Axin was originally identified from the characterization of the Fused locus, the disruption of which leads to duplication of axis and embryonic lethality. It is a multidomain protein that interacts with multiple proteins and functions as a negative regulator of Wnt signaling by downregulating the beta-catenin levels. Recently, it was demonstrated that Axin also plays an important role in a JNK signaling pathway. Axin utilizes discriminatory domains for its distinct roles in the Wnt pathway and in the Axin/JNK pathway. Here we review the data that show how Axin regulates multiple signaling pathways by serving as a scaffold protein, controlling diverse cellular functions in proliferation, fate determination, and suppression of tumorigenesis.
Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel