Misexpression of the catenin p120(ctn)1A perturbs Xenopus gastrulation but does not elicit Wnt-directed axis specification.
Modulators of cadherin function are of great interest given that the cadherin complex actively contributes to the morphogenesis of virtually all tissues. The catenin p120(ctn) (formerly p120cas) was first identified as a src- and receptor-protein tyrosine kinase substrate and later shown to interact directly with cadherins. In common with beta-catenin and plakoglobin (gamma-catenin), p120(ctn) contains a central Armadillo repeat region by which it binds cadherin cytoplasmic domains. However, little is known about the function of p120(ctn) within the cadherin complex. We examined the role of p120(ctn)1A in early vertebrate development via its exogenous expression in Xenopus. Ventral overexpression of p120(ctn)1A, in contrast to beta-catenin, did not induce the formation of duplicate axial structures resulting from the activation of the Wnt signaling pathway, nor did p120(ctn) affect mesoderm induction. Rather, dorsal misexpression of p120(ctn) specifically perturbed gastrulation. Lineage tracing of cells expressing exogenous p120(ctn) indicated that cell movements were disrupted, while in vitro studies suggested that this may have been a consequence of reduced adhesion between blastomeres. Thus, while cadherin-binding proteins beta-catenin, plakoglobin, and p120(ctn) are members of the Armadillo protein family, it is clear that these proteins have distinct biological functions in early vertebrate development. This work indicates that p120(ctn) has a role in cadherin function and that heightened expression of p120(ctn) interferes with appropriate cell-cell interactions necessary for morphogenesis. (+info
The catenin p120(ctn) interacts with Kaiso, a novel BTB/POZ domain zinc finger transcription factor.
p120(ctn) is an Armadillo repeat domain protein with structural similarity to the cell adhesion cofactors beta-catenin and plakoglobin. All three proteins interact directly with the cytoplasmic domain of the transmembrane cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin; beta-catenin and plakoglobin bind a carboxy-terminal region in a mutually exclusive manner, while p120 binds the juxtamembrane region. Unlike beta-catenin and plakoglobin, p120 does not interact with alpha-catenin, the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), or the transcription factor Lef-1, suggesting that it has unique binding partners and plays a distinct role in the cadherin-catenin complex. Using p120 as bait, we conducted a yeast two-hybrid screen and identified a novel transcription factor which we named Kaiso. Kaiso's deduced amino acid sequence revealed an amino-terminal BTB/POZ protein-protein interaction domain and three carboxy-terminal zinc fingers of the C2H2 DNA-binding type. Kaiso thus belongs to a rapidly growing family of POZ-ZF transcription factors that include the Drosophila developmental regulators Tramtrak and Bric a brac, and the human oncoproteins BCL-6 and PLZF, which are causally linked to non-Hodgkins' lymphoma and acute promyelocytic leukemia, respectively. Monoclonal antibodies to Kaiso were generated and used to immunolocalize the protein and confirm the specificity of the p120-Kaiso interaction in mammalian cells. Kaiso specifically coprecipitated with a variety of p120-specific monoclonal antibodies but not with antibodies to alpha- or beta-catenin, E-cadherin, or APC. Like other POZ-ZF proteins, Kaiso localized to the nucleus and was associated with specific nuclear dots. Yeast two-hybrid interaction assays mapped the binding domains to Arm repeats 1 to 7 of p120 and the carboxy-terminal 200 amino acids of Kaiso. In addition, Kaiso homodimerized via its POZ domain but it did not heterodimerize with BCL-6, which heterodimerizes with PLZF. The involvement of POZ-ZF proteins in development and cancer makes Kaiso an interesting candidate for a downstream effector of cadherin and/or p120 signaling. (+info
p120(ctn) acts as an inhibitory regulator of cadherin function in colon carcinoma cells.
