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Dev Cell. 2007 Mar;12(3):335-47.

A Wnt-CKIvarepsilon-Rap1 pathway regulates gastrulation by modulating SIPA1L1, a Rap GTPase activating protein.

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Center for Children and Department of Oncological Sciences, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


Noncanonical Wnt signals control morphogenetic movements during vertebrate gastrulation. Casein kinase I epsilon (CKIvarepsilon) is a Wnt-regulated kinase that regulates Wnt/beta-catenin signaling and has a beta-catenin-independent role(s) in morphogenesis that is poorly understood. Here we report the identification of a CKIvarepsilon binding partner, SIPA1L1/E6TP1, a GAP (GTPase activating protein) of the Rap small GTPase family. We show that CKIvarepsilon phosphorylates SIPA1L1 to reduce its stability and thereby increase Rap1 activation. Wnt-8, which activates CKIvarepsilon, enhances the CKIvarepsilon-dependent phosphorylation and degradation of SIPA1L1. In early Xenopus or zebrafish development, inactivation of the Rap1 pathway results in abnormal gastrulation and a shortened anterior-posterior axis. Although CKIvarepsilon also transduces Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, inhibition of Rap1 does not alter beta-catenin-regulated gene expression. Our data demonstrate a role for CKIvarepsilon in noncanonical Wnt signaling and indicate that Wnt regulates morphogenesis in part through CKIvarepsilon-mediated control of Rap1 signaling.

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