Epithelial tissues are polarized along two axes. In addition to apical-basal polarity, they are often polarized within the plane of the epithelium, so-called Planar Cell Polarity (PCP). PCP depends upon Wnt/Frizzled (Fz) signaling factors, including Fz itself and Van Gogh (Vang/Vangl). We sought to understand how Vang interaction with other core PCP factors affects Vang function. We find that Fz induces Vang phosphorylation in a cell-autonomous manner. Vang phosphorylation occurs on conserved N-terminal serine/threonine residues, is mediated by CK1ε/Dco, and is critical for polarized membrane localization of Vang and other PCP proteins. This regulatory mechanism does not require Fz signaling through Dishevelled and thus represents a cell-autonomous upstream interaction between Fz and Vang. Furthermore, this signaling event appears to be related to Wnt5a-mediated Vangl2 phosphorylation during mouse limb patterning and may thus be a general mechanism underlying Wnt-regulated PCP establishment.
Kelly, L. K., Wu, J., Yanfeng, W. A., & Mlodzik, M. (2016). Frizzled-Induced Van Gogh Phosphorylation by CK1ε Promotes Asymmetric Localization of Core PCP Factors in Drosophila. Cell Reports, 16(2), 344–356. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2016.06.010