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Mol Biol Cell. 2011 Feb 1;22(3):399-411. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E10-05-0440. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

The EDD E3 ubiquitin ligase ubiquitinates and up-regulates beta-catenin.

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Department of Anatomy and Anthropology, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


Wnt/β-catenin signaling plays a central role in development and is also involved in a diverse array of diseases. β-Catenin activity is tightly regulated via a multiprotein complex that includes the kinase glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β). GSK-3β phosphorylates β-catenin, marking it for ubiquitination and degradation via the proteasome. Thus in regulation of the Wnt pathway, the ubiquitin system is known to be involved mostly in mediating the turnover of β-catenin, resulting in reduced Wnt signaling levels. Here we report that an arm of the ubiquitin system increases β-catenin protein levels. We show that GSK-3β directly interacts with the E3 ubiquitin ligase identified by differential display (EDD) that also binds β-catenin. Expression of EDD leads to enhanced nuclear accumulation of both GSK-3β and β-catenin and results in up-regulation of β-catenin expression levels and activity. Importantly, EDD ubiquitinates β-catenin through Lys29- or Lys11-linked ubiquitin chains, leading to enhanced stability of β-catenin. Our results demonstrate a role for the ubiquitin system in up-regulation of the Wnt signaling pathway, suggesting that EDD could function as a colorectal oncogene.

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