||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2017, Vol.114 (7), pp.E1148-E1157
Β-catenin; Mule; Wnt signaling; Stem cells; Colorectal cancer;
Wnt signaling, named after the secreted proteins that bind to cell surface receptors to activate the pathway, plays critical roles both in embryonic development and the maintenance of homeostasis in many adult tissues. Two particularly important cellular programs orchestrated by Wnt signaling are proliferation and stem cell self-renewal. Constitutive activation of the Wnt pathway resulting from mutation or improper modulation of pathway components contributes to cancer development in various tissues. Colon cancers frequently bear inactivating mutations of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene, whose product is an important component of the destruction complex that regulates β-catenin levels. Stabilization and nuclear localization of β-catenin result in the expression of a panel of Wnt... target genes. We previously showed that Mule/Huwe1/Arf-BP1 (Mule) controls murine intestinal stem and progenitor cell proliferation by modulating the Wnt pathway via c-Myc. Here we extend our investigation of Mule’s influence on oncogenesis by showing that Mule interacts directly with β-catenin and targets it for degradation under conditions of hyperactive Wnt signaling. Our findings suggest that Mule uses various mechanisms to fine-tune the Wnt pathway and provides multiple safeguards against tumorigenesis.