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EMBO Rep. 2011 Dec 1;12(12):1265-72. doi: 10.1038/embor.2011.212.

p24 proteins are required for secretion of Wnt ligands.

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German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Division of Signaling and Functional Genomics and Heidelberg University, Faculty of Medicine Mannheim, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, Heidelberg 69120, Germany.


During development and disease, the exocytosis of signalling molecules, such as Wnt ligands, is essential to orchestrate cellular programs in multicellular organisms. However, it remains a largely unresolved question whether signalling molecules follow specialized transport routes through the exocytic pathway. Here we identify several Drosophila p24 proteins that are required for Wnt signalling. We demonstrate that one of these p24 proteins, namely Opossum, shuttles in the early secretory pathway, and that the Drosophila Wnt proteins are retained in the absence of p24 proteins. Our results indicate that Wnt secretion relies on a specialized anterograde secretion route with p24 proteins functioning as conserved cargo receptors.

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