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USP9X Deubiquitylates DVL2 to Regulate WNT Pathway Specification


Nielsen CP , Jernigan KK , Diggins NL , Webb DJ , MacGurn JA , . Cell reports. 2019 7 23; 28(4). 1074-1089.e5


The WNT signaling network is comprised of multiple receptors that relay various input signals via distinct transduction pathways to execute multiple complex and context-specific output processes. Integrity of the WNT signaling network relies on proper specification between canonical and noncanonical pathways, which presents a regulatory challenge given that several signal transducing elements are shared between pathways. Here, we report that USP9X, a deubiquitylase, and WWP1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, regulate a ubiquitin rheostat on DVL2, a WNT signaling protein. Our findings indicate that USP9X-mediated deubiquitylation of DVL2 is required for canonical WNT activation, while increased DVL2 ubiquitylation is associated with localization to actin-rich projections and activation of the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway. We propose that a WWP1-USP9X axis regulates a ubiquitin rheostat on DVL2 that specifies its participation in either canonical WNT or WNT-PCP pathways. These findings have important implications for therapeutic targeting of USP9X in human cancer.

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