Daple is a novel non-receptor GEF required for trimeric G protein activation in Wnt signaling.

PMID 26126266


Wnt signaling is essential for tissue homeostasis and its dysregulation causes cancer. Wnt ligands trigger signaling by activating Frizzled receptors (FZDRs), which belong to the G-protein coupled receptor superfamily. However, the mechanisms of G protein activation in Wnt signaling remain controversial. In this study, we demonstrate that FZDRs activate G proteins and trigger non-canonical Wnt signaling via the Dishevelled-binding protein, Daple. Daple contains a Gα-binding and activating (GBA) motif, which activates Gαi proteins and an adjacent domain that directly binds FZDRs, thereby linking Wnt stimulation to G protein activation. This triggers non-canonical Wnt responses, that is, suppresses the β-catenin/TCF/LEF pathway and tumorigenesis, but enhances PI3K-Akt and Rac1 signals and tumor cell invasiveness. In colorectal cancers, Daple is suppressed during adenoma-to-carcinoma transformation and expressed later in metastasized tumor cells. Thus, Daple activates Gαi and enhances non-canonical Wnt signaling by FZDRs, and its dysregulation can impact both tumor initiation and progression to metastasis.