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Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Oct;23(20):7391-402.

Tyrosine phosphorylation of plakoglobin causes contrary effects on its association with desmosomes and adherens junction components and modulates beta-catenin-mediated transcription.

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  • 1Unitat de Biofísica, Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain.

Abstract

Plakoglobin is a protein closely related to beta-catenin that links desmosomal cadherins to intermediate filaments. Plakoglobin can also substitute for beta-catenin in adherens junctions, providing a connection between E-cadherin and alpha-catenin. Association of beta-catenin with E-cadherin and alpha-catenin is regulated by phosphorylation of specific tyrosine residues; modification of beta-catenin Tyr654 and Tyr142 decreases binding to E-cadherin and alpha-catenin, respectively. We show here that plakoglobin can also be phosphorylated on tyrosine residues, but unlike beta-catenin, this modification is not always associated with disrupted association with junctional components. Protein tyrosine kinases present distinct specificities on beta-catenin and plakoglobin, and phosphorylation of beta-catenin-equivalent Tyr residues of plakoglobin affects its interaction with components of desmosomes or adherens junctions differently. For instance, Src, which mainly phosphorylates Tyr86 in beta-catenin, modifies Tyr643 in plakoglobin, decreasing the interaction with E-cadherin and alpha-catenin and increasing the interaction with the alpha-catenin-equivalent protein in desmosomes, desmoplakin. The tyrosine kinase Fer, which modifies beta-catenin Tyr142, lessening its association with alpha-catenin, phosphorylates plakoglobin Tyr549 and exerts the contrary effect: it raises the binding of plakoglobin to alpha-catenin. These results suggest that tyrosine kinases like Src or Fer modulate desmosomes and adherens junctions differently. Our results also indicate that phosphorylation of Tyr549 and the increased binding of plakoglobin to components of adherens junctions can contribute to the upregulation of the transcriptional activity of the beta-catenin-Tcf-4 complex observed in many epithelial tumor cells.

PMID:
14517306
PMCID:
PMC230329
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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