Kinesin-2 and IFT-A act as a complex promoting nuclear localization of β-catenin during Wnt signalling

Linh T. Vuong, Carlo Iomini, Sophie Balmer, Davide Esposito, Stuart A. Aaronson, Marek Mlodzik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Wnt/Wg-signalling is critical signalling in all metazoans. Recent studies suggest that IFT-A proteins and Kinesin-2 modulate canonical Wnt/Wg-signalling independently of their ciliary role. Whether they function together in Wnt-signalling and their mechanistic role in the pathway remained unresolved. Here we demonstrate that Kinesin-2 and IFT-A proteins act as a complex during Drosophila Wg-signalling, affecting pathway activity in the same manner, interacting genetically and physically, and co-localizing with β-catenin, the mediator of Wnt/Wg-signalling on microtubules. Following pathway activation, Kinesin-2/IFT-A mutant cells exhibit high cytoplasmic β-catenin levels, yet fail to activate Wg-targets. In mutant tissues in both, Drosophila and mouse/MEFs, nuclear localization of β-catenin is markedly reduced. We demonstrate a conserved, motor-domain dependent function of the Kinesin-2/IFT-A complex in promoting nuclear translocation of β-catenin. We show that this is mediated by protecting β-catenin from a conserved cytoplasmic retention process, thus identifying a mechanism for Kinesin-2/IFT-A in Wnt-signalling that is independent of their ciliary role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5304
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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