Video Abstract (AI generated) (01:12)PaperPreprint
Proteoglycans, a class of carbohydrate-modified proteins, often modulate growth factor signaling on the cell surface. However, the molecular mechanism by which proteoglycans regulate signal transduction is largely unknown. In this study, using a recently-developed glycoproteomic method, we found that Windpipe (Wdp) is a novel chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) in Drosophila. Wdp is a single-pass transmembrane protein with leucin-rich repeat (LRR) motifs and bears three CS sugar chain attachment sites in the extracellular domain. Here we show that Wdp modulates the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway. Overexpression of wdp inhibits Hh signaling in the wing disc, which is dependent on its CS chains and the LRR motifs. Conversely, loss of wdp leads to the upregulation of Hh signaling. Furthermore, knockdown of wdp increase the cell surface accumulation of Smoothened (Smo), suggesting that Wdp inhibits Hh signaling by regulating Smo stability. Our study demonstrates a novel role of CSPG in regulating Hh signaling.