Exchange of catenins in cadherin-catenin complex

Jörg Klingelhöfer, Regina B. Troyanovsky, Oscar Y. Laur, Sergey Troyanovsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


β-Catenin is an intracellular multifunctional protein. In complex with the transmembrane adhesive receptor E-cadherin, it becomes plasma membrane-associated and mediates intercellular adhesion. A cytosolic pool of β-catenin interacts with DNA-binding proteins and participates in signal transduction. To reveal the possible cross-talk between these two pools, we studied whether β-catenin is exchanged between its free and cadherin-bound states. We found that pulse-labeled β-catenin replaces the β-catenin bound to the cell surface prebiotinylated E-cadherin immediately after synthesis. Approximately 25% of all pulse-labeled β-catenin destined for E-cadherin associates with this protein via this mechanism. The rest of the newly synthesized β-catenin arrives at the plasma membrane in a complex with the E-cadherin precursor. Immediately after arrival, this β-catenin pool is transferred to the prebiotinylated E-cadherin. β-Catenin released from E-cadherin may participate in new exchange cycles. This β-catenin exchange is strongly affected in cells that contain mutations in the tumor suppressor gene APC. This process may contribute significantly to both cell - cell adhesion and β-catenin-dependent signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1181-1188
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 27 2003


  • APC
  • Adhesion
  • Cadherin
  • Catenins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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