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Syndecan defines precise spindle orientation by modulating Wnt signaling in C. elegans.

  • Author(s): Dejima, Katsufumi;
  • Kang, Sukryool;
  • Mitani, Shohei;
  • Cosman, Pamela C;
  • Chisholm, Andrew D
  • et al.
Abstract

Wnt signals orient mitotic spindles in development, but it remains unclear how Wnt signaling is spatially controlled to achieve precise spindle orientation. Here, we show that C. elegans syndecan (SDN-1) is required for precise orientation of a mitotic spindle in response to a Wnt cue. We find that SDN-1 is the predominant heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycan in the early C. elegans embryo, and that loss of HS biosynthesis or of the SDN-1 core protein results in misorientation of the spindle of the ABar blastomere. The ABar and EMS spindles both reorient in response to Wnt signals, but only ABar spindle reorientation is dependent on a new cell contact and on HS and SDN-1. SDN-1 transiently accumulates on the ABar surface as it contacts C, and is required for local concentration of Dishevelled (MIG-5) in the ABar cortex adjacent to C. These findings establish a new role for syndecan in Wnt-dependent spindle orientation.

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