Signal Transduction

Signaling probed by single-molecule tracking

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Science  31 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6247, pp. 491
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6247.491-b

Developmental signaling through the so-called Hedgehog pathway is transduced through the receptor-like protein Smoothened. Hedgehog signaling requires highly specific localization of Smoothened in target cells at the primary cilium, a structure that functions somewhat like an antenna to receive and transmit signals. Milenkovic et al. tracked movement of single molecules of Smoothened in the cilia of cultured mouse embryo fibroblasts. Movement of Smoothened was restricted by binding events at the base of the cilium. Activation of Hedgehog signaling decreased the affinity of such binding. Such regulated binding of Smoothened to its yet-to-be-defined partner(s) within the cilium is likely an important step in the Hedgehog signaling mechanism.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1510094112 (2015).

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