Biochemistry Publications

Title

EGF-Induced ERK Activation Promotes CK2-Mediated Disassociation of α-Catenin from β-Catenin and Transactivation of β-Catenin

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-25-2009

Journal

Molecular Cell

Volume

36

Issue

4

First Page

547

Last Page

559

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2009.09.034

Abstract

Increased transcriptional activity of beta-catenin resulting from Wnt/Wingless-dependent or -independent signaling has been detected in many types of human cancer, but the underlying mechanism of Wnt-independent regulation remains unclear. We demonstrate here that EGFR activation results in disruption of the complex of beta-catenin and alpha-catenin, thereby abrogating the inhibitory effect of alpha-catenin on beta-catenin transactivation via CK2alpha-dependent phosphorylation of alpha-catenin at S641. ERK2, which is activated by EGFR signaling, directly binds to CK2alpha via the ERK2 docking groove and phosphorylates CK2alpha primarily at T360/S362, subsequently enhancing CK2alpha activity toward alpha-catenin phosphorylation. In addition, levels of alpha-catenin S641 phosphorylation correlate with levels of ERK1/2 activity in human glioblastoma specimens and with grades of glioma malignancy. This EGFR-ERK-CK2-mediated phosphorylation of alpha-catenin promotes beta-catenin transactivation and tumor cell invasion. These findings highlight the importance of the crosstalk between EGFR and Wnt pathways in tumor development.