PublicationsWnt signaling through the Ror receptor in the nervous system
The receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor (Ror) proteins are conserved tyrosine kinase receptors that play roles in a variety of cellular processes that pattern tissues and organs during vertebrate and invertebrate development. Ror signaling is required for skeleton and neuronal development and modulates cell migration, cell polarity, and convergent extension. Ror has also been implicated in two human skeletal disorders, brachydactyly type B and Robinow syndrome. Rors are widely expressed during metazoan development including domains in the nervous system. Here, we review recent progress in understanding the roles of the Ror receptors in neuronal migration, axonal pruning, axon guidance, and synaptic plasticity. The processes by which Ror signaling execute these diverse roles are still largely unknown, but they likely converge on cytoskeletal remodeling. In multiple species, Rors have been shown to act as Wnt receptors signaling via novel non-canonical Wnt pathways mediated in some tissues by the adapter protein disheveled and the non-receptor tyrosine kinase Src. Rors can either activate or repress Wnt target expression depending on the cellular context and can also modulate signal transduction by sequestering Wnt ligands away from their signaling receptors. Future challenges include the identification of signaling components of the Ror pathways and bettering our understanding of the roles of these pleiotropic receptors in patterning the nervous system.