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Biophysical and functional characterization of norrin signaling through Frizzled4

Cited 25 time in Web of Science Cited 27 time in Scopus

Bang, Injin; Kim, Hee Ryung; Beaven, Andrew H.; Kim, Jinuk; Ko, Seung-Bum; Lee, Gyu Rie; Lee, Hasup; Im, Wonpil; Seok, Chaok; Chung, Ka Young; Choi, Hee-Jung

Issue Date
National Academy of Sciences
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol.115 No.35, pp.8787-8792
Wnt signaling is initiated by Wnt ligand binding to the extracellular ligand binding domain, called the cysteine-rich domain (CRD), of a Frizzled (Fzd) receptor. Norrin, an atypical Fzd ligand, specifically interacts with Fzd4 to activate ss-catenin-dependent canonical Wnt signaling. Much of the molecular basis that confers Norrin selectivity in binding to Fzd4 was revealed through the structural study of the Fzd4(CRD)-Norrin complex. However, how the ligand interaction, seemingly localized at the CRD, is transmitted across full-length Fzd4 to the cytoplasm remains largely unknown. Here, we show that a flexible linker domain, which connects the CRD to the transmembrane domain, plays an important role in Norrin signaling. The linker domain directly contributes to the high-affinity interaction between Fzd4 and Norrin as shown by similar to 10-fold higher binding affinity of Fzd4(CRD) to Norrin in the presence of the linker. Swapping the Fzd4 linker with the Fzd5 linker resulted in the loss of Norrin signaling, suggesting the importance of the linker in ligand-specific cellular response. In addition, structural dynamics of Fzd4 associated with Norrin binding investigated by hydrogen/deuterium exchange MS revealed Norrin-induced conformational changes on the linker domain and the intracellular loop 3 (ICL3) region of Fzd4. Cell-based functional assays showed that linker deletion, L430A and L433A mutations at ICL3, and C-terminal tail truncation displayed reduced ss-catenin-dependent signaling activity, indicating the functional significance of these sites. Together, our results provide functional and biochemical dissection of Fzd4 in Norrin signaling.
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