p120(ctn) binds to the cytoplasmic domain of cadherins but its role is poorly understood. Colo 205 cells grow as dispersed cells despite their normal expression of E-cadherin and catenins. However, in these cells we can induce typical E-cadherin-dependent aggregation by treatment with staurosporine or trypsin. These treatments concomitantly induce an electrophoretic mobility shift of p120(ctn) to a faster position. To investigate whether p120(ctn) plays a role in this cadherin reactivation process, we transfected Colo 205 cells with a series of p120(ctn) deletion constructs. Notably, expression of NH2-terminally deleted p120(ctn) induced aggregation. Similar effects were observed when these constructs were introduced into HT-29 cells. When a mutant N-cadherin lacking the p120(ctn)-binding site was introduced into Colo 205 cells, this molecule also induced cell aggregation, indicating that cadherins can function normally if they do not bind to p120(ctn). These findings suggest that in Colo 205 cells, a signaling mechanism exists to modify a biochemical state of p120(ctn) and the modified p120(ctn) blocks the cadherin system. The NH2 terminus-deleted p120(ctn) appears to compete with the endogenous p120(ctn) to abolish the adhesion-blocking action. (+info
Functional characterization of multiple transactivating elements in beta-catenin, some of which interact with the TATA-binding protein in vitro.
beta-Catenin, a member of the family of Armadillo repeat proteins, plays a dual role in cadherin-mediated cell adhesion and in signaling by Wnt growth factors. Upon Wnt stimulation beta-catenin undergoes nuclear translocation and serves as transcriptional coactivator of T cell factor DNA-binding proteins. Previously the transactivation potential of different portions of beta-catenin has been demonstrated, but the precise location of transactivating elements has not been established. Also, the mechanism of transactivation by beta-catenin and the molecular basis for functional differences between beta-catenin and the closely related proteins Armadillo and Plakoglobin are poorly understood. Here we have used a yeast system for the detailed characterization of the transactivation properties of beta-catenin. We show that its transactivation domains possess a modular structure, consist of multiple subelements that cover broad regions at its N and C termini, and extend considerably into the Armadillo repeat region. Compared with beta-catenin the N termini of Plakoglobin and Armadillo have different transactivation capacities that may explain their distinct signaling properties. Furthermore, transactivating elements of beta-catenin interact specifically and directly with the TATA-binding protein in vitro providing further evidence that a major function of beta-catenin during Wnt signaling is to recruit the basal transcription machinery to promoter regions of Wnt target genes. (+info
Nuclear localization of the p120(ctn) Armadillo-like catenin is counteracted by a nuclear export signal and by E-cadherin expression.
The Armadillo protein p120(ctn) associates with the cytoplasmic domain of cadherins and accumulates at cell-cell junctions. Particular Armadillo proteins such as beta-catenin and plakophilins show a partly nuclear location, suggesting gene-regulatory activities. For different human E-cadherin-negative carcinoma cancer cell lines we found expression of endogenous p120(ctn) in the nucleus. Expression of E-cadherin directed p120(ctn) out of the nucleus. Previously, we reported that the human p120(ctn) gene might encode up to 32 protein isoforms as products of alternative splicing. Overexpression of p120(ctn) isoforms B in various cell lines resulted in cytoplasmic immunopositivity but never in nuclear staining. In contrast, upon expression of p120(ctn) cDNAs lacking exon B, the isoforms were detectable within both nuclei and cytoplasm. A putative nuclear export signal (NES) with a characteristic leucine-rich motif is encoded by exon B. This sequence element was shown to be required for nuclear export and to function autonomously when fused to a carrier protein and microinjected into cell nuclei. Moreover, the NES function of endogenously or exogenously expressed p120(ctn) isoforms B was sensitive to the nuclear export inhibitor leptomycin B. Expression of exogenous E-cadherin down-regulated nuclear p120(ctn) whereas activation of protein kinase C increased the level of nuclear p120(ctn). These results reveal molecular mechanisms controlling the subcellular distribution of p120(ctn). (+info
p120(ctn) binds to the membrane-proximal region of the E-cadherin cytoplasmic domain and is involved in modulation of adhesion activity.
