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J Cell Sci. 2010 Nov 1;123(Pt 21):3693-702. doi: 10.1242/jcs.075275. Epub 2010 Oct 12.

Wnt-dependent assembly of supermolecular Dishevelled-3-based complexes.

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Department of Pharmacology, Health Sciences Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8651, USA.


Dishevelled-3 (Dvl3) is a multivalent scaffold protein that is essential to Wnt signaling during development. Although Dvl-based punctae have been visualized by fluorescence microscopy; the physical nature and dynamic character of the such complexes are enigmatic. We use steric-exclusion chromatography, affinity pull-downs, proteomics and fluorescence correlation microscopy to characterize supermolecular Dvl3-based complexes of totipotent mouse F9 cells. The molecular mass of the complexes ranges from that of homodimeric Dvl3 to well-defined peaks harboring supermolecular complexes of 0.4 to 2.0 MDa. Addition of Wnt3a stimulates the formation of Dvl3-based complexes of greater molecular mass within 30 minutes. The presence of DKK1 and knockdown of Dishevelled proteins block formation of the 2 MDa Dvl3-based complexes and also block Wnt3a stimulation of the canonical pathway. Fluorescent correlation microscopy identified supermolecular Dvl3-based complexes with a molecular mass >30 MDa in live cells; these complexes were provoked to form structures with even greater molecular mass by Wnt3a. We establish for the first time the physical and functional nature of very large, supermolecular Dvl3-based complexes.

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