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Dev Cell. 2005 Jun;8(6):829-41.

Distinct PAR-1 proteins function in different branches of Wnt signaling during vertebrate development.

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Department of Cancer Biology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The kinase PAR-1 plays conserved roles in cell polarity. PAR-1 has also been implicated in axis establishment in C. elegans and Drosophila and in Wnt signaling, but its role in vertebrate development is unclear. Here we report that PAR-1 has two distinct and essential roles in axial development in Xenopus mediated by different PAR-1 isoforms. Depletion of PAR-1A or PAR-1BX causes dorsoanterior deficits, reduced Spemann organizer gene expression, and inhibition of canonical Wnt-beta-catenin signaling. By contrast, PAR-1BY depletion inhibits cell movements and localization of Dishevelled protein to the cell cortex, processes associated with noncanonical Wnt signaling. PAR-1 phosphorylation sites in Dishevelled are required for this translocation, but not for canonical Wnt signaling. We conclude that PAR-1BY is required in the PCP branch and mediates Dsh membrane localization while PAR-1A and PAR-1BX are essential for canonical signaling to beta-catenin, possibly via targets other than Dishevelled.

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