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Genes & Dev. 13 (21): 2828-2837

Copyright © 1999 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Vol. 13, No. 21, pp. 2828-2837, November 1, 1999

Protein kinase A antagonizes Hedgehog signaling by regulating both the activator and repressor forms of Cubitus interruptus

Gelin Wang, Bing Wang, and Jin Jiang1

Center for Developmental Biology and Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75235-9133 USA

The Hedgehog (Hh) family of secreted proteins controls many aspects of animal development. In Drosophila, Hh transduces its signal via Cubitus interruptus (Ci), a transcription factor present in two forms: a full-length activator and a carboxy-terminally truncated repressor that is derived from the full-length form by proteolytic processing. The proteolytic processing of Ci is promoted by the activities of protein kinase A (PKA) and Slimb, whereas it is inhibited by Hh. Here we show that PKA inhibits the activity of the full-length Ci in addition to its role in regulating Ci proteolysis. Whereas Ci processing is blocked in both PKA and slimb mutant cells, the accumulated full-length Ci becomes activated only in PKA but not in slimb mutant cells. Moreover, PKA inhibits an uncleavable activator form of Ci. These observations suggest that PKA regulates the activity of the full-length Ci independent of its proteolytic processing. We also provide evidence that PKA regulates both the proteolytic processing and transcriptional activity of Ci by directly phosphorylating Ci. We propose that phosphorylation of Ci by PKA has two separable roles: (1) It blocks the transcription activity of the full-length activator form of Ci, and (2) it targets Ci for Slimb-mediated proteolytic processing to generate the truncated form that functions as a repressor.

[Key Words: PKA; Ci; Hedgehog; Slimb; proteolysis; limb development]

GENES & DEVELOPMENT 13:2828-2837 © 1999 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press  ISSN 0890-9369/99 $5.00

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