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Insulin receptor substrate 1/2 (IRS1/2) regulates Wnt/beta-catenin signaling through blocking autophagic degradation of dishevelled2.

Abstract: Wnt signaling plays a pivotal role in cell proliferation, tissue homeostasis, and tumorigenesis. Dishevelled (Dvl) is a central node of Wnt signaling. Insulin receptor substrates (IRSs), as a critical component of insulin signaling, are involved in cell proliferation, metabolism, and cancer development. In this study, we report that IRS1/2 promotes Wnt/beta-catenin signaling by stabilizing Dvl2. We found that IRS1/2 interacts with Dvl2. Overexpression of IRS1/2 increased the protein level of Dvl2 and promoted canonical Wnt signaling, as evidenced by the increased T cell-specific factor 4 transcriptional activity and the up-regulation of expression of CYCLIN D1 and c-MYC, two Wnt target genes critical for cell growth, whereas depletion of IRS1/2 reduced the level of Dvl2 and attenuated Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. Biochemical analyses revealed that IRS1/2 decreased Lys-63-linked ubiquitination of Dvl2 and stabilized Dvl2 protein via suppressing its autophagy-mediated degradation. We further revealed that IRS1/2 blocks autophagy-induced formation of the Dvl2-p62/SQSTM1 complex, resulting in disabled association of Dvl2 to autophagosomes. We demonstrated that IRS1/2 promoted the induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cell proliferation in response to Wnt stimulation, whereas depletion of Dvl2 impaired the IRS1/2-mediated EMT and cell growth. Our findings revealed that IRS1/2 promotes EMT and cell proliferation through stabilizing Dvl2.