Deregulated activation of the canonical Wnt signalling pathway leads to stabilization of beta-catenin and is critically involved in carcinogenesis by an inappropriate induction of lymphocyte enhancer factor (LEF-1)/beta-catenin-dependent transcription of Wnt target genes. Phosphorylation of the pathway components beta-catenin, Dishevelled, Axin and APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) by glycogen synthase kinase-3beta, CK1 and CK2 is of central importance in the regulation of the beta-catenin destruction complex. Here, we identify CK1 and CK2 as major kinases that directly bind to and phosphorylate LEF-1 inducing distinct, kinase-specific changes in the LEF-1/DNA complex. Moreover, CK1-dependent phosphorylation in contrast to CK2 disrupts the association of beta-catenin and LEF-1 but does not impair DNA binding of LEF-1. Sequential phosphorylation assays revealed that for efficient disruption of the LEF-1/beta-catenin complex, beta-catenin also has to be phosphorylated. Consistent with these observations, CK1-dependent phosphorylation inhibits, whereas CK2 activates LEF-1/beta-catenin transcriptional activity in reporter gene assays. These data are in line with a negative regulatory function of CK1 in the Wnt signalling pathway, where CK1 in addition to the beta-catenin destruction complex at a second level acts as a negative regulator of the LEF-1/beta-catenin transcription complex, thereby protecting cells from development of cancer.