The Wnt-pathway is part of a signalling network that regulates many aspects of cell biology. Recently we discovered crosstalk between AMPA/Kainate-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) and the Wnt-pathway during the initial Wnt3a-interaction at the cytonemes of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Here, we demonstrate that this crosstalk persists throughout the Wnt3a-response in ESCs. Both AMPA- and Kainate-receptors regulate early Wnt3a-recruitment, dynamics on the cell membrane, and orientation of the spindle towards a Wnt3a-source at mitosis. AMPA-receptors specifically are required for segregating cell fate components during Wnt3a-mediated asymmetric cell division (ACD). Using Wnt-pathway component knockout lines, we determine that Wnt co-receptor Lrp6 has particular functionality over Lrp5 in cytoneme formation, and in facilitating ACD. Both Lrp5 and 6, alongside pathway effector β-catenin act in concert to mediate the positioning of the dynamic interaction with, and spindle orientation to, a localized Wnt3a-source. Wnt-iGluR crosstalk may prove pervasive throughout embryonic and adult stem cell signalling.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Shukry J Habib
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Beate Maria Lichtenberger, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
© 2021, Junyent et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Although most species have two sexes, multisexual (or multi-mating type) species are also widespread. However, it is unclear how mating-type recognition is achieved at the molecular level in multisexual species. The unicellular ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila has seven mating types, which are determined by the MTA and MTB proteins. In this study, we found that both proteins are essential for cells to send or receive complete mating-type information, and transmission of the mating-type signal requires both proteins to be expressed in the same cell. We found that MTA and MTB form a mating-type recognition complex that localizes to the plasma membrane, but not to the cilia. Stimulation experiments showed that the mating-type-specific regions of MTA and MTB mediate both self- and non-self-recognition, indicating that T. thermophila uses a dual approach to achieve mating-type recognition. Our results suggest that MTA and MTB form an elaborate multifunctional protein complex that can identify cells of both self and non-self mating types in order to inhibit or activate mating, respectively.
SNAP25 is one of three neuronal SNAREs driving synaptic vesicle exocytosis. We studied three mutations in SNAP25 that cause epileptic encephalopathy: V48F, and D166Y in the synaptotagmin-1 (Syt1)-binding interface, and I67N, which destabilizes the SNARE complex. All three mutations reduced Syt1-dependent vesicle docking to SNARE-carrying liposomes and Ca2+-stimulated membrane fusion in vitro and when expressed in mouse hippocampal neurons. The V48F and D166Y mutants (with potency D166Y > V48F) led to reduced readily releasable pool (RRP) size, due to increased spontaneous (miniature Excitatory Postsynaptic Current, mEPSC) release and decreased priming rates. These mutations lowered the energy barrier for fusion and increased the release probability, which are gain-of-function features not found in Syt1 knockout (KO) neurons; normalized mEPSC release rates were higher (potency D166Y > V48F) than in the Syt1 KO. These mutations (potency D166Y > V48F) increased spontaneous association to partner SNAREs, resulting in unregulated membrane fusion. In contrast, the I67N mutant decreased mEPSC frequency and evoked EPSC amplitudes due to an increase in the height of the energy barrier for fusion, whereas the RRP size was unaffected. This could be partly compensated by positive charges lowering the energy barrier. Overall, pathogenic mutations in SNAP25 cause complex changes in the energy landscape for priming and fusion.