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Nuclear association of the cytoplasmic tail of MUC1 and beta-catenin.

Wen Y., Caffrey T.C., Wheelock M.J., Johnson K.R., Hollingsworth M.A.

MUC1, an integral membrane mucin associated with the metastatic phenotype, is overexpressed by most human carcinoma cells. The MUC1 cytoplasmic tail (CT) is postulated to function in morphogenetic signal transduction via interactions with Grb2/Sos, c-Src, and beta-catenin. We investigated intracellular trafficking of the MUC1 CT, using epitope-tagged constructs that were overexpressed in human pancreatic cancer cell lines S2-013 and Panc-1. The MUC1 CT was detected at the inner cell surface, in the cytosol, and in the nucleus of cells overexpressing MUC1. Fragments of the MUC1 CT were associated with beta-catenin in both cytoplasm and nuclei. Overexpression of MUC1 increased steady state levels of nuclear beta-catenin but decreased nuclear levels of plakoglobin (gamma-catenin). There was no detectable association between plakoglobin and the MUC1 CT. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments revealed that the cytoplasmic and nuclear association of MUC1 CT and beta-catenin was not affected by disruption of Ca2+-dependent intercellular cadherin interactions. These results demonstrate nuclear localization of fragments of MUC1 CT in association with beta-catenin and raise the possibility that overexpression of the MUC1 CT stabilizes beta-catenin and enhances levels of nuclear beta-catenin during disruption of cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion.

J. Biol. Chem. 278:38029-38039(2003) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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