Adenomatous polyposis coli proteins and cell adhesion

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2004 Oct;16(5):528-35. doi: 10.1016/


Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) is an important tumour suppressor in the mammalian intestinal epithelium. It binds to beta-catenin and its role as a tumour suppressor depends predominantly on its ability to downregulate soluble beta-catenin, a key effector of the Wnt signalling pathway. However, epithelial cells have a distinct subcellular pool of beta-catenin, or Drosophila Armadillo, which functions as a structural component of adherens junctions. Notably, APC proteins can be associated with these adherens junctions, and recent evidence points to a role for APC in cellular adhesion. Thus, APC--like beta-catenin/Armadillo--may have a dual role in Wnt signal transduction and in cellular adhesion, which could be relevant to its activity as a tumour suppressor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein / metabolism
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein / physiology*
  • Adherens Junctions / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / physiology
  • Mammals / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / physiology*
  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin


  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin