Axin, an inhibitor of the Wnt signalling pathway, interacts with beta-catenin, GSK-3beta and APC and reduces the beta-catenin level

Genes Cells. 1998 Jun;3(6):395-403. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2443.1998.00198.x.


Background: The Wnt/Wingless signalling pathway plays an important role in both embryonic development and tumorigenesis. Beta-catenin and Axin are positive and negative effectors of the Wnt signalling pathway, respectively.

Results: We found that Axin interacts with beta-catenin and glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta). Furthermore, the regulation of the G-protein signalling (RGS) domain of Axin is associated with the colorectal tumour suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC). Overexpression of Axin in the human colorectal cancer cell line SW480 induced a drastic reduction in the level of -catenin. Interaction with beta-catenin and GSK-3beta was required for the Axin-mediated beta-catenin reduction.

Conclusion: Axin interacts with beta-catenin, GSK-3beta and APC, and negatively regulates the Wnt signalling pathway, presumably by regulating the level of beta-catenin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein
  • Axin Protein
  • Binding Sites
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Humans
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins*
  • beta Catenin


  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein
  • Axin Protein
  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • beta Catenin
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • GTP-Binding Proteins