Hedgehog (Hh) signaling activates full-length Ci/Gli family transcription factors and prevents Ci/Gli proteolytic processing to repressor forms. In the absence of Hh, Ci/Gli processing is initiated by direct Pka phosphorylation. Despite those fundamental similarities between Drosophila and mammalian Hh pathways, the differential reliance on cilia and some key signal transduction components had suggested a major divergence in the mechanisms that regulate Ci/Gli protein activities, including the role of the kinesin-family protein Costal 2 (Cos2), which directs Ci processing in Drosophila. Here, we show that Cos2 binds to three regions of Gli1, just as for Ci, and that Cos2 functions to silence mammalian Gli1 in Drosophila in a Hh-regulated manner. Cos2 and the mammalian kinesin Kif7 can also direct Gli3 and Ci processing in fly, underscoring a fundamental conserved role for Cos2 family proteins in Hh signaling. We also show that direct PKA phosphorylation regulates the activity, rather than the proteolysis of Gli in Drosophilia, and we provide evidence for an analogous action of PKA on Ci.
- Accepted March 22, 2011.