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Dkk2 plays an essential role in the corneal fate of the ocular surface epithelium.

The Dkk family of secreted cysteine-rich proteins regulates Wnt/beta-catenin signaling by interacting with the Wnt co-receptor Lrp5/6. Here, we show that Dkk2-mediated repression of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is essential to promote differentiation of the corneal epithelial progenitor cells into a non-keratinizing stratified epithelium. Complete transformation of the corneal epithelium into a stratified epithelium that expresses epidermal-specific differentiation markers and develops appendages such as hair follicles is achieved in the absence of the Dkk2 gene function. We show that Dkk2 is a key regulator of the corneal versus epidermal fate of the ocular surface epithelium.

Pubmed ID: 16672341


  • Mukhopadhyay M
  • Gorivodsky M
  • Shtrom S
  • Grinberg A
  • Niehrs C
  • Morasso MI
  • Westphal H


Development (Cambridge, England)

Publication Data

June 12, 2006

Associated Grants

  • Agency: Intramural NIH HHS, Id:

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Markers
  • Cornea
  • Epidermis
  • Epithelium
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Keratinocytes
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype