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P Andre, Q Wang, N Wang, B Gao, A Schilit, MM Halford, SA Stacker, X Zhang and Y Yang
Abstract
The Wnt signaling pathways control many critical developmental and adult physiological processes. In vertebrates, one fundamentally important function of Wnts is to provide directional information by regulating the evolutionarily conserved planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway during embryonic morphogenesis. However, despite the critical roles of Wnts and PCP in vertebrate development and disease, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying Wnt regulation of PCP. Here we have found that the receptor-like tyrosine kinase (Ryk), a Wnt5a-binding protein required in axon guidance, regulates PCP signaling. We show that Ryk interacts with Vangl2 genetically and biochemically and such interaction is potentiated by Wnt5a. Loss of Ryk in a Vangl2+/- background results in classic PCP defects including open neural tube, misalignment of sensory hair cells in the inner ear and shortened long bones in the limbs. Complete loss of both Ryk and Vangl2 results in more severe phenotypes that resemble the Wnt5a-/- mutant in many aspects, such as shortened anterior-posterior body axis, limb and frontonasal process. Our data identify the Wnt5a-binding protein Ryk as a general regulator of the mammalian Wnt/PCP signaling pathway. We show that Ryk transduces Wnt5a signaling by forming a complex with Vangl2 and that Ryk regulates PCP by promoting Vangl2 stability. As human mutations in WNT5A and VANGL2 are found to cause Robinow syndrome and neural tube defects, respectively, our results further suggest that human mutations in RYK may also be involved in these diseases.
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Concepts
Protein, Protein kinase, Developmental biology, Receptor tyrosine kinase, DNA, Gene, Signal transduction
MeSH headings
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