Williams, B.B., Cantrell, V.A., Mundell, N.A., Bennett, A.C., Quick, R.E., and Jessen, J.R. (2012) VANGL2 regulates membrane trafficking of MMP14 to control cell polarity and migration. Journal of Cell Science. 125(9):2141-2147.
Planar cell polarity (PCP) describes the polarized orientation of cells within the plane of a tissue. Unlike epithelial PCP,
the mechanisms underlying PCP signaling in migrating cells remain undefined. Here, the establishment of PCP must be coordinated
with dynamic changes in cell adhesion and extracellular matrix (ECM) organization. During gastrulation, membrane type-1 matrix
metalloproteinase (MMP14/MT1-MMP) is required for PCP and convergence and extension cell movements. We report that the PCP
protein Vang-like 2 (VANGL2) regulates the endocytosis and cell surface availability of MMP14 in a focal adhesion kinase dependent
manner. We demonstrate that zebrafish trilobite/vangl2 mutant embryos exhibit increased Mmp14 activity and decreased ECM. Furthermore, in vivo knockdown of Mmp14 partially rescues
the Vangl2 loss of function convergence and extension phenotype. This study identifies a novel mechanism linking VANGL2 with
MMP14 trafficking and suggests that establishment of PCP in migrating gastrula cells requires regulated proteolytic degradation/remodeling
of ECM. Our findings implicate matrix metalloproteinases as downstream effectors of PCP and suggest a broadly applicable mechanism
whereby VANGL2 affects diverse morphogenetic processes.