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EMBO J September 15, 2000; 19 (18): 4944-54.

The C-terminal cytoplasmic Lys-thr-X-X-X-Trp motif in frizzled receptors mediates Wnt/beta-catenin signalling.

Umbhauer M , Djiane A , Goisset C , Penzo-Méndez A , Riou JF , Boucaut JC , Shi DL .

Frizzled receptors are components of the Wnt signalling pathway, but how they activate the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is not clear. Here we use three distinct vertebrate frizzled receptors (Xfz3, Xfz4 and Xfz7) and describe whether and how their C-terminal cytoplasmic regions transduce the Wnt/beta-catenin signal. We show that Xfz3 activates this pathway in the absence of exogenous ligands, while Xfz4 and Xfz7 interact with Xwnt5A to activate this pathway. Analysis using chimeric receptors reveals that their C-terminal cytoplasmic regions are functionally equivalent in Wnt/beta-catenin signalling. Furthermore, a conserved motif (Lys-Thr-X-X-X-Trp) located two amino acids after the seventh transmembrane domain is required for activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway and for membrane relocalization and phosphorylation of Dishevelled. Frizzled receptors with point mutations affecting either of the three conserved residues are defective in Wnt/beta-catenin signalling. These findings provide functional evidence supporting a role of this conserved motif in the modulation of Wnt signalling. They are consistent with the genetic features exhibited by Drosophila Dfz3 and Caenorhabditis elegans mom-5 in which the tryptophan is substituted by a tyrosine.

PubMed ID: 10990458
PMC ID: PMC314225
Article link: EMBO J

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: dvl2 fzd3 fzd4 fzd7

References [+] :
Adler, The genetic control of tissue polarity in Drosophila. 1995, Pubmed