Low-density lipoprotein receptor related proteins 5 and 6 (LRP5/6) are transmembrane receptors that initiate Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. Phosphorylation of PPPSP motifs in the LRP6 cytoplasmic domain is crucial for signal transduction. Using a kinome-wide RNAi screen, we show that PPPSP phosphorylation requires the Drosophila Cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) L63. L63 and its vertebrate homolog PFTK are regulated by the membrane tethered G2/M Cyclin, Cyclin Y, which mediates binding to and phosphorylation of LRP6. As a consequence, LRP6 phosphorylation and Wnt/beta-catenin signaling are under cell cycle control and peak at G2/M phase; knockdown of the mitotic regulator CDC25/string, which results in G2/M arrest, enhances Wnt signaling in a Cyclin Y-dependent manner. In Xenopus embryos, Cyclin Y is required in vivo for LRP6 phosphorylation, maternal Wnt signaling, and Wnt-dependent anteroposterior embryonic patterning. G2/M priming of LRP6 by a Cyclin/CDK complex introduces an unexpected new layer of regulation of Wnt signaling.
The FLRT family of transmembrane proteins has been implicated in the regulation of FGF signalling, neurite outgrowth, homotypic cell sorting and cadherin-mediated adhesion. In an expression screen we identified the Netrin receptors Unc5B and Unc5D as high-affinity FLRT3 interactors. Upon overexpression, Unc5B phenocopies FLRT3 and both proteins synergize in inducing cell deadhesion in Xenopus embryos. Morpholino knock-downs of Unc5B and FLRT3 synergistically affect Xenopus development and induce morphogenetic defects. The small GTPase Rnd1, which transmits FLRT3 deadhesion activity, physically and functionally interacts with Unc5B, and mediates its effect on cell adhesion. The results suggest that FLRT3, Unc5B and Rnd1 proteins interact to modulate cell adhesion in early Xenopus development.
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