by Helen Strutt, David Strutt
The core planar polarity proteins are essential mediators of tissue morphogenesis, controlling both the polarised production of cellular structures and polarised tissue movements. During development the core proteins promote planar polarisation by becoming asymmetrically localised to opposite cell edges within epithelial tissues, forming intercellular protein complexes that coordinate polarity between adjacent cells. Here we describe a novel protein complex that regulates the asymmetric localisation of the core proteins in the Drosophila pupal wing. DAnkrd49 (an ankyrin repeat protein) and Bride of Doubletime (Bdbt, a non-canonical FK506 binding protein family member) physically interact, and regulate each other’s levels in vivo. Loss of either protein results in a reduction in core protein asymmetry and disruption of the placement of trichomes at the distal edge of pupal wing cells. Post-translational modifications are thought to be important for the regulation of core protein behaviour and their sorting to opposite cell edges. Consistent with this, we find that loss of DAnkrd49 or Bdbt leads to reduced phosphorylation of the core protein Dishevelled and to decreased Dishevelled levels both at cell junctions and in the cytoplasm. Bdbt has previously been shown to regulate activity of the kinase Discs Overgrown (Dco, also known as Doubletime or Casein Kinase Iε), and Dco itself has been implicated in regulating planar polarity by phosphorylating Dsh as well as the core protein Strabismus. We demonstrate that DAnkrd49 and Bdbt act as dominant suppressors of Dco activity. These findings support a model whereby Bdbt and DAnkrd49 act together to modulate the activity of Dco during planar polarity establishment.