Wnt proteins are lipid-modified glycoproteins that have important roles in development, adult tissue homeostasis and disease. Secretion of Wnt proteins from producing cells is mediated by the Wnt-binding protein MIG-14/Wls, which binds Wnt in the Golgi network and transports it to the cell surface for release. It has recently been shown that recycling of MIG-14/Wls from the plasma membrane to the trans-Golgi network is required for efficient Wnt secretion, but the mechanism of this retrograde transport pathway is still poorly understood. In this study, we report the identification of MTM-6 and MTM-9 as novel regulators of MIG-14/Wls trafficking in Caenorhabditis elegans. MTM-6 and MTM-9 are myotubularin lipid phosphatases that function as a complex to dephosphorylate phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate, a central regulator of endosomal trafficking. We show that mutation of mtm-6 or mtm-9 leads to defects in several Wnt-dependent processes and demonstrate that MTM-6 is required in Wnt-producing cells as part of the MIG-14/Wls-recycling pathway. This function is evolutionarily conserved, as the MTM-6 orthologue DMtm6 is required for Wls stability and Wg secretion in Drosophila. We conclude that regulation of endosomal trafficking by the MTM-6/MTM-9 myotubularin complex is required for the retromer-dependent recycling of MIG-14/Wls and Wnt secretion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEMBO Journal
Journal publication date2010

ID: 268550