Characterization of wise protein and its molecular mechanism to interact with both Wnt and BMP signals

Katherine B Lintern, Sonia Guidato, Alison Rowe, José W Saldanha, Nobue Itasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Cross-talk of BMP and Wnt signaling pathways has been implicated in many aspects of biological events during embryogenesis and in adulthood. A secreted protein Wise and its orthologs (Sostdc1, USAG-1, and Ectodin) have been shown to modulate Wnt signaling and also inhibit BMP signals. Modulation of Wnt signaling activity by Wise is brought about by an interaction with the Wnt co-receptor LRP6, whereas BMP inhibition is by binding to BMP ligands. Here we have investigated the mode of action of Wise on Wnt and BMP signals. It was found that Wise binds LRP6 through one of three loops formed by the cystine knot. The Wise deletion construct lacking the LRP6-interacting loop domain nevertheless binds BMP4 and inhibits BMP signals. Moreover, BMP4 does not interfere with Wise-LRP6 binding, suggesting separate domains for the physical interaction. Functional assays also show that the ability of Wise to block Wnt1 activity through LRP6 is not impeded by BMP4. In contrast, the ability of Wise to inhibit BMP4 is prevented by additional LRP6, implying a preference of Wise in binding LRP6 over BMP4. In addition to the interaction of Wise with BMP4 and LRP6, the molecular characteristics of Wise, such as glycosylation and association with heparan sulfate proteoglycans on the cell surface, are suggested. This study helps to understand the multiple functions of Wise at the molecular level and suggests a possible role for Wise in balancing Wnt and BMP signals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23159-68
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2009


  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Cell Line
  • Chickens
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • LDL-Receptor Related Proteins
  • Mice
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Proteoglycans
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wnt Proteins


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