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EMBO J. 2007 Aug 8;26(15):3592-606. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

XRab40 and XCullin5 form a ubiquitin ligase complex essential for the noncanonical Wnt pathway.

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  • 1Department of Developmental Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki, Aichi, Japan.


Rab GTPases are key regulators of intracellular membrane trafficking. We sought to elucidate the roles of Rab GTPases in Xenopus gastrulation, and found that a Xenopus homolog of Rab40 (XRab40) is required for normal gastrulation. XRab40 is localized at the Golgi apparatus and interacts with ElonginB/C and Cullin5 to form a ubiquitin ligase. XRab40/XCullin5 functions cooperatively and regulates the ubiquitination and localization of Rap2 GTPase. Furthermore, XRab40/XCullin5 regulates the membrane localization of Dishevelled (Dsh), a key signaling molecule in the Wnt pathway, through Rap2 and its effector Misshapen/Nck-interacting kinase (XMINK). XMINK interacts with Dsh, and is translocated to the plasma membrane by Wnt activation. We propose a novel signaling cascade consisting of XRab40/XCullin5, Rap2 and XMINK, which plays a crucial role in the regulation of the noncanonical Wnt pathway.

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