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J Biol Chem. 2000 Oct 20;275(42):32871-8.

A novel beta-catenin-binding protein inhibits beta-catenin-dependent Tcf activation and axis formation.

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Department of Biochemistry, Hiroshima University School of Medicine, 1-2-3 Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 734-8551, PRESTO, Japan.


beta-Catenin is efficiently phosphorylated by glycogen synthase kinase-3beta in the Axin complex in the cytoplasm, resulting in the down-regulation. In response to Wnt, beta-catenin is stabilized and translocated into the nucleus where it stimulates gene expression through Tcf/Lef. Here we report a novel protein, designated Duplin (for axis duplication inhibitor), which negatively regulates the function of beta-catenin in the nucleus. Duplin was located in the nucleus. Duplin bound directly to the Armadillo repeats of beta-catenin, thereby inhibiting the binding of Tcf to beta-catenin. It did not affect the stability of beta-catenin but inhibited Wnt- or beta-catenin-dependent Tcf activation. Furthermore, expression of Duplin in Xenopus embryos inhibited the axis formation and beta-catenin-dependent axis duplication, and prevented the beta-catenin's ability to rescue ventralizing phenotypes induced by ultraviolet light irradiation. Thus, Duplin is a nuclear protein that inhibits beta-catenin signaling.

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