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In situ Fucosylation for Modulating Wnt Signaling in Live Cells

By Senlian Hong, Lei Feng, Hao Jiang, Xiaomeng Hou, Peng Guo, Florence L. Marlow, Pamela Stanley, Peng Wu

Posted 09 Aug 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/726612

Wnt/β-catenin signaling, also known as canonical Wnt signaling, regulates critical, context-dependent transcription in numerous (patho) physiological events. Amongst the well-documented mechanisms of canonical Wnt signaling, modification of N-glycans by L-fucose (Fuc) is the newest and the least understood. Using a combination of Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell mutants with different fucosylation levels and in situ cell-surface Fuc editing (ISF), we report that (1-3)-fucosylation of N-acetylglucosamine in the LacNAc (Galβ(1-4)-GlcNAc) sequences of complex N-glycans modulates Wnt signaling by regulating the endocytosis of low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6). Pulse-chase experiments reveal that increasing N-glycan LacNAc fucosylation elevates endocytosis of lipid-raft-localized LRP6, leading to the suppression of Wnt-β-catenin signaling. Inhibiting endocytosis by inhibiting dynamin 1, a GTPase responsible for endocytosis in eukaryotic cells, partially rescues Wnt signaling. Remarkably, the inhibition of Wnt signaling by N-glycan LacNAc fucosylation is fully rescued by the addition of free Fuc to the medium, suggesting that endocytosis of N-glycan fucosylated LRP6 may be mediated by a receptor that recognizes the bound (1-3)-Fuc. This work provides the first evidence that in situ cell-surface fucosylation can be exploited to regulate a specific signaling pathway via endocytosis, revealing a novel regulatory mechanism linking glycosylation of a cell surface receptor with its intracellular signaling.

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