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Cell. 2006 Oct 6;127(1):139-55.

P68 RNA helicase mediates PDGF-induced epithelial mesenchymal transition by displacing Axin from beta-catenin.

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Department of Biology, Georgia State University, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.


The nuclear p68 RNA helicase (referred to as p68) is a prototypical member of the DEAD box family of RNA helicases. The protein plays a very important role in early organ development. In the present study, we characterized the tyrosine phosphorylation of p68 under platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) stimulation. We demonstrated that tyrosine phosphorylation of p68 at Y593 mediated PDGF-stimulated epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We showed that PDGF treatment led to phosphorylation of p68 at Y593 in the cell nucleus. The Y593-phosphorylated p68 (referred to as phosphor-p68) promotes beta-catenin nuclear translocation via a Wnt-independent pathway. The phosphor-p68 facilitates beta-catenin nuclear translocation by blocking phosphorylation of beta-catenin by GSK-3beta and displacing Axin from beta-catenin. The beta-catenin nuclear translocation and subsequent interaction with the LEF/TCF was required for the EMT process. These data demonstrated a novel mechanism of phosphor-p68 in mediating the growth factor-induced EMT and uncovered a new pathway to promote beta-catenin nuclear translocation.

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