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Curr Biol. 2001 Jun 5;11(11):859-63.

Asymmetric colocalization of Flamingo, a seven-pass transmembrane cadherin, and Dishevelled in planar cell polarization.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, 606-8502, Kyoto, Japan.


The Drosophila wing provides an appropriate model system for studying genetic programming of planar cell polarity (PCP) [1-4]. Each wing cell respects the proximodistal (PD) axis; i.e., it localizes an assembly of actin bundles to its distalmost vertex and produces a single prehair. This PD polarization requires the redistribution of Flamingo (Fmi), a seven-pass transmembrane cadherin, to proximal/distal cell boundaries; otherwise, the cell mislocalizes the prehair [5]. Achievement of the biased Fmi pattern depends on two upstream components in the PCP signaling pathway: Frizzled (Fz), a receptor for a hypothetical polarity signal, and an intracellular protein, Dishevelled (Dsh) [6-8]. Here, we visualized endogenous Dsh in the developing wing. A portion of Dsh colocalized with Fmi, and the distributions of both proteins were interdependent. Furthermore, Fz controlled the association of Dsh with cell boundaries, which association was correlated with the presence of hyperphosphorylated forms of Dsh. Our results, together with a recent study on Fz distribution [9], support the possibility that Fz, Dsh, and Fmi constitute a signaling complex and that its restricted localization directs cytoskeletal reorganization only at the distal cell edge.

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