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Mol Cell. 2013 Oct 24;52(2):193-205. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2013.08.028. Epub 2013 Sep 19.

PAF and EZH2 induce Wnt/β-catenin signaling hyperactivation.

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Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Fine control of Wnt signaling is essential for various cellular and developmental decision-making processes. However, deregulation of Wnt signaling leads to pathological consequences, one of which is cancer. Here, we identify a function of PAF, a component of translesion DNA synthesis, in modulating Wnt signaling. PAF is specifically overexpressed in colon cancer cells and intestinal stem cells and is required for colon cancer cell proliferation. In Xenopus laevis, ventrovegetal expression of PAF hyperactivates Wnt signaling, developing a secondary axis with β-catenin target gene upregulation. Upon Wnt signaling activation, PAF dissociates from PCNA and binds directly to β-catenin. Then, PAF recruits EZH2 to the β-catenin transcriptional complex and specifically enhances Wnt target gene transactivation, independently of EZH2's methyltransferase activity. In mice, conditional expression of PAF induces intestinal neoplasia via Wnt signaling hyperactivation. Our studies reveal an unexpected role of PAF in regulating Wnt signaling and propose a regulatory mechanism of Wnt signaling during tumorigenesis.

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