The apical and basolateral membranes of epithelia are insulated from each other, preventing the transfer of extracellular proteins from one side to the other. Thus, a signalling protein produced apically is not expected to reach basolateral receptors. Evidence suggests that Wingless, the main Drosophila Wnt, is secreted apically in the embryonic epidermis. However, in the wing imaginal disc epithelium, Wingless is mostly seen on the basolateral membrane where it spreads from secreting to receiving cells. Here we examine the apico-basal movement of Wingless in Wingless-producing cells of wing imaginal discs. We find that it is presented first on the apical surface before making its way to the basolateral surface, where it is released and allowed to interact with signalling receptors. We show that Wingless transcytosis involves dynamin-dependent endocytosis from the apical surface. Subsequent trafficking from early apical endosomes to the basolateral surface requires Godzilla, a member of the RNF family of membrane-anchored E3 ubiquitin ligases. Without such transport, Wingless signalling is strongly reduced in this tissue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology