Beta-catenin (i.e., canonical Wnt) signaling controls CNS angiogenesis and the blood- brain and blood-retina barriers. To explore the role of the Discs large/membrane-associated guanylate kinase (Dlg/MAGUK) family of scaffolding proteins in beta-catenin signaling, we studied vascular endothelial cell (EC)-specific knockout of Dlg1/SAP97. EC-specific loss of Dlg1 produces a retinal vascular phenotype that closely matches the phenotype associated with reduced beta- catenin signaling, synergizes with genetically-directed reductions in beta-catenin signaling components, and can be rescued by stabilizing beta-catenin in ECs. In reporter cells with CRISPR/ Cas9-mediated inactivation of Dlg1, transfection of Dlg1 enhances beta-catenin signaling ~4 fold. Surprisingly, Frizzled4, which contains a C-terminal PDZ-binding motif that can bind to Dlg1 PDZ domains, appears to function independently of Dlg1 in vivo. These data expand the repertoire of Dlg/MAGUK family functions to include a role in beta-catenin signaling, and they suggest that proteins other than Frizzled receptors interact with Dlg1 to enhance beta-catenin signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)