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      Regulation of the Hedgehog and Wingless signalling pathways by the F-box/WD40-repeat protein Slimb

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          Abstract

          Members of the Hedgehog (Hh) and Wnt/Wingless (Wg) families of secreted proteins control many aspects of growth and patterning during animal development. Hh signal transduction leads to increased stability of a transcription factor, Cubitus interruptus (Ci), whereas Wg signal transduction causes increased stability of Armadillo (Arm/beta-catenin), a possible co-factor for the transcriptional regulator Lef1/TCF. Here we describe a new gene, slimb (for supernumerary limbs), which negatively regulates both of these signal transduction pathways. Loss of function of slimb results in a cell-autonomous accumulation of high levels of both Ci and Arm, and the ectopic expression of both Hh- and Wg- responsive genes. The slimb gene encodes a conserved F-box/WD40-repeat protein related to Cdc4p, a protein in budding yeast that targets cell-cycle regulators for degradation by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway. We propose that Slimb protein normally targets Ci and Arm for processing or degradation by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway, and that Hh and Wg regulate gene expression at least in part by inducing changes in Ci and Arm, which protect them from Slimb-mediated proteolysis.

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          Most cited references 26

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          The axis-inducing activity, stability, and subcellular distribution of beta-catenin is regulated in Xenopus embryos by glycogen synthase kinase 3.

          The serine/threonine kinase Xgsk-3 and the intracellular protein beta-catenin are necessary for the establishment of the dorsal-ventral axis in Xenopus. Although genetic evidence from Drosophila indicates that Xgsk-3 is upstream of beta-catenin, direct interactions between these proteins have not been demonstrated. We demonstrate that phosphorylation of beta-catenin in vivo requires an in vitro amino-terminal Xgsk-3 phosphorylation site, which is conserved in the Drosophila protein armadillo. beta-catenin mutants lacking this site are more active in inducing an ectopic axis in Xenopus embryos and are more stable than wild-type beta-catenin in the presence of Xgsk-3 activity, supporting the hypothesis that Xgsk-3 is a negative regulator of beta-catenin that acts through the amino-terminal site. Inhibition of endogenous Xgsk-3 function with a dominant-negative mutant leads to an increase in the steady-state levels of ectopic beta-catenin, indicating that Xgsk-3 functions to destabilize beta-catenin and thus decrease the amount of beta-catenin available for signaling. The levels of endogenous beta-catenin in the nucleus increases in the presence of the dominant-negative Xgsk-3 mutant, suggesting that a role of Xgsk-3 is to regulate the steady-state levels of beta-catenin within specific subcellular compartments. These studies provide a basis for understanding the interaction between Xgsk-3 and beta-catenin in the establishment of the dorsal-ventral axis in early Xenopus embryos.
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            SKP1 connects cell cycle regulators to the ubiquitin proteolysis machinery through a novel motif, the F-box.

            We have identified the yeast and human homologs of the SKP1 gene as a suppressor of cdc4 mutants and as a cyclin F-binding protein. Skp1p indirectly binds cyclin A/Cdk2 through Skp2p, and directly binds Skp2p, cyclin F, and Cdc4p through a novel structural motif called the F-box. SKP1 is required for ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis of Cin2p, Clb5p, and the Cdk inhibitor Sic1p, and provides a link between these molecules and the proteolysis machinery. A large number of proteins contain the F-box motif and are thereby implicated in the ubiquitin pathway. Different skp1 mutants arrest cells in either G1 or G2, suggesting a connection between regulation of proteolysis in different stages of the cycle.
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              F-box proteins are receptors that recruit phosphorylated substrates to the SCF ubiquitin-ligase complex.

              We have reconstituted the ubiquitination pathway for the Cdk inhibitor Sic1 using recombinant proteins. Skp1, Cdc53, and the F-box protein Cdc4 form a complex, SCFCdc4, which functions as a Sic1 ubiquitin-ligase (E3) in combination with the ubiquitin conjugating enzyme (E2) Cdc34 and E1. Cdc4 assembled with Skp1 functions as the receptor that selectively binds phosphorylated Sic1. Grr1, an F-box protein involved in Cln destruction, forms complexes with Skp1 and Cdc53 and binds phosphorylated Cln1 and Cln2, but not Sic1. Because the constituents of the SCF complex are members of protein families, SCFCdc4 is likely to serve as the prototype for a large class of E3s formed by combinatorial interactions of related family members. SCF complexes couple protein kinase signaling pathways to the control of protein abundance.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                January 1998
                January 1998
                : 391
                : 6666
                : 493-496
                Article
                10.1038/35154
                9461217
                © 1998

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