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Development. 2018 Dec 12;145(24). pii: dev166850. doi: 10.1242/dev.166850.

Protein association changes in the Hedgehog signaling complex mediate differential signaling strength.

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Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Inserm, iBV, 06108 Nice, France.
Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Inserm, iBV, 06108 Nice, France
Stockholms Universitet, Wenner-Grens Institut, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.


Hedgehog (Hh) is a conserved morphogen that controls cell differentiation and tissue patterning in metazoans. In Drosophila, the Hh signal is transduced from the G protein-coupled receptor Smoothened (Smo) to the cytoplasmic Hh signaling complex (HSC). How activated Smo is translated into a graded activation of the downstream pathway is still not well understood. In this study, we show that the last amino acids of the cytoplasmic tail of Smo, in combination with G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (Gprk2), bind to the regulatory domain of Fused (Fu) and highly activate its kinase activity. We further show that this binding induces changes in the association of Fu protein with the HSC and increases the proximity of the Fu catalytic domain to its substrate, the Costal2 kinesin. We propose a new model in which, depending on the magnitude of Hh signaling, Smo and Gprk2 modulate protein association and conformational changes in the HSC, which are responsible for the differential activation of the pathway.


Differential phosphorylation; Drosophila; Fused; Gprk2; Hedgehog; Protein association change; Signaling; Smoothened

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