Electrochemical cues regulate assembly of the Frizzled/Dishevelled complex at the plasma membrane during planar epithelial polarization.
2009
Authors: Simons M, Gault WJ, Gotthardt D, Rohatgi R, Klein TJ, Shao Y, Lee HJ, Wu AL, Fang Y, Satlin LM, Dow JT, Chen J, Zheng J, Boutros M, Mlodzik M.
CellNetworks People: Boutros Michael
Journal: Nat Cell Biol. 2009 Mar;11(3):286-94.

Dishevelled (Dsh) is a cytoplasmic multidomain protein that is required for all known branches of the Wnt signalling pathway. The Frizzled/planar cell polarity (Fz/PCP) signalling branch requires an asymmetric cortical localization of Dsh, but this process remains poorly understood. Using a genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) screen in Drosophila melanogaster cells, we show that Dsh membrane localization is dependent on the Na(+)/H(+) exchange activity of the plasma membrane exchanger Nhe2. Manipulating Nhe2 expression levels in the eye causes PCP defects, and Nhe2 interacts genetically with Fz. Our data show that the binding and surface recruitment of Dsh by Fz is pH- and charge-dependent. We identify a polybasic stretch within the Dsh DEP domain that binds to negatively charged phospholipids and appears to be mechanistically important. Dsh recruitment by Fz can be abolished by converting these basic amino-acid residues into acidic ones, as in the mutant, DshKR/E. In vivo, the DshKR/E(2x) mutant with two substituted residues fails to associate with the membrane during active PCP signalling but rescues canonical Wnt signalling defects in a dsh-background. These results suggest that direct interaction between Fz and Dsh is stabilized by a pH and charge-dependent interaction of the DEP domain with phospholipids. This stabilization is particularly important for the PCP signalling branch and, thus, promotes specific pathway selection in Wnt signalling.