Rxivist logo

A wave of WNT signalling balanced by secreted inhibitors controls primitive streak formation in micropattern colonies of human embryonic stem cells

By I. Martyn, A.H. Brivanlou, E.D. Siggia

Posted 10 Oct 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/440602 (published DOI: 10.1242/dev.172791)

Long range signalling by morphogens and their inhibitors define embryonic patterning yet quantitative data and models are rare, especially in humans. Here we use a human embryonic stem cell gastruloid system to model formation of the primitive streak (PS) by WNT. In the pluripotent state E-CADHERIN (E-CAD) transduces boundary forces to focus WNT signalling to colony border. Following application of WNT ligand, E-CAD mediates a wave of epithelial-to-mesenchymal (EMT) conversion analogous to PS extension in an embryo. By knocking out the secreted WNT inhibitors active in our system, we show that DKK1 alone controls the extent and duration of patterning. The NODAL inhibitor CERBERUS1 acts downstream of WNT to refine the endoderm versus mesoderm fate choice. Our EMT wave is a generic property of a bistable system with diffusion and a single quantitative model describes both the wave and our knockout data.

Download data

  • Downloaded 611 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 28,209 out of 101,301
    • In developmental biology: 744 out of 3,022
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 56,182 out of 101,301
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 61,411 out of 101,301

Altmetric data

Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide


Sign up for the Rxivist weekly newsletter! (Click here for more details.)


  • 20 Oct 2020: Support for sorting preprints using Twitter activity has been removed, at least temporarily, until a new source of social media activity data becomes available.
  • 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
  • 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
  • 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
  • 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
  • 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
  • 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
  • 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
  • 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!