A switch from noncanonical to canonical Wnt signaling stops neuroblast migration through a Slt-Robo and RGA-9b/ARHGAP-dependent mechanism

Lorenzo Rella, Euclides E Fernandes Póvoa, Jonas Mars, Annabel L P Ebbing, Luc Schoppink, Marco C Betist, Hendrik C Korswagen

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Members of the Wnt family of secreted glycoproteins regulate cell migration through distinct canonical and noncanonical signaling pathways. Studies of vertebrate development and disease have shown that these pathways can have opposing effects on cell migration, but the mechanism of this functional interplay is not known. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a switch from noncanonical to canonical Wnt signaling terminates the long-range migration of the QR neuroblast descendants, providing a tractable system to study this mechanism in vivo. Here, we show that noncanonical Wnt signaling acts through PIX-1/RhoGEF, while canonical signaling directly activates the Slt-Robo pathway component EVA-1/EVA1C and the Rho GTPase-activating protein RGA-9b/ARHGAP, which are required for migration inhibition. Our results support a model in which cross-talk between noncanonical and canonical Wnt signaling occurs through antagonistic regulation of the Rho GTPases that drive cell migration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume118
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins/genetics
  • Cell Movement/genetics
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins/metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins/genetics
  • Neural Stem Cells/cytology
  • Receptors, Immunologic/genetics
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway

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