beta-Catenin plays an important role in development and tumorigenesis. However, the effect of a key acetyltransferase p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF) on beta-catenin signaling is largely unknown. In this study, we found PCAF could increase the beta-catenin transcriptional activity, induce its nuclear translocation, and up-regulate its protein level by inhibiting its ubiquitination and improving its stability. Further studies showed that PCAF directly binds to and acetylates beta-catenin. The key ubiquitination sites Lys-19 and Lys-49 of beta-catenin were shown as the critical residues for PCAF-induced acetylation and stabilization. Knockdown of PCAF in colon cancer cells markedly reduced the protein level, transcriptional activity, and acetylation level of beta-catenin; promoted cell differentiation; inhibited cell migration; and repressed xenografted tumorigenesis and tumor growth in nude mice. All these data demonstrate that PCAF acetylates beta-catenin and regulates its stability, and they raise the prospect that therapies targeting PCAF may be of clinical use in beta-catenin-driven diseases, such as colon cancer.
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