Protein kinase a activation enhances β-catenin transcriptional activity through nuclear localization to PML bodies

Mei Zhang, Emilia Mahoney, Tao Zuo, Parmeet K. Manchanda, Ramana V Davuluri, Lawrence S. Kirschner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The Protein Kinase A (PKA) and Wnt signaling cascades are fundamental pathways involved in cellular development and maintenance. In the osteoblast lineage, these pathways have been demonstrated functionally to be essential for the production of mineralized bone. Evidence for PKA-Wnt crosstalk has been reported both during tumorigenesis and during organogenesis, and the nature of the interaction is thought to rely on tissue and cell context. In this manuscript, we analyzed bone tumors arising from mice with activated PKA caused by mutation of the PKA regulatory subunit Prkar1a. In primary cells from these tumors, we observed relocalization of β-catenin to intranuclear punctuate structures, which were identified as PML bodies. Cellular redistribution of β-catenin could be recapitulated by pharmacologic activation of PKA. Using 3T3-E1 pre-osteoblasts as a model system, we found that PKA phosphorylation sites on β-catenin were required for nuclear re-localization. Further, β-catenin's transport to the nucleus was accompanied by an increase in canonical Wntdependent transcription, which also required the PKA sites. PKA-Wnt crosstalk in the cells was bi-directional, including enhanced interactions between β-catenin and the cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB) and transcriptional crosstalk between the Wnt and PKA signaling pathways. Increases in canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling were associated with a decrease in the activity of the non-canonical Wnt/Ror2 pathway, which has been shown to antagonize canonical Wnt signaling. Taken together, this study provides a new understanding of the complex regulation of the subcellular distribution of β-catenin and its differential protein-protein interaction that can be modulated by PKA signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0109523
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 9 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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