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Dec 2015 The Journal of biological chemistry

The PTK7 and ROR2 Protein Receptors Interact in the Vertebrate WNT/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) Pathway.


Martinez S, Scerbo P, Giordano M, Daulat AM, Lhoumeau AC, Thomé V, Kodjabachian L, Borg JP


The non-canonical WNT/planar cell polarity (WNT/PCP) pathway plays important roles in morphogenetic processes in vertebrates. Among WNT/PCP components, protein tyrosine kinase 7 (PTK7) is a tyrosine kinase receptor with poorly defined functions lacking catalytic activity. Here we show that PTK7 associates with receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (ROR2) to form a heterodimeric complex in mammalian cells. We demonstrate that PTK7 and ROR2 physically and functionally interact with the non-canonical WNT5A ligand, leading to JNK activation and cell movements. In the Xenopus embryo, Ptk7 functionally interacts with Ror2 to regulate protocadherin papc expression and morphogenesis. Furthermore, we show that Ptk7 is required for papc activation induced by Wnt5a. Interestingly, we find that Wnt5a stimulates the release of the tagged Ptk7 intracellular domain, which can translocate into the nucleus and activate papc expression. This study reveals novel molecular mechanisms of action of PTK7 in non-canonical WNT/PCP signaling that may promote cell and tissue movements.

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