Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) regulates multiple signaling pathways by enhancing glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) activity

Alexander J Valvezan, Fang Zhang, J Alan Diehl, Peter S Klein
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2012 February 3, 287 (6): 3823-32
Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is essential for many signaling pathways and cellular processes. As Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) functions in many of the same processes, we investigated a role for APC in the regulation of GSK-3-dependent signaling. We find that APC directly enhances GSK-3 activity. Furthermore, knockdown of APC mimics inhibition of GSK-3 by reducing phosphorylation of glycogen synthase and by activating mTOR, revealing novel roles for APC in the regulation of these enzymes. Wnt signaling inhibits GSK-3 through an unknown mechanism, and this results in both stabilization of β-catenin and activation of mTOR. We therefore hypothesized that Wnts may regulate GSK-3 by disrupting the interaction between APC and the Axin-GSK-3 complex. We find that Wnts rapidly induce APC dissociation from Axin, correlating with β-catenin stabilization. Furthermore, Axin interaction with the Wnt co-receptor LRP6 causes APC dissociation from Axin. We propose that APC regulates multiple signaling pathways by enhancing GSK-3 activity, and that Wnts induce APC dissociation from Axin to reduce GSK-3 activity and activate downstream signaling. APC regulation of GSK-3 also provides a novel mechanism for Wnt regulation of multiple downstream effectors, including β-catenin and mTOR.

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