Stability elements in the LRP6 cytoplasmic tail confer efficient signalling upon DIX-dependent polymerization

Ciara Metcalfe, Carolina Mendoza-Topaz, Juliusz Mieszczanek, Mariann Bienz
Journal of Cell Science 2010 May 1, 123 (Pt 9): 1588-99
Wnt/beta-catenin signalling controls cell fates in development, tissue homeostasis and cancer. Wnt binding to Frizzled receptors triggers recruitment of Dishevelled to the plasma membrane and formation of a signalosome containing the LRP5/6 co-receptor, whose cytoplasmic tail (ctail) thus becomes phosphorylated at multiple PPP(S/T)Px(S/T) motifs. These then directly inhibit GSK3beta, which results in beta-catenin accumulation and signalling. Here, we revisit previous epistasis experiments, and show that Dishevelled signals through LRP5/6 in human cells and Drosophila embryos. To recapitulate this signalling event, and to define its functional elements, we fused the Dishevelled DIX domain to the LRP6 ctail, which forms cytoplasmic signalosomes with potent signalling activity mediated by its PPP(S/T)Px(S/T) motifs. Their phosphorylation and activity depends critically on DIX-mediated polymerization, and on multiple stability elements in the LRP6 ctail, including the T1479 epitope upstream of the membrane-proximal PPP(S/T)Px(S/T) motif. Thus, stable polymerization emerges as a key principle underlying the function of Dishevelled-dependent signalosomes.

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