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Canonical Wnt signaling controls β-catenin protein stabilization, its translocation to the nucleus and the activation of β-catenin/Tcf-4-dependent transcription. In this review, we revise and discuss the recent results describing actions of p120-catenin in different phases of this pathway. More specifically, we comment its involvement in four different steps: (i) the very early activation of CK1ɛ, essential for Dvl-2 binding to the Wnt receptor complex; (ii) the internalization of GSK3 and Axin into multivesicular bodies, necessary for a complete stabilization of β-catenin; (iii) the activation of Rac1 small GTPase, required for β-catenin translocation to the nucleus; and (iv) the release of the inhibitory action caused by Kaiso transcriptional repressor. We integrate these new results with the previously known action of other elements in this pathway, giving a particular relevance to the responses of the Wnt pathway not required for β-catenin stabilization but for β-catenin transcriptional activity. Moreover, we discuss the possible future implications, suggesting that the two cellular compartments where β-catenin is localized, thus, the adherens junction complex and the Wnt signalosome, are more physically connected that previously thought.


Mireia Duñach, Beatriz Del Valle-Pérez, Antonio García de Herreros. p120-catenin in canonical Wnt signaling. Critical reviews in biochemistry and molecular biology. 2017 Jun;52(3):327-339

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PMID: 28276699

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