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Wnt signalling is dependent on dishevelled proteins (DVL1-3), which assemble an intracellular Wnt signalosome at the plasma membrane. The levels of DVL1-3 are regulated by multiple Cullin-RING E3 ligases that mediate their ubiquitination and degradation. The BTB-Kelch protein KLHL12 was the first E3 ubiquitin ligase to be identified for DVL1-3, but the molecular mechanisms determining its substrate interactions have remained unknown. Here, we mapped the interaction of DVL1-3 to a 'PGXPP' motif that is conserved in other known partners and substrates of KLHL12, including PLEKHA4, PEF1, SEC31 and DRD4. To determine the binding mechanism, we solved a 2.4 Å crystal structure of the Kelch domain of KLHL12 in complex with a DVL1 peptide that bound with low micromolar affinity. The DVL1 substrate adopted a U-shaped turn conformation that enabled hydrophobic interactions with all six blades of the Kelch domain β-propeller. In cells, the mutation or deletion of this motif reduced the binding and ubiquitination of DVL1 and increased its stability confirming this sequence as a degron motif for KLHL12 recruitment. These results define the molecular mechanisms determining DVL regulation by KLHL12 and establish the KLHL12 Kelch domain as a new protein interaction module for a novel proline-rich motif.

Original publication




Journal article


Open Biol

Publication Date





BTB domain, Cul3, E3 ligase, Kelch, degradation, ubiquitin, Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing, Amino Acid Motifs, Binding Sites, Crystallography, X-Ray, Dishevelled Proteins, HEK293 Cells, Humans, Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions, Models, Molecular, Mutation, Protein Binding, Protein Conformation, Protein Domains, Protein Stability, Ubiquitination, Wnt Signaling Pathway