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PLoS One. 2019 Feb 22;14(2):e0212711. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212711. eCollection 2019.

Wnt traffic from endoplasmic reticulum to filopodia.

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Program in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.
Institut Curie, PSL Research University, Sorbonne Université, CNRS UMR144 "Cell Biology and Cancer", Paris, France.
Department of Pediatrics, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States of America.


Wnts are a family of secreted palmitoleated glycoproteins that play key roles in cell to cell communication during development and regulate stem cell compartments in adults. Wnt receptors, downstream signaling cascades and target pathways have been extensively studied while less is known about how Wnts are secreted and move from producing cells to receiving cells. We used the synchronization system called Retention Using Selective Hook (RUSH) to study Wnt trafficking from endoplasmic reticulum to Golgi and then to plasma membrane and filopodia in real time. Inhibition of porcupine (PORCN) or knockout of Wntless (WLS) blocked Wnt exit from the ER. Wnt-containing vesicles paused at sub-cortical regions of the plasma membrane before exiting the cell. Wnt-containing vesicles were associated with filopodia extending to adjacent cells. These data visualize and confirm the role of WLS and PORCN in ER exit of Wnts and support the role of filopodia in Wnt signaling.

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