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J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 23;279(17):17232-40. Epub 2004 Feb 11.

Wnt activates the Tak1/Nemo-like kinase pathway.

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  • 1Hubrecht Laboratory, Center for Biomedical Genetics, Uppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Genetic studies on endoderm-mesoderm specification in Caenorhabditis elegans have demonstrated a role for several Wnt cascade components as well as for a MAPK-like pathway in this process. The latter pathway includes the MAPK kinase kinase-like MOM-4/Tak1, its adaptor TAP-1/Tab1, and the MAPK-like LIT-1/Nemo-like kinase. A model has been proposed in which the Tak1 kinase cascade counteracts the Wnt cascade at the level of beta-catenin/TCF phosphorylation. In this model, the signal that activates the Tak1 kinase cascade is unknown. As an alternative explanation of these genetic data, we have explored whether Tak1 is directly activated by Wnt. We find that Wnt1 stimulation results in autophosphorylation and activation of MOM-4/Tak1 in a TAP-1/Tab1-dependent fashion. Wnt1-induced Tak1 stimulation activates Nemo-like kinase, resulting in the phosphorylation of TCF. Our results combined with the genetic data from C. elegans imply a mechanism whereby Wnt directly activates the MOM-4/Tak1 kinase signaling pathway. Thus, Wnt signal transduction through the canonical pathway activates beta-catenin/TCF, whereas Wnt signal transduction through the Tak1 pathway phosphorylates and inhibits TCF, which might function as a feedback mechanism.

PMID:
14960582
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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