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Regulation of beta -catenin transformation by the p300 transcriptional coactivator.

Sun Y, Kolligs FT, Hottiger MO, Mosavin R, Fearon ER, Nabel GJ
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


The beta-catenin protein plays a critical role in embryonic development and mature tissue homeostasis through its effects on E-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion and Wnt-dependent signal transduction. In colon and other cancers, mutations of beta-catenin or the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor appear to stabilize beta-catenin and enhance its interaction with T cell factor (TCF) or lymphoid enhancer factor (Lef) transcription factors. At present, a complete picture of the means by which beta-catenin's interactions with TCF/Lef proteins contribute to neoplastic transformation is lacking. We report that the transcriptional coactivator p300 interacts with beta-catenin in vitro and in vivo and is critical for beta-catenin-mediated neoplastic transformation. p300 synergistically activates beta-catenin/TCF transcription, and their biochemical association requires the CH1 domain of p300 and a region of beta-catenin that includes its NH(2)-terminal transactivation domain and the first two armadillo repeats. Lowering of cellular p300 levels by using a ribozyme directed against p300 reduced TCF transcriptional activity and inhibited the neoplastic growth properties of a beta-catenin-transformed rat epithelial cell line and a human colon carcinoma line with a beta-catenin mutation. These findings demonstrate a critical role for p300 in beta-catenin/TCF transcription and in cancers arising from defects in beta-catenin regulation.

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