Development 2014 141: 3505-3516; doi: 10.1242/dev.114033
During vertebrate gastrulation, a complex set of mass cellular rearrangements shapes the embryonic body plan and appropriately positions the organ primordia. In zebrafish and Xenopus, convergence and extension (CE) movements simultaneously narrow the body axis mediolaterally and elongate it from head to tail. This process is governed by polarized cell behaviors that are coordinated by components of the non-canonical, β-catenin-independent Wnt signaling pathway, including Wnt5b and the transmembrane planar cell polarity (PCP) protein Vangl2. However, the intracellular events downstream of Wnt/PCP signals are not fully understood. Here, we show that zebrafish mutated in colorectal cancer (mcc), which encodes an evolutionarily conserved PDZ domain-containing putative tumor suppressor, is required for Wnt5b/Vangl2 signaling during gastrulation. Knockdown of mcc results in CE phenotypes similar to loss of vangl2 and wnt5b, whereas overexpression of mcc robustly rescues the depletion of wnt5b, vangl2 and the Wnt5b tyrosine kinase receptor ror2. Biochemical experiments establish a direct physical interaction between Mcc and the Vangl2 cytoplasmic tail. Lastly, CE defects in mcc morphants are suppressed by downstream activation of RhoA and JNK. Taken together, our results identify Mcc as a novel intracellular effector of non-canonical Wnt5b/Vangl2/Ror2 signaling during vertebrate gastrulation.