Identifying novel members of the Wntless interactome through genetic and candidate gene approaches

Jessica A. Petko, Trevor Tranchina, Goral Patel, Robert Levenson, Stephanie Justice-Bitner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Wnt signaling is an important pathway that regulates several aspects of embryogenesis, stem cell maintenance, and neural connectivity. We have recently determined that opioids decrease Wnt secretion, presumably by inhibiting the recycling of the Wnt trafficking protein Wntless (Wls). This effect appears to be mediated by protein-protein interaction between Wls and the mu-opioid receptor (MOR), the primary cellular target of opioid drugs. The goal of this study was to identify novel protein interactors of Wls that are expressed in the brain and may also play a role in reward or addiction. Using genetic and candidate gene approaches, we show that among a variety of protein, Wls interacts with the dopamine transporter (target of cocaine), cannabinoid receptors (target of THC), Adenosine A2A receptor (target of caffeine), and SGIP1 (endocytic regulator of cannabinoid receptors). Our study shows that aside from opioid receptors, Wntless interacts with additional proteins involved in reward and/or addiction. Future studies will determine whether Wntless and WNT signaling play a more universal role in these processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-105
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
StatePublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Identifying novel members of the Wntless interactome through genetic and candidate gene approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this