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Genes Cells. 1999 Aug;4(8):465-74.

Identification and characterization of E-APC, a novel Drosophila homologue of the tumour suppressor APC.

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Department of Oncogene Research, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, 3-1 Yamadaoka, Suita 565-0871, Japan. and



Mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumour suppressor gene are implicated in the genesis of colorectal cancers. The product of the APC gene forms a complex with beta-catenin, glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK-3beta) and Axin/conductin, and induces the degradation of beta-catenin.


We have identified a novel Drosophila homologue of APC, E-APC, which is similar to but differs in several respects from D-APC. The E-APC cDNA encodes a protein of predicted 1067 amino acids, with seven armadillo repeats, two copies of the 15-amino acid repeat, five copies of the 20-amino acid repeat, and one Axin/conductin binding site. E-APC directly interacts with D-Axin and Armadillo (Arm, the Drosophila homologue of beta-catenin) in vitro, destabilizes intracellular beta-catenin, and suppresses beta-catenin/TCF-regulated transcription in APC-/- colon cancer cells. The E-APC mRNA is ubiquitously expressed throughout all developmental stages in Drosophila.


Our findings suggest that E-APC may be universally involved in the regulation of the Wingless signalling pathway by down-regulating the level of Arm in Drosophila.

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