Mechanosensitive β-catenin signaling regulates lymphatic vascular development

  • Cha, Boksik (Cardiovascular Biology Research Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation) ;
  • Srinivasan, R. Sathish (Cardiovascular Biology Research Program, Oklahoma Medical Research FoundationDepartment of Cell Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, USA)
  • Received : 2016.07.14
  • Published : 2016.08.31


The Wnt/β-catenin signaling is an evolutionarily conserved pathway that plays a pivotal role in embryonic development and adult homeostasis. However, we have limited information about the involvement of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the lymphatic vascular system that regulates fluid homeostasis by absorbing interstitial fluid and returning it to blood circulation. In this recent publication we report that canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling is highly active and critical for the formation of lymphovenus valves (LVVs) and lymphatic valves (LVs). β-catenin directly associates with the regulatory elements of the lymphedema-associated transcription factor, FOXC2 and activates its expression in an oscillatory shear stress (OSS)-dependent manner. The phenotype of β-catenin null embryos was rescued by FOXC2 overexpression. These results suggest that Wnt/β-catenin signaling is a mechanotransducer that links fluid force with lymphatic vascular development.

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