Semaphorin Receptors Antagonize Wnt Signaling Through Beta-Catenin Degradation

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Semaphorin Receptors Antagonize Wnt Signaling Through Beta-Catenin Degradation


Hoard, T. M.; Liu, K.; Cadigan, K. M.; Giger, R. J.; Allen, B. L.


Precise control of morphogen signaling levels is essential for proper development. An outstanding question is: what mechanisms ensure proper morphogen activity and correct cellular responses? Previous work has identified Semaphorin (SEMA) receptors, Neuropilins (NRPs) and Plexins (PLXNs), as positive regulators of the Hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway. Here, we provide evidence that NRPs and PLXNs antagonize Wnt signaling in both fibroblasts and epithelial cells. Further, Nrp1/2 deletion in fibroblasts results in elevated baseline Wnt pathway activity and increased maximal responses to Wnt stimulation. Notably, and in contrast to HH signaling, SEMA receptor-mediated Wnt antagonism is independent of primary cilia. Mechanistically, PLXNs and NRPs act downstream of Dishevelled (DVL) to destabilize beta-catenin (CTNNB1) in a proteosome-dependent manner. Further, NRPs, but not PLXNs, act in a GSK3beta/CK1-dependent fashion to antagonize Wnt signaling, suggesting distinct repressive mechanisms for these SEMA receptors. Overall, this study identifies SEMA receptors as novel Wnt pathway antagonists that may also play larger roles integrating signals from multiple inputs.

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