Inactivation of the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) protein is a critical early step in the development of familial and sporadic colon cancer. Close examination of the function of APC has shown that it is a multifunctional protein involved in a wide variety of processes, including regulation of cell proliferation, cell migration, cell adhesion, cytoskeletal reorganization, and chromosomal stability. Tantalizing clues to the different functions of APC have been provided by the identification of proteins interacting with several discrete motifs within APC. Each of these putative functions could link APC inactivation with tumorigenesis. Here, we will summarize recent findings regarding the diverse role of APC. We will emphasize the interaction of APC with different binding partners, the role of these complex interactions for normal functioning of the cell, and how disruption of these interactions may play a role in tumor development. The rapid progress made recently shows the many faces of APC, leading to a constant reappreciation of this multitasking tumor suppressor protein.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.