Wnt signaling though beta-catenin is required for prostate lineage specification

Brian W. Simons, Paula J. Hurley, Zhenhua Huang, Ashley E. Ross, Rebecca Miller, Luigi Marchionni, David M. Berman, Edward M. Schaeffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Androgens initiate a complex network of signals within the UGS that trigger prostate lineage commitment and bud formation. Given its contributions to organogenesis in other systems, we investigated a role for canonical Wnt signaling in prostate development. We developed a new method to achieve complete deletion of beta-catenin, the transcriptional coactivator required for canonical Wnt signaling, in early prostate development. Beta-catenin deletion abrogated canonical Wnt signaling and yielded prostate rudiments that exhibited dramatically decreased budding and failed to adopt prostatic identity. This requirement for canonical Wnt signaling was limited to a brief critical period during the initial molecular phase of prostate identity specification. Deletion of beta-catenin in the adult prostate did not significantly affect organ homeostasis. Collectively, these data establish that beta-catenin and Wnt signaling play key roles in prostate lineage specification and bud outgrowth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-255
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 15 2012


  • Mouse
  • Prostate development
  • Urogenital sinus
  • Wnt signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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