The c-myb proto-oncogene product (c-Myb) regulates proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic cells. Recently we have shown that c-Myb is degraded in response to Wnt-1 stimulation via a pathway involving TAK1 (TGF-beta-activated kinase), HIPK2 (homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2), and NLK (Nemo-like kinase). NLK and HIPK2 bind directly to c-Myb and phosphorylate c-Myb at multiple sites, inducing its ubiquitination and proteasome-dependent degradation. The mammalian myb gene family contains two members in addition to c-myb, A-myb, and B-myb. Here, we report that the Wnt-NLK pathway also inhibits A-Myb activity, but by a different mechanism. As in the case of c-Myb, both NLK and HIPK2 bound directly to A-Myb and inhibited its activity. NLK phosphorylated A-Myb, but did not induce A-Myb degradation. Overexpression of NLK inhibited the association between A-Myb and the coactivator CBP, thus, blocking A-Myb-induced trans-activation. The kinase activity of NLK is required for the efficient inhibition of the association between A-Myb and CBP, although the kinase-negative form of NLK also partly inhibits the interaction between A-Myb and CBP. Furthermore, NLK induced the methylation of histone H3 at lysine-9 at A-Myb-bound promoter regions. Thus, the Wnt-NLK pathway inhibits the activity of each Myb family member by different mechanisms.
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