Fused-Costal2 protein complex regulates Hedgehog-induced Smo phosphorylation and cell-surface accumulation

Yajuan Liu, Xuesong Cao, Jin Jiang, Jianhang Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The seven-transmembrane protein Smoothened (Smo) acts as a signal transducer in the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway that mediates many key developmental processes. In Drosophila, Hh-induced phosphorylation promotes Smo cell-surface accumulation and signaling activity; however, the mechanisms controlling Smo phosphorylation and cell-surface accumulation are still unknown. The intracellular signaling complex containing Fused (Fu) and Costal2 (Cos2) is thought to transduce the Hh signal downstream from Smo. Here, we identify a novel feedback mechanism that regulates Smo through the Fu-Cos2 complex. We found that Hh-induced Smo accumulation is inhibited in fu mutant clones or by expressing a dominant-negative form of Fu, and such inhibition is alleviated by removal of Cos2. Conversely, overexpressing Cos2 blocks Smo accumulation, which is reversed by coexpressing Fu. Cos2 blocks Smo accumulation through its C-terminal Smo-interacting domain, and Fu antagonizes Cos2 by phosphorylating Cos2 at Ser572. Furthermore, we found that Ser572 phosphorylation attenuates the Cos2-Smo interaction and promotes Cos2 instability. Finally, we provided evidence that Fu and Cos2 control Smo cell-surface accumulation by regulating Smo phosphorylation. Our data suggest that Cos2-Smo interaction blocks Hh-induced Smo phosphorylation, and that Fu promotes Smo phosphorylation by antagonizing Cos2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1949-1963
Number of pages15
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007


  • Cos2
  • Fu
  • Hh
  • Phosphorylation
  • Signal transduction
  • Smo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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