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J Cell Sci. 2012 Feb 1;125(Pt 3):561-9. doi: 10.1242/jcs.086173.

Down's-syndrome-related kinase Dyrk1A modulates the p120-catenin-Kaiso trajectory of the Wnt signaling pathway.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, TX 77030, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Cell Sci. 2012 Jun 15;125(12):3012. Ezan, Jerome [added].


The Wnt pathways contribute to many processes in cancer and development, with β-catenin being a key canonical component. p120-catenin, which is structurally similar to β-catenin, regulates the expression of certain Wnt target genes, relieving repression conferred by the POZ- and zinc-finger-domain-containing transcription factor Kaiso. We have identified the kinase Dyrk1A as a component of the p120-catenin-Kaiso trajectory of the Wnt pathway. Using rescue and other approaches in Xenopus laevis embryos and mammalian cells, we found that Dyrk1A positively and selectively modulates p120-catenin protein levels, thus having an impact on p120-catenin and Kaiso (and canonical Wnt) gene targets such as siamois and wnt11. The Dyrk1A gene resides within the Down's syndrome critical region, which is amplified in Down's syndrome. A consensus Dyrk phosphorylation site in p120-catenin was identified, with a mutant mimicking phosphorylation exhibiting the predicted enhanced capacity to promote endogenous Wnt-11 and Siamois expression, and gastrulation defects. In summary, we report the biochemical and functional relationship of Dyrk1A with the p120-catenin-Kaiso signaling trajectory, with a linkage to canonical Wnt target genes. Conceivably, this work might also prove relevant to understanding the contribution of Dyrk1A dosage imbalance in Down's syndrome.

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