Catenins, Wnt signaling and cancer

Nick Barker, Hans Clevers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies indicate that plakoglobin may have a similar function to that of β-catenin within the Wnt signaling pathway. β-catenin is known to be an oncogene in many forms of human cancer, following acquisition of stabilizing mutations in amino terminal sequences. Kolligs and coworkers show, however, that unlike β-catenin, plakoglobin induces neoplastic transformation of rat epithelial cells in the absence of such stabilizing mutations. Cellular transformation by plakoglobin also appears to be distinct from that of β-catenin in that it requires activation of the proto-oncogene c-myc. Surprisingly, c-myc is activated more efficiently by plakoglobin than β-catenin, despite its previous identification as a target of Tcf/β-catenin. In contrast, a synthetic Tcf reporter gene is activated to a much greater extent by β-catenin than plakoglobin. Plakoglobin and β-catenin may therefore have different roles in Wnt signaling and cancer, which reflect their differential effects on target gene activity. (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-965
Number of pages5
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Catenins, Wnt signaling and cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this