The DF3/MUC1 mucin-like glycoprotein is aberrantly overexpressed in most human carcinomas. The cytoplasmic domain of MUC1 interacts with glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3 beta) and thereby decreases binding of MUC1 and beta-catenin. The present studies demonstrate that MUC1 associates with the c-Src tyrosine kinase. c-Src phosphorylates the MUC1 cytoplasmic domain at a YEKV motif located between sites involved in interactions with GSK3 beta and beta-catenin. The results demonstrate that the c-Src SH2 domain binds directly to pYEKV and inhibits the interaction between MUC1 and GSK3 beta. Moreover and in contrast to GSK3 beta, in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrate that c-Src-mediated phosphorylation of MUC1 increases binding of MUC1 and beta-catenin. The findings support a novel role for c-Src in regulating interactions of MUC1 with GSK3 beta and beta-catenin.
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