The adenomatous polyposis coli protein: the Achilles heel of the gut epithelium

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2004;20:337-66. doi: 10.1146/annurev.cellbio.20.012103.094541.


The Adenomatous Polyposis coli (APC) gene is mutated or lost in most colon cancers, and the APC protein has emerged as a multifunctional protein that is not only involved in the Wnt-regulated degradation of -catenin, but also regulates cytoskeletal proteins and thus plays a role in cell migration, cell adhesion, and mitosis. The gut epithelium is uniquely dependent on an intricate balance between a number of fundamental cellular processes including migration, differentiation, adhesion, apoptosis, and mitosis. In this review, I discuss the molecular mechanisms that govern the various functions of APC and their relationship to the role of APC in colon cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein / analysis
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Colonic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / physiology*


  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein