DNAJB6 induces degradation of β-catenin and causes partial reversal of mesenchymal phenotype

Academic Article


  • We showed that expression of MRJ (DNAJB6) protein is lost in invasive ductal carcinoma, and restoration of MRJ(L) restricts malignant behavior of breast cancer and melanoma cells. However, the signaling pathways influenced by MRJ(L) are largely unknown. Our observations revealed that MRJ(L) expression causes changes in cell morphology concomitant with down-regulation of several mesenchymal markers, viz. vimentin, N-cadherin, Twist, and Slug, and up-regulation of epithelial marker keratin 18. Importantly, MRJ(L) expression led to reduced levels of β-catenin, an epithelial mesenchymal transition marker, and a critical player in the Wnt pathway. We found that MRJ(L) up-regulates expression of DKK1, a well known Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibitor, that causes degradation of β-catenin. Re-expression of DNAJB6 alters the Wnt/β-catenin signaling in cancer cells, leading to partial reversal of the mesenchymal phenotype. Thus, MRJ(L) may play a role in maintaining an epithelial phenotype, and inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway may be one of the potential mechanisms contributing to the restriction of malignant behavior by MRJ(L). © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mitra A; Menezes ME; Shevde LA; Samant RS
  • Start Page

  • 24686
  • End Page

  • 24694
  • Volume

  • 285
  • Issue

  • 32