G Protein-coupled receptor kinases phosphorylate LRP6 in the Wnt pathway

Minyong Chen, Melanie Philipp, Jiangbo Wang, Richard T Premont, Tiffany R Garrison, Marc G Caron, Robert J Lefkowitz, Wei Chen
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2009 December 11, 284 (50): 35040-8
Wnt ligands conduct their functions in canonical Wnt signaling by binding to two receptors, the single transmembrane low density lipoprotein receptor-related proteins 5 and 6 (LRP5/6) and seven transmembrane (7TM) Frizzled receptors. Subsequently, phosphorylation of serine/threonine residues within five repeating signature PPPSP motifs on LRP6 is responsible for LRP6 activation. GSK3beta, a cytosolic kinase for phosphorylation of a downstream effector beta-catenin, was proposed to participate in such LRP6 phosphorylation. Here, we report a new class of membrane-associated kinases for LRP6 phosphorylation. We found that G protein-coupled receptor kinases 5 and 6 (GRK5/6), traditionally known to phosphorylate and desensitize 7TM G protein-coupled receptors, directly phosphorylate the PPPSP motifs on single transmembrane LRP6 and regulate Wnt/LRP6 signaling. GRK5/6-induced LRP6 activation is inhibited by the LRP6 antagonist Dickkopf. Depletion of GRK5 markedly reduces Wnt3A-stimulated LRP6 phosphorylation in cells. In zebrafish, functional knock-down of GRK5 results in reduced Wnt signaling, analogous to LRP6 knock-down, as assessed by decreased abundance of beta-catenin and lowered expression of the Wnt target genes cdx4, vent, and axin2. Expression of GRK5 rescues the diminished beta-catenin and axin2 response caused by GRK5 depletion. Thus, our findings identify GRK5/6 as novel kinases for the single transmembrane receptor LRP6 during Wnt signaling.

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