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Lipoprotein particles are required for Hedgehog and Wingless signalling.

Panakova D., Sprong H., Marois E., Thiele C., Eaton S.

Wnt and Hedgehog family proteins are secreted signalling molecules (morphogens) that act at both long and short range to control growth and patterning during development. Both proteins are covalently modified by lipid, and the mechanism by which such hydrophobic molecules might spread over long distances is unknown. Here we show that Wingless, Hedgehog and glycophosphatidylinositol-linked proteins copurify with lipoprotein particles, and co-localize with them in the developing wing epithelium of Drosophila. In larvae with reduced lipoprotein levels, Hedgehog accumulates near its site of production, and fails to signal over its normal range. Similarly, the range of Wingless signalling is narrowed. We propose a novel function for lipoprotein particles, in which they act as vehicles for the movement of lipid-linked morphogens and glycophosphatidylinositol-linked proteins.

Nature 435:58-65(2005) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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