An FGF-WNT gene regulatory network controls lung mesenchyme development

Yongjun Yin, Andrew C. White, Sung Ho Huh, Matthew J. Hilton, Hidemi Kanazawa, Fanxin Long, David M. Ornitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Lung mesenchyme is a critical determinant of the shape and size of the lung, the extent and patterning of epithelial branching, and the formation of the pulmonary vasculature and interstitial mesenchymal components of the adult lung. Fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9) is a critical regulator of lung mesenchymal growth; however, upstream mechanisms that modulate the FGF mesenchymal signal and the downstream targets of mesenchymal FGF signaling are poorly understood. Here we have identified a robust regulatory network in which mesenchymal FGF signaling regulates β-Catenin mediated WNT signaling in lung mesenchyme. By conditionally inactivating β-Catenin in lung mesenchyme, we show that mesenchymal WNT-β-Catenin signaling is essential for lung development and acts to regulate the cell cycle G1 to S transition and the FGF responsiveness of mesenchyme. Together, both FGF and WNT signaling pathways function to sustain mesenchymal growth and coordinate epithelial morphogenesis during the pseudoglandular stage of lung development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-436
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9)
  • Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR)
  • Lung development
  • Mesenchyme
  • Wnt2a
  • Wnt7b
  • β-Catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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