Lipid-independent secretion of a Drosophila Wnt protein.

TitleLipid-independent secretion of a Drosophila Wnt protein.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsChing W, Hang HC, Nusse R
JournalJ Biol Chem
Date PublishedJun
ISSN0021-9258 (Print); 0021-9258 (Linking)
AbstractWnt proteins comprise a large class of secreted signaling molecules with key roles during embryonic development and throughout adult life. Recently, much effort has been focused on understanding the factors that regulate Wnt signal production. For example, Porcupine and Wntless/Evi/Sprinter have been identified as being required in Wnt-producing cells for the processing and secretion of many Wnt proteins. Interestingly, in this study we find that WntD, a recently characterized Drosophila Wnt family member, does not require Porcupine or Wntless/Evi/Sprinter for its secretion or signaling activity. Because Porcupine is involved in post-translational lipid modification of Wnt proteins, we used a novel labeling method and mass spectrometry to ask whether WntD undergoes lipid modification and found that it does not. Although lipid modification is also hypothesized to be required for Wnt secretion, we find that WntD is secreted very efficiently. WntD secretion does, however, maintain a requirement for the secretory pathway component Rab1. Our results show that not all Wnt family members require lipid modification, Porcupine, or Wntless/Evi/Sprinter for secretion and suggest that different modes of secretion may exist for different Wnt proteins.