in EMBO J

Yang, P.T., Lorenowicz, M., Silhankova, M., Coudreuse, D.Y.M., Betist, M.C., Korswagen, H.C. (2008) Wnt signaling requires retromer dependent recycling of MIG-14/Wls in Wnt producing cells. Developmental Cell 14: 140-147.

Coudreuse, D.Y.M., Roel, G., Betist, M.C., Destree, O., Korswagen, H.C. (2006) Wnt gradient formation requires retromer function in Wnt producing cells. Science 312: 921-924.

Essers, M.A., de Vries-Smits, L.M.M., Barker, N., Polderman, P.E., Burgering, B.M.T., Korswagen, H.C. (2005) Functional interaction between beta-catenin and FOXO in oxidative stress signaling. Science 308: 1181-1184.

Publication list

There are currently no vacancies for PhD students or postdocs. However, interested candidates are welcome to apply for their own funding. Please contact Rik Korswagen for details.

Undergraduate rotation projects: We usually have rotation projects for undergraduate or HLO students. Besides standard biochemical, cell biological and genetic techniques in C. elegans, projects involve live cell imaging and single molecule mRNA FISH. Please contact Rik Korswagen for details.