Head formation requires Dishevelled degradation that is mediated by March2 in concert with Dapper1

Development. 2018 Apr 10;145(7):dev143107. doi: 10.1242/dev.143107.


Dishevelled (Dvl/Dsh) is a key scaffold protein that propagates Wnt signaling essential for embryogenesis and homeostasis. However, whether the antagonism of Wnt signaling that is necessary for vertebrate head formation can be achieved through regulation of Dsh protein stability is unclear. Here, we show that membrane-associated RING-CH2 (March2), a RING-type E3 ubiquitin ligase, antagonizes Wnt signaling by regulating the turnover of Dsh protein via ubiquitin-mediated lysosomal degradation in the prospective head region of Xenopus We further found that March2 acquires regional and functional specificities for head formation from the Dsh-interacting protein Dapper1 (Dpr1). Dpr1 stabilizes the interaction between March2 and Dsh in order to mediate ubiquitylation and the subsequent degradation of Dsh protein only in the dorso-animal region of Xenopus embryo. These results suggest that March2 restricts cytosolic pools of Dsh protein and reduces the need for Wnt signaling in precise vertebrate head development.

Keywords: Dapper1; Dishevelled; Head formation; March2; Wnt signaling; Xenopus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Dishevelled Proteins / metabolism*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Head / embryology*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Morphogenesis / genetics
  • Proteolysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitination / genetics
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism
  • Xenopus Proteins / metabolism*
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology
  • Xenopus laevis / metabolism


  • Dishevelled Proteins
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases