Signaling Specificity by Frizzled Receptors in Drosophila

Science  09 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5472, pp. 1825-1828
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5472.1825

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Wnt-Frizzled (Fz) signaling pathways play recurring important roles during the development and homeostasis of vertebrates and invertebrates. Fz receptors can signal through β-catenin–dependent and –independent pathways. InDrosophila, Fz and Fz2 are redundant receptors for Wg. In addition, Fz conveys signals through a distinct pathway to organize planar polarization of epithelial structures. We demonstrate that the cytoplasmic sequences of Fz2 and Fz preferentially activate the β-catenin and planar polarity cascade, respectively. Both receptors activate either pathway, but with different efficiencies. Intrinsic differences in signaling efficiency in closely related receptors might be a general mechanism for generating signaling specificity in vivo.

  • * Present address: Harvard Medical School, Department of Genetics, 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mlodzik{at}

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