MOM-4, a MAP kinase kinase kinase-related protein, activates WRM-1/LIT-1 kinase to transduce anterior/posterior polarity signals in C. elegans

Tae Ho Shin, Jun Yasuda, Christian E. Rocheleau, Rueyling Lin, Martha Soto, Yanxia Bei, Roger J. Davis, Craig C. Mello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

In C. elegans, a Wnt/WG-like signaling pathway downregulates the TCF/LEF-related protein, POP-1, to specify posterior cell fates. Effectors of this signaling pathway include a β-catenin homolog, WRM-1, and a conserved protein kinase, LIT-1. WRM-1 and LIT-1 form a kinase complex that can directly phosphorylate POP-1, but how signaling activates WRM-1/LIT-1 kinase is not yet known. Here we show that mom-4, a genetically defined effector of polarity signaling, encodes a MAP kinase kinase kinase-related protein that stimulates the WRM-1/LIT-1-dependent phosphorylation of POP-1. LIT-1 kinase activity requires a conserved residue analogous to an activating phosphorylation site in other kinases, including MAP kinases. These findings suggest that anterior/posterior polarity signaling in C. elegans may involve a MAP kinase-like signaling mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-280
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular cell
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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