The Wnt-induced planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling pathway is essential for polarized cell migration and morphogenesis. Dishevelled (Dvl) and its binding protein Daam1 mediate RhoA activation in this pathway. WGEF, a member of the Rho-guanine nucleotide exchange factor (Rho-GEF) family, was shown to play a role in Wnt-induced RhoA activation in Xenopus embryos. However, it has remained unknown which member(s) of a Rho-GEF family are involved in Wnt/Dvl-induced RhoA activation in mammalian cells. Here we identified p114-RhoGEF and Lfc (also called GEF-H1) as the Rho-GEFs responsible for Wnt-3a-induced RhoA activation in N1E-115 mouse neuroblastoma cells. We screened for Rho-GEF-silencing short-hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) that are capable of suppressing Dvl-induced neurite retraction in N1E-115 cells and found that p114-RhoGEF and Lfc shRNAs, but not WGEF shRNA, suppressed Dvl- and Wnt-3a-induced neurite retraction. p114-RhoGEF and Lfc shRNAs also inhibited Dvl- and Wnt-3a-induced RhoA activation, and p114-RhoGEF and Lfc proteins were capable of binding to Dvl and Daam1. Additionally, the Dvl-binding domains of p114-RhoGEF and Lfc inhibited Dvl-induced neurite retraction. Our results suggest that p114-RhoGEF and Lfc are critically involved in Wnt-3a- and Dvl-induced RhoA activation and neurite retraction in N1E-115 cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas