WLS/wntless is essential in controlling dendritic cell homeostasis via a WNT signaling-independent mechanism

Li Ting Wang, Ming Hong Lin, Kwei Yan Liu, Shyh Shin Chiou, Shen Nien Wang, Chee Yin Chai, Li Wen Tseng, Hsin Ying Clair Chiou, Hsueh Chun Wang, Kazunari K. Yokoyama, Shih Hsien Hsu*, Shau Ku Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


We propose that beyond its role in WNT secretion, WLS/GPR177 (wntless, WNT ligand secretion mediator) acts as an essential regulator controlling protein glycosylation, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis, and dendritic cell (DC)-mediated immunity. WLS deficiency in bone marrow-derived DCs (BMDCs) resulted in poor growth and an inability to mount cytokine and T-cell responses in vitro, phenotypes that were irreversible by the addition of exogenous WNTs. In fact, WLS was discovered to integrate a protein complex in N-glycan-dependent and WLS domain-selective manners, comprising ER stress sensors and lectin chaperones. WLS deficiency in BMDCs led to increased ER stress response and macroautophagy/autophagy, decreased calcium efflux from the ER, and the loss of CALR (calreticulin)-CANX (calnexin) cycle, and hence protein hypo-glycosylation. Consequently, DC-specific wls-null mice were unable to develop both Th1-, Th2- and Th17-associated responses in the respective autoimmune and allergic disease models. These results suggest that WLS is a critical chaperone in maintaining ER homeostasis, glycoprotein quality control and calcium dynamics in DCs. Abbreviations: ATF6: activating transcription factor 6; ATG5: autophagy related 5; ATG12: autophagy related 12; ATG16L1: autophagy related 16 like 1; ATP2A1/SERCA1: ATPase sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ transporting 1; BALF: bronchoalveolar lavage fluid; BFA: brefeldin A; BMDC: bone marrow-derived dendritic cell; CALR: calreticulin; CANX: calnexin; CCL2/MCP-1: C-C motif chemokine ligand 2; CNS: central nervous system; CT: C-terminal domain; DTT: dithiothreitol; DNAJB9/ERDJ4: DnaJ heat shock protein family (Hsp40) member B9; EAE: experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; EIF2A/eIF2α: eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2A; EIF2AK3/PERK: eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha kinase 3; ERN1/IRE1: endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to nucleus signaling 1; GFP: green fluorescent protein; HSPA5/GRP78/BiP: heat shock protein A5; IFNA: interferon alpha; IFNAR1: interferon alpha and beta receptor subunit 1; IFNB: interferon beta; IFNG/INFγ: interferon gamma; IFNGR2: interferon gamma receptor 2; IL6: interleukin 6; IL10: interleukin 10; IL12A: interleukin 12A; IL23A: interleukin 23 subunit alpha; ITGAX/CD11c: integrin subunit alpha X; ITPR1/InsP3R1: inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor type 1; MAP1LC3B/LC3B: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; OVA: ovalbumin; PIK3C3/VPS34: phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit type 3; PLF: predicted lipocalin fold; PPP1R15A/GADD34: protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 15A; RYR1/RyanR1: ryanodine receptor 1, skeletal muscle; SD: signal domain; TGFB/TGF-β: transforming growth factor beta family; Th1: T helper cell type 1; Th17: T helper cell type 17; TM: tunicamycin; TNF/TNF-α: tumor necrosis factor; UPR: unfolded protein response; WLS/wntless: WNT ligand secretion mediator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4202-4217
Number of pages16
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Dendritic cells
  • er stress
  • gpr177
  • protein glycosylation
  • unfold protein response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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