TMEM132A, a Novel Wnt Signaling Pathway Regulator Through Wntless (WLS) Interaction

Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 Nov 26;8:599890. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2020.599890. eCollection 2020.


Wnt signaling pathway plays indispensable roles in embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis. However, the regulatory mechanisms involved in Wnt ligand trafficking within and secretion from the signal sending cells is still relatively uncharacterized. Here, we discover a novel regulator of Wnt signaling pathway called transmembrane protein 132A (TMEM132A). Our evidence shows a physical and functional interaction of TMEM132A with the Wnt ligand transporting protein Wntless (WLS). We show that TMEM132A stabilizes Wnt ligand, enhances WLS-Wnt ligand interaction, and activates the Wnt signaling pathway. Our results shed new light on the cellular mechanism underlying the fundamental aspect of WNT secretion from Wnt signal sending cells.

Keywords: Wnt ligand; Wnt signaling pathway; Wntless (WLS); intracellular trafficking; transmembrane protein 132A (TMEM132A).