Cadherins are transmembrane glycoproteins involved in Ca(2+)-dependent cell-cell adhesion. Previously, we showed that the conserved membrane-proximal region of the E-cadherin cytoplasmic domain negatively regulates adhesion activity. In this report, we provide several lines of evidence that p120(ctn) is involved in this negative regulation. p120(ctn) binds to the membrane-proximal region of the nonfunctional carboxyl-terminally deleted E-cadherin protein. An additional internal deletion in this region prevented the association with p120(ctn) and activated the protein, as seen in an aggregation assay. Furthermore, the nonfunctional E-cadherin can be activated through coexpression of p120(ctn) proteins with amino-terminal deletions, which eliminate several potential serine/threonine phosphorylation sites but do not affect the ability to bind to cadherins. Finally, we show that staurosporine, a kinase inhibitor, induces an increased electrophoretic mobility of p120(ctn) bound to E-cadherin polypeptides, activates the nonfunctional E-cadherin protein, and converts the wild-type E-cadherin and an E-cadherin-alpha-catenin chimeric protein from a cytochalasin D-sensitive to a cytochalasin D-insensitive state. Together, these results indicate that p120(ctn) is a modulator of E-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion. (+info
N-Cadherin expression in human prostate carcinoma cell lines. An epithelial-mesenchymal transformation mediating adhesion withStromal cells.
In human prostate adenocarcinoma, an association between loss of E-cadherin, increased Gleason score, and extracapsular dissemination has been observed. Further characterization of the E-cadherin/catenin phenotype of human prostate carcinoma cell lines showed loss of E-cadherin and expression of N-cadherin in poorly differentiated prostate carcinoma cell lines (PC-3N derived from PC-3, PC-3, and JCA1). We showed that N-cadherin is concentrated at sites of cell-cell contact in PC-3N cellular extensions. N-cadherin was also expressed in prostate stromal fibroblasts both in vitro and in prostate tissue. Co-cultures of prostate stromal fibroblasts and PC-3N cells showed the immunolocalization of N-cadherin in intercellular contacts. In addition, the isoform expression of the cadherin binding protein p120(ctn) differed in relation to the expression of E- versus N-cadherin by the prostate carcinoma cell lines. The p100 isoform was more highly expressed in E-cadherin-positive carcinoma cell lines, whereas p120 was predominantly expressed only in N-cadherin-positive prostate carcinoma cell lines and prostate stromal fibroblasts. The N-cadherin-positive carcinoma cell line, PC-3N, displayed aggressive invasion into the surface of the diaphragm muscle after intraperitoneal injection of SCID mice. The gain of N-cadherin and loss of E-cadherin by invasive prostate carcinoma cell lines suggests a progression from an epithelial to a mesenchymal phenotype, which may allow for their interaction with surrounding stromal fibroblasts and facilitate metastasis. (+info
Epithelial mesenchymal transition by c-Fos estrogen receptor activation involves nuclear translocation of beta-catenin and upregulation of beta-catenin/lymphoid enhancer binding factor-1 transcriptional activity.
Mouse mammary epithelial cells expressing a fusion protein of c-Fos and the estrogen receptor (FosER) formed highly polarized epithelial cell sheets in the absence of estradiol. Beta-catenin and p120(ctn) were exclusively located at the lateral plasma membrane in a tight complex with the adherens junction protein, E-cadherin. Upon activation of FosER by estradiol addition, cells lost epithelial polarity within two days, giving rise to a uniform distribution of junctional proteins along the entire plasma membrane. Most of the beta-catenin and p120(ctn) remained in a complex with E-cadherin at the membrane, but a minor fraction of uncomplexed cytoplasmic beta-catenin increased significantly. The epithelial-mesenchymal cell conversion induced by prolonged estradiol treatment was accompanied by a complete loss of E-cadherin expression, a 70% reduction in beta-catenin protein level, and a change in the expression pattern of p120(ctn) isoforms. In these mesenchymal cells, beta-catenin and p120(ctn) were localized in the cytoplasm and in defined intranuclear structures. Furthermore, beta-catenin colocalized with transcription factor LEF-1 in the nucleus, and coprecipitated with LEF-1-related proteins from cell extracts. Accordingly, beta-catenin- dependent reporter activity was upregulated in mesenchymal cells and could be reduced by transient expression of exogenous E-cadherin. Thus, epithelial mesenchymal conversion in FosER cells may involve beta-catenin signaling. (+info