Smoothened-dependent and -independent pathways in mammalian noncanonical Hedgehog signaling

Faria, A. V. D. S., Akyala, A. I., Parikh, K., Brueggemann, L. W., Spek, C. A., Cao, W., Bruno, M. J., Bijlsma, M. F., Fuhler, G. M. & Peppelenbosch, M. P., 21-Jun-2019, In : Journal of Biological Chemistry. 294, 25, p. 9787-9798 12 p.

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  • Smoothened-dependent and -independent pathways in mammalian noncanonical Hedgehog signaling

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  • Alessandra V. de S. Faria
  • Adamu Ishaku Akyala
  • Kaushal Parikh
  • Lois W. Brueggemann
  • C. Arnold Spek
  • Wanlu Cao
  • Marco J. Bruno
  • Maarten F. Bijlsma
  • Gwenny M. Fuhler
  • Maikel P. Peppelenbosch

Hedgehog proteins are pivotal morphogens acting through a canonical pathway involving first activation of ligand binding to Patched followed by alleviation of Smoothened receptor inhibition, leading to activation of Gli transcription factors. Noncanonical Hedgehog signaling remains poorly characterized but is thought to be mainly dependent on Smoothened. However, Smoothened inhibitors have yielded only partial success in combating Hedgehog signal transduction-dependent cancer, suggesting that noncanonical Smoothened-independent pathways also are clinically relevant. Moreover, several Smoothened-dependent effects (e.g. neurite projection) do not require transcriptional activation, further suggesting biological importance of noncanonical Smoothened-dependent pathways. We comprehensively characterized the cellular kinome in Hedgehog-challenged murine WT and Smoothened(-/-) fibroblasts as well as Smoothened agonist-stimulated cells. A peptide assay-based kinome analysis (in which cell lysates are used to phosphorylate specific kinase substrates), along with endocytosis, Lucifer Yellow-based, and immunoblotting assays, identified an elaborate signaling network of both Smoothened-dependent and -independent pathways that mediates actin reorganization through Src-like kinases, activates various proinflammatory signaling cascades, and concomitantly stimulates Wnt and Notch signaling while suppressing bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling. The contribution of noncanonical Smoothened-independent signaling to the overall effects of Hedgehog on cellular physiology appears to be much larger than previously envisioned and may explain the transcriptionally independent effects of Hedgehog signaling on cytoskeleton. The observation that Patched-dependent, Smoothened-independent, noncanonical Hedgehog signaling increases Wnt/Notch signaling provides a possible explanation for the failure of Smoothened antagonists in combating Hedgehog-dependent but Smoothened inhibitor-resistant cancer. Our findings suggest that inhibiting Hedgehog-Patched interaction could result in more effective therapies as compared with conventional Smoothened-directed therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9787-9798
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 21-Jun-2019


  • Sonic Hedgehog (Shh), signal transduction, endocytosis, Hedgehog signaling pathway, signaling, noncanonical morphogen signaling, cell fate, kinome profiling, cell signaling, cancer, cell receptor, cytoskeletal remodeling, BASAL-CELL CARCINOMA, COLON-CANCER, MORPHOGEN, INHIBITION, MECHANISM, GROWTH

ID: 93753562