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J Biol Chem. 2012 Feb 10;287(7):5164-72. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.322123. Epub 2011 Dec 27.

Axin pathway activity regulates in vivo pY654-β-catenin accumulation and pulmonary fibrosis.

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  • 1Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, Department of Medicine and Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.

Abstract

Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and pulmonary fibrogenesis require epithelial integrin α3β1-mediated cross-talk between TGFβ1 and Wnt signaling pathways. One hallmark of this cross-talk is pY654-β-catenin accumulation, but whether pY654-β-catenin is a biomarker of fibrogenesis or functionally important is unknown. To clarify further the role of β-catenin in fibrosis, we explored pY654-β-catenin generation and function. α3β1 was required for TGFβ1-mediated activation of Src family kinases, and Src inhibition blocked both pY654 and EMT in primary alveolar epithelial cells (AECs). TGFβ1 stimulated β-catenin/Lef1-dependent promoter activity comparably in immortalized AECs stably expressing WT β-catenin as well as Y654E or Y654F β-catenin point mutants. But EMT was abrogated in the Tyr to Phe mutant. pY654-β-catenin was sensitive to the axin β-catenin turnover pathway as inhibition of tankyrase 1 led to high AEC axin levels, loss of pY654-β-catenin, and inhibition of EMT ex vivo. Mice given a tankyrase inhibitor (50 mg/kg orally) daily for 7 days beginning 10 days after intratracheal bleomycin had improved survival over controls. Treated mice developed raised axin levels in the lung that abrogated pY654-β-catenin and attenuated lung Snail1, Twist1, α-smooth muscle actin, and type I collagen accumulation. Total β-catenin levels were unaltered. These findings identify Src kinase(s) as a mediator of TGFβ1-induced pY654-β-catenin, provide evidence that pY654-β-catenin levels are a critical determinant of EMT and fibrogenesis, and suggest regulation of axin levels as a novel therapeutic approach to fibrotic disorders.

PMID:
22203675
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3281604
Free PMC Article

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