Zebrafish Naked1 and Naked2 antagonize both canonical and non-canonical Wnt signaling.
Wnt signaling controls a wide range of developmental processes and its aberrant regulation can lead to disease. To better understand the regulation of this pathway, we identified zebrafish homologues of Naked Cuticle (Nkd), Nkd1 and Nkd2, which have previously been shown to inhibit canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. Zebrafish nkd1 expression increases substantially after the mid-blastula transition in a pattern mirroring that of activated canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, being expressed in both the ventrolateral blastoderm margin and also in the axial mesendoderm. In contrast, zebrafish nkd2 is maternally and ubiquitously expressed. Overexpression of Nkd1 or Nkd2a suppressed canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling at multiple stages of early zebrafish development and also exacerbated the cyclopia and axial mesendoderm convergence and extension (C&E) defect in the non-canonical Wnt/PCP mutant silberblick (slb/wnt11). Thus, Nkds are sufficient to antagonize both canonical and non-canonical Wnt signaling. Reducing Nkd function using antisense morpholino oligonucleotides resulted in increased expression of canonical Wnt/beta-catenin target genes. Finally, reducing Nkd1 function in slb mutants suppressed the axial mesendoderm C&E defect. These data indicate that zebrafish Nkd1 and Nkd2 function to limit both canonical and non-canonical Wnt signaling.