FOXKs promote Wnt/β-catenin signaling by translocating DVL into the nucleus

Dev Cell. 2015 Mar 23;32(6):707-18. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.01.031.


Dishevelled (DVL) proteins serve as crucial regulators that transduce canonical Wnt signals to the GSK3β-destruction complex, resulting in the stabilization of β-catenin. Emerging evidence underscores the nuclear functions of DVLs, which are critical for Wnt/β-catenin signaling. However, the mechanism underlying DVL nuclear localization remains poorly understood. Here we discovered two Forkhead box (FOX) transcription factors, FOXK1 and FOXK2, as bona fide DVL-interacting proteins. FOXK1 and FOXK2 positively regulate Wnt/β-catenin signaling by translocating DVL into the nucleus. Moreover, FOXK1 and FOXK2 protein levels are elevated in human colorectal cancers and correlate with DVL nuclear localization. Conditional expression of Foxk2 in mice induced intestinal hyper-proliferation that featured enhanced DVL nuclear localization and upregulated Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Together, our results not only reveal a mechanism by which DVL is translocated into the nucleus but also suggest unexpected roles of FOXK1 and FOXK2 in regulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Dishevelled Proteins
  • Female
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / biosynthesis
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • HT29 Cells
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Dishevelled Proteins
  • FOXK1 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin
  • interleukin binding factor