Brain armadillo protein delta-catenin interacts with Abl tyrosine kinase and modulates cellular morphogenesis in response to growth factors

J Neurosci Res. 2002 Mar 1;67(5):618-24. doi: 10.1002/jnr.10151.


delta-Catenin associates with adhesive junctions and facilitates cellular morphogenesis (Lu et al., 1999). Here we show that delta-catenin colocalizes with actin filaments and Abl tyrosine kinase in the growth cones of cultured hippocampal neurons. PC12 cells induced to express delta-catenin show accelerated neurite extension upon nerve growth factor (NGF) stimulation. STI571, an Abl family kinase inhibitor, further accentuates these stimulatory effects. delta-Catenin is a potent substrate for Abl in vitro using an immunocomplex assay and most of the Abl-induced tyrosine phosphorylation within cells is present in the N-terminus of delta-catenin. When delta-catenin-expressing epithelial cells are induced to scatter in response to hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), STI571 leads to the rapid redistribution of delta-catenin and changes in cellular morphology. We suggest that delta-catenin is a possible Abl substrate and acts downstream of Abl to orchestrate actin-based cellular morphogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / drug effects
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Armadillo Domain Proteins
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Catenins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Delta Catenin
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Fetus
  • Growth Cones / drug effects
  • Growth Cones / metabolism*
  • Growth Cones / ultrastructure
  • Growth Substances / pharmacology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • PC12 Cells
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl / metabolism*
  • Rats


  • Armadillo Domain Proteins
  • Catenins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Growth Substances
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl
  • Delta Catenin