Probing the canonicity of the Wnt/wingless signaling pathway.

Research paper by Alexandra A Franz, Daria D Shlyueva, Erich E Brunner, Alexander A Stark, Konrad K Basler

Indexed on: 04 Apr '17Published on: 04 Apr '17Published in: PLoS genetics


The hallmark of canonical Wnt signaling is the transcriptional induction of Wnt target genes by the beta-catenin/TCF complex. Several studies have proposed alternative interaction partners for beta-catenin or TCF, but the relevance of potential bifurcations in the distal Wnt pathway remains unclear. Here we study on a genome-wide scale the requirement for Armadillo (Arm, homolog of beta-catenin) and Pangolin (Pan, Drosophila's TCF) in the Wnt/Wingless(Wg)-induced transcriptional response of Drosophila Kc cells. Using somatic genetics, we demonstrate that both Arm and Pan are absolutely required for mediating activation and repression of target genes. Furthermore, by means of STARR-sequencing we identified Wnt/Wg-responsive enhancer elements and found that all responsive enhancers depend on Pan. Together, our results confirm the dogma of canonical Wnt/Wg signaling and argue against the existence of distal pathway branches in this system.