β-catenin protein is an integral part of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Wnt binding to Frizzled (Fz) receptors and LRP co-receptors activates Dishevelled (Dsh) proteins; these in turn inhibit the destruction complex responsible for degrading β-catenin, which includes GSK-3, adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) and axin. Accumulation of β-catenin in the cell cytoplasm prompts its translocation to the nucleus, where it interacts with members of the TCF/LEF family of transcription factors and induces the transcription of Wnt target genes.
This canonical pathway has been shown to influence developmental processes such as cell proliferation and body axis specification, as well as carcinogenesis. Mutations in β-catenin, axin and APC have been discovered in numerous cancers, and other members of the canonical pathway may also contribute to misregulation of Wnt signaling. Aberrant TCF-β-catenin signaling is also evident in many cancers, and results in altered expression of genes controlling cell proliferation, differentiation, migration and apoptosis. β-catenin also plays an essential role in cell-cell adhesion, and is thought to maintain the attachment of stem cells to their niche by interacting with membrane-bound cadherin and α-catenin.View all products for β-catenin »
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Literature for β-catenin
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