LRP6 acts as a scaffold protein in cardiac gap junction assembly

Jun Li, Changming Li, Dandan Liang, Fei Lv, Tianyou Yuan, Erlinda The, Xiue Ma, Yahan Wu, Lixiao Zhen, Duanyang Xie, Shiyi Wang, Yuan Liu, Jian Huang, Jingyi Shi, Yi Liu, Dan Shi, Liang Xu, Li Lin, Luying Peng, Jianmin CuiWeidong Zhu, Yi Han Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6) is a Wnt co-receptor in the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Here, we report the scaffold function of LRP6 in gap junction formation of cardiomyocytes. Cardiac LRP6 is spatially restricted to intercalated discs and binds to gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43). A deficiency in LRP6 disrupts Cx43 gap junction formation and thereby impairs the cell-to-cell coupling, which is independent of Wnt/β-catenin signalling. The defect in Cx43 gap junction resulting from LRP6 reduction is attributable to the defective traffic of de novo Cx43 proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus, leading to the lysosomal degradation of Cx43 proteins. Accordingly, the hearts of conditional cardiac-specific Lrp6-knockout mice consistently exhibit overt reduction of Cx43 gap junction plaques without any abnormality in Wnt signalling and are predisposed to lethal arrhythmias. These findings uncover a distinct role of LRP6 as a platform for intracellular protein trafficking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11775
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jun 2 2016


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