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Dev Growth Differ 2024 Apr 01;663:248-255. doi: 10.1111/dgd.12915.
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Dissection of N-deacetylase and N-sulfotransferase activities of NDST1 and their effects on Wnt8 distribution and signaling in Xenopus embryos.

Suzuki M , Takada S , Mii Y .

Wnt is a family of secreted signaling proteins involved in the regulation of cellular processes, including maintenance of stem cells, carcinogenesis, and cell differentiation. In the context of early vertebrate embryogenesis, graded distribution of Wnt proteins has been thought to regulate positional information along the antero-posterior axis. However, understanding of the molecular basis for Wnt spatial distribution remains poor. Modified states of heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans are essential for Wnt8 localization, because depletion of N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase 1 (NDST1), a modification enzyme of HS chains, decreases Wnt8 levels and NDST1 overexpression increases Wnt8 levels on the cell surface. Since overexpression of NDST1 increases both deacetylation and N-sulfation of HS chains, it is not clear which function of NDST1 is actually involved in Wnt8 localization. In the present study, we generated an NDST1 mutant that specifically increases deacetylation, but not N-sulfation, of HS chains in Xenopus embryos. Unlike wild-type NDST1, this mutant did not increase Wnt8 accumulation on the cell surface, but it reduced canonical Wnt signaling, as determined with the TOP-Flash reporter assay. These results suggest that N-sulfation of HS chains is responsible for localization of Wnt8 and Wnt8 signaling, whereas deacetylation has an inhibitory effect on canonical Wnt signaling. Consistently, overexpression of wild-type NDST1, but not the mutant, resulted in small eyes in Xenopus embryos. Thus, our NDST1 mutant enables us to dissect the regulation of Wnt8 localization and signaling by HS proteoglycans by specifically manipulating the enzymatic activities of NDST1.

PubMed ID: 38326088
Article link: Dev Growth Differ
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: ndst1 wnt